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Why Migrate from Camunda 7 to Camunda 8

Why should you migrate to Camunda 8? Read this post to learn why migration from Camunda 7 to Camunda 8 could be the move for you.
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Why should you migrate?

You have been running on Camunda 7 and things have been going well. So why should you consider a change? Why should you migrate to Camunda 8? Maybe it is that Camunda is focused on adding innovation to Camunda 8. Or perhaps your company is focusing on SaaS or a Center of Excellence. But there are a variety of reasons to migrate and we will address some of those here.

Compelling reasons to migrate

At this time, most of the innovation in our products is focused on Camunda 8. That is a strong reason to consider migration, but there are several more. You will want to carefully consider each one to help determine if migration is right for you and when it might be the path to take.

Your company is embracing SaaS

Your company may have already embraced cloud technologies and that is guiding you to a cloud native infrastructure. The default environment for Camunda 8 is our SaaS edition where Camunda hosts a cluster of Zeebe workflow engines in a Kubernetes environment and data is exported from the engine to Elasticsearch. Applications that use the workflow engine take advantage of the SDK for the programming language of choice.

Note: Do keep in mind that Camunda 8 also supports Self-Managed installations as well. Check out the architecture options and recommendations if you decide to go Self-Managed.

If your organization is considering or is already taking advantage of various SaaS services, then it might be a good time to consider migrating your Camunda 7 environment to Camunda 8 on SaaS. With SaaS, Camunda hosts and takes care of the technical setup so you can focus on microservice orchestration. SaaS provides collaborative modeling features for unlimited BPMN/DMN models.

You might already be using various technologies that will lead you to a SaaS environment. For example, if your existing Camunda 7 implementation is already utilizing external task clients, the migration to SaaS is a bit smoother overall.

Remember, you do not have to move everything to the cloud with SaaS. For example, you can run your Connectors in hybrid mode which allows you to run a Self-Managed Connectors runtime instance attached to your Camunda SaaS cluster. This can be very important when you have services that must be isolated within a private network, for example.

It’s worth noting that you don’t have to go to SaaS to reap the benefits of Camunda 8. You have the option to operate Camunda 8 Self-Managed, offering enticing features that could encourage your organization to consider migration as well.

Free up personnel to work on other projects

If you choose Camunda 8 SaaS, moving to SaaS can prove to be very cost effective, allowing organizations to save on hardware, installation and maintenance of infrastructure. As one of our clients that has almost completed their migration told us:

“Our time [was] better spent developing new features and not monitoring our infrastructure.”

This organization went from spending about two (2) days a month managing the infrastructure for Camunda 7 to virtually none with Camunda 8 SaaS, which frees up over five (5) weeks of human resources for other projects and development.

Without the need for hardware and software infrastructure, your organization does not need to employ or contract personnel with the skills to support this environment. If existing resources have been supporting the infrastructure, they can be redeployed to work on different projects within the organization.

Out-of-the-box Optimize

With Camunda 7, you have the option to use Optimize, but with an additional required installation. With Camunda 8, it is integrated by default since other Camunda applications also take advantage of Elasticsearch. So with Camunda 8, there is no longer an additional hurdle to using Optimize to measure your KPIs and monitor process performance to explore and expose areas of improvements.

More power from Camunda Zeebe

As your Camunda 7 installation has grown, you may be thinking about possible future volume and load and would like to take advantage of Camunda 8’s Zeebe workflow and decision engine that is designed with a distributed architecture for unprecedented performance and resilience.

Zeebe workflow and decision engine

Zeebe is designed as cloud-native, providing the scalability and security required for enterprises to future-proof their process orchestration efforts. Since Zeebe doesn’t depend on an external database, there are no bottlenecks and this approach allows for improved scaling.

Distributed processing can easily be accomplished across a cluster of machines delivering high throughput. You can add cluster nodes to process an unlimited number of transactions at consistent low latencies.

Zeebe is also designed for resilience and security. The Zeebe engine employs external task patterns to separate the workflow engine from the process, thereby diminishing vulnerability to attacks through a shift in architecture. The likelihood of downtime or data loss is minimal with Zeebe because of its enterprise-grade resiliency.

Polyglot Architecture

A polyglot architecture, sometimes referred to as a multi-language architecture, often has services written in a variety of languages or frameworks. Essentially, it is a microservice architecture in which developers can use multiple programming languages and technologies simultaneously.

Camunda 8 and the generation of the gRPC client allows organizations to abstract certain functionalities or services into standalone components with their own logic, APIs, or interfaces. This means that each component can be developed in its optimal language or framework without impacting the entire system.

Message buffering

For successful message correlation in Camunda 7, an active receive event is required, which means that a process instance needs to be in a specific state (awaiting a message at that particular event). This can lead to a more complex process model as it necessitates having explicit receive tasks or events in the workflow diagram just for the sake of waiting for messages.

In some situations, messages might arrive before a process instance reaches the designated receive event or after the event has passed. Without a buffering mechanism, these messages might fail to correlate correctly, leading to potential issues in process execution and data consistency.

With Camunda 8, messages can be buffered for a given time. Buffering can be useful in a situation when it’s not guaranteed the subscription is opened before the message is published.

Adoption of Friendly Enough Expression Language (FEEL)

Camunda had adopted Friendly Enough Expression Language (FEEL) with Camunda 8 as the scripting language in BPMN diagrams, DMN and Forms. With Camunda 7, Java Unified Expression Language (JUEL) is used to build expressions and this usually requires Java users to build these expressions.

FEEL is specifically designed to be easily understandable by business users, not just developers or technical experts. Its syntax is more user-friendly, resembling natural language constructs, making it easier for non-technical stakeholders to comprehend and validate rules.

  • Adoption in Decision and Model Notation (DMN)
    FEEL is part of the DMN standard. Individuals who have experience or exposure to DMN-based tools or environments might already be familiar with FEEL. This familiarity can ease the learning curve and encourage broader adoption within organizations already using DMN.
  • Fit with JSON
    In today’s technology landscape, where JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is extensively used for data exchange and configuration, FEEL’s ability to work well with JSON data structures is advantageous. Its compatibility with JSON makes it a suitable choice for handling and manipulating data in modern applications.

With FEEL, you don’t need Java developers for scripting in your Camunda solutions.

Multi-Tenancy for Self Managed

With Camunda multi-tenancy—available with Camunda 8 Self-Managed—organizations can build and scale their Center of Excellence (CoE) to advance their automation initiatives. By implementing multi-tenancy, customers can create and provide tenants by use case, or teams or both. These tenants share a single Camunda cluster, so this is a great way to scale automation to multiple teams while minimizing operational costs.


Multi-tenancy with Camunda 8 simplifies the management of access control, credentials—across teams and processes, API keys, configurations, team onboarding and more. Once processes are deployed, you can point Operate to specific tenants—where the processes are deployed—providing a way to search, monitor and resolve instances.

Multi-tenancy example

Providing real-time collaboration between teams

Camunda 8 enables different teams to collaborate on processes to build rich models. Rich collaboration and visual modeling tools help teams design complex process flows collaboratively and before writing a single line of code. It enhances process design and streamlines process diagram design. This capability is not available with Camunda 7.

Embracing the latest technology

Is it possible that your organization is starting to build your own microservices or work with Kubernetes?

Camunda 8 takes advantage of some of the latest technologies including Kubernetes, containerization and microservices. Using Camunda 8, you can orchestrate the microservices necessary to achieve your end-to-end automated business process. If you are looking to build out your own microservices or already have existing services, you can start your microservice orchestration journey with Camunda 8.

Web Modeler

Camunda 7 provided integration capabilities with its web apps. However, incorporating Modeler can pose a challenge in terms of both technical and user interface alignment. Web Modeler with Camunda 8 gives flexibility to best integrate the process engine because there is no need to toy around with settings to make this work correctly.

Process building is streamlined with all required components hosted in the cloud or Self-Managed. But you don’t have to change the way you work if you don’t want to. You can still keep and maintain your models locally and deploy them using Desktop Modeler.

Building a Center of Excellence (CoE) within your organization

Most companies are looking at centralizing technology and technology offerings within their organization to provide self-service to their organization. By building a Center of Excellence (CoE), you can provision workflow engines while still managing them centrally. The CoE takes care of updating the engine, collecting licensing metrics and more. Taking a centralized approach simplifies support, monitoring, upgrades and more.

For example, you can avoid having different database and engine versions across the entire organization and serve them all from a centralized platform. You can choose a Kubernetes environment for your Camunda 8 cluster installation or you can operate in SaaS in a self-service environment.

With Camunda 7, taking steps towards this type of CoE was much more difficult. Often, the CoE just allows projects to use the embedded engine, but then these projects need to manage the engine. Alternatively, an internal hosted offering is built which normally meant building management tools like a console on top. These things are out of the box with Camunda 8 simplifying and optimizing the move to a CoE.

Taking advantage of new features like Connectors

You can take advantage of new features like Connectors and the Connector Marketplace easily in your process models, enabling you to further improve the automation and orchestration of your processes. One of the most common components of process orchestration is communicating with other systems, which required programming skills and developers. With out-of-the-box and build-your-own Connectors, you have a robust approach to streamlining process design.

Camunda 8 includes reusable, built-in Connectors that can just be dragged into your BPMN process. You can save your own configurations of these Connectors set with API endpoints and authentication for wider reuse within your organization.

You can also take direct advantage of our Connector Marketplace to find pre-defined connectors from our partners and the Camunda community. These can be downloaded with a click of a button—either for SaaS or Self-Managed.


If for SaaS, these can be directly installed in Web Modeler to any project you select.

Download resource from marketplace

These Connectors can save developers time and effort building processes, but do not restrict what they can do in any way. Camunda does not intend to be seen as a low-code platform.

Achieving Process Orchestration Maturity

Embracing a CoE, taking advantage of Connectors, tracking KPIs, applying process governance and more with Camunda 8 helps move your organization to a higher level of Process Orchestration Maturity.

The Process Orchestration Maturity Model seeks to identify organizations’ comfort levels and ability to execute process orchestration projects and strategies across a number of “drivers” and factors that help inform their maturity level. Improving maturity helps teams overcome people and technology challenges that might be standing in their way of meeting their process automation goals.

Process orchestration maturity model

In order to overcome these challenges and strive to achieve process orchestration maturity, there are certain drivers that can negatively impact your progress. These challenges might include slow response times that impact the process experience or high legacy infrastructure maintenance costs.

Migrating to Camunda 8 can help surmount these situations with an engine designed for throughput. Organizations can create Centers of Excellence, taking advantage of multi-tenancy and the cloud to provide a centralized location for process design and development.

A focus on KPIs and strategic process projects will demonstrate process orchestration’s contribution to business outcomes. With ML-ready data sets in Optimize and decision targets with AI, Camunda 8 will support your journey to process orchestration maturity.

To Migrate or Not to Migrate?

Well, now that you have a better understanding of some of the reasons and the associated benefits of migrating from Camunda 7 to Camunda 8, you have to think about when is the right time for your organization to make the move as well as the best method to tackle your migration.

Some of you might be using Camunda as an independent orchestrator and are implementing external tasks that fetch work and complete it from the engine—this makes you a good candidate for migration. Or if you are taking advantage of external task clients that are using clean delegates—you may also be a good candidate for migration to Camunda 8. Maybe you are experiencing a degradation in performance of your deployed projects and see more volume ahead.

As you have seen in this blog, there are other reasons that you might want to look at migrating sooner rather than later. You might have some specific reasons or may just want to take advantage of some of the features outlined in this blog.

Stay tuned for more migration information

In either case, we will be providing additional information around the migration process and tools we have to assist you and your organization make this transition.

In the meantime, check out these migration resources:

Keep an eye out for our next blog on migrating from Camunda 7 to Camunda 8.

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