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Ready or Not? Two Approaches for a Smoother Camunda 7 to Camunda 8 Migration

There are two approaches to making it easier to migrate from Camunda 7 to Camunda 8. Read this post to learn which tools you'll need.
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  • Ready or Not? Two Approaches for a Smoother Camunda 7 to Camunda 8 Migration

Migration from Camunda Platform 7 to Camunda Platform 8 can be complex for some environments.

We’ve heard the community loud and clear and are working hard to make it as easy as possible for our customers to start reaping the benefits of Camunda Platform 8. As more and more users look to move over to the new version, there are two different approaches using a variety of tools that reduce the effort it takes to migrate. 

Read on to find out about two approaches you might want to consider if migration is currently on your mind. 

Approach 1: reuse and recycle

More commonly known as a strategy to save the planet, “reuse and recycle” is a great approach for your Camunda projects, too! If you are planning to fully migrate to Camunda 8 in the near future, this may just be the way to go for you. 

Embracing change is key, but while Camunda 8 delivers new cloud-native technology and time-saving features such as Connectors, the two versions have more in common than separates them. Meaty and time-intensive elements of your processes such as BPMN diagrams and the code for service tasks can be reused without the need for extensive modifications. 

Camunda provides two tools that help you do just that:

  • Our backend diagram converter points out what needs to be changed in Camunda 7 models in order to easily run them in Camunda 8. 
  • The Camunda 7 adapter allows you to reuse Java delegates, delegate expressions, expressions or external tasks without the need to rewrite the code.

Approaching migration from a “reuse and recycle” perspective will make migration easier when you decide to switch off Camunda 7. You should also consider the effect this will have on your team’s morale – by turning a mountain back into a molehill you enable them to focus on crucial tasks and avoid action paralysis. 

As we see more customers embrace Camunda 8, many use this as an opportunity to take stock and audit the quality of their processes, too. Think about it—now is a great time to review your processes and identify areas that you may be able to fine-tune.

After all, migrating suboptimal processes into Camunda 8 just postpones the need to look at them, so ensuring they are in top shape now will smooth the transition. 

Approach 2: introduce an abstraction layer 

Looking to automate a new process, but can’t invest into the Kubernetes production environment for Camunda 8 just yet? There are other tools that will make it easier to move onto Camunda 8 later. Let’s look at one of them that enables you to run processes in both product versions simultaneously. 

When using APIs to start workflows, register complete tasks, or correlate incoming messages, instead of using a Camunda 7 API, use an Abstract Business Processing API. It uses adapters to target the specific Camunda engine in your project, so you are decoupled from the Camunda version you want to use. This mirrors the advice in our migration guide which states:

“Separate your actual business logic from the delegates and all Camunda APIs. Avoid accessing the BPMN model and invoking Camunda APIs within your delegates.”

This approach is suitable for new, existing and even old processes in case business requirements have changed or if you are intending to use a component for longer than the Camunda 7 support period.

You can implement an abstract API yourself, but there is also a handy community extension called VanillaBP that Phactum’s Stephan Pelikan presented at Community Summit last month. VanillaBP provides such an API, allowing you to start new process instances in Camunda 8 as well as migrate running instances from Camunda 7 to Camunda 8. The extension enables you to run Camunda 7 or Camunda 8 processes using the same code. You can run Camunda 7 processes alongside Camunda 8 ones, and even run Camunda 7 process instances next to their Camunda 8 counterparts of the same workflow.

To see the extension in action and find out how to use it in your projects, check out Stephan’s talk at the Camunda Community Summit 2023

See our six step migration guide

Just starting to think about your migration path from Camunda 7 to Camunda 8? Check out our migration guide, which will help you understand the requirements and get started in just six steps.

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