Camunda 8 - migrate or don't migrate from Camunda 7

Hi there,

we have a number of applications running on camunda 7 (all application using sprint boot embedded engine pattern) and we are happy with it, as in we don’t see any reason for migrating those applications to Camunda 8 because -

  1. We don’t have a requirement to use any of the Camunda 8 new features- like scalability, high availability etc etc.
  2. Migrating applications from Camunda 7 (especially the ones using embedded engine pattern) seems like quite a lot of work, it’s like completely redesigning the applications.
  3. Camunda 8 appears to be lot expensive a compared to C7.

I know Camunda has committed to support C7 for next 5 years but what after those 5 years, if we have to migrate or re platform eventually then why not now.

Looking at the above, Please could you advise what are our options ?

  1. Can we use Camunda 8 community edition in production with all the components ? If yes, what benefits we loose, if we are not enterprise customer of C8. if No, what all components can be used for free in production and what would be cost of other components which don’t come free for production.

  2. Can we keep our existing applications on C7, for ever or we may have to migrate eventually at some point ?

  3. Any other thoughts/views - looking at the above.

All help/suggestions/views, are much appreciated.

Thanks,
Rao

1 Like

Camunda is open source. I hope its licence allows to fork it. You always have this option. Besides, you could change to flowable. It’s a sibling project to Camunda so the migration cost would be probably lower than switching to Camunda 8 which is a completely different system.

My personal hope is that Camunda will be forked if Camunda GmbH does not support it anymore. Because I don’t see any reason to spend much time and money for no benefit. IMO very few cases really require unlimited scalability supposedly provided by Camunda 8.

Hi Rao.

Thanks for your message. There is no need to worry - even if I understand the questions you have. Let me quickly go over them.

We don’t have a requirement to use any of the Camunda 8 new features- like scalability, high availability etc etc.

C8 is not only about adding scalability and resilience. C8 also fixes a lot of architectural challenges around isolation, allows a SaaS model, eases adoption across the enterprise and of course we are also adding new features in there. So even if the day is not yet today, I think there will be a point in time in the future when you actually WANT to migrate :slight_smile:

Migrating applications from Camunda 7 seems like quite a lot of work, it’s like completely redesigning the applications.

Migration is not a drop-in replacement, yes, but at the same time it also does not have to be a huge effort. It depends a little bit on your current architecture. Maybe by using adapter classes you don’t have to adjust code at all. We are investing into migration tooling at the moment (see e.g. GitHub - camunda-community-hub/camunda-7-to-8-migration: A modeler plugin to convert BPMN files from Camunda Platform 7 to Camunda Platform 8). We are relatively late with it - as we love doing things together with real users to gain real-life feedback from day one. Expect this to evolve. Same for our migration guide (Migrating from Camunda Platform 7 | Camunda Platform 8 Docs)

Can we use Camunda 8 community edition in production with all the components?

You can use the source-available distribution for free in production (see How Open is Camunda Platform 8? - Camunda). The biggest change is Operate (Cockpit in C7). C7 had a hybrid model with some components being available, some not. C8 has a different model, with all components being available for dev, but not for prod. We find this a better solution for everybody involved (also CE users - happy to elaborate if needed). If you are interested about an enterprise license, please reach out: Contact Us - Camunda.

Please note, that with C8, you can also use a SaaS model, which might also be interesting to explore. Depending on your load, the professional pricing might even be cheaper for you than a C7 EE license: Pricing - Camunda. We also work on a free tier in SaaS, but are not there yet.

Can we keep our existing applications on C7, for ever or we may have to migrate eventually at some point ?

Of course, you can keep your existing apps on C7, even forever if you want. There is no license that does hinder you doing this. Also I personally would expect, that we provide basic maintenance (e.g. not all databases and app servers) for quite a long time - even if we guarantee “only” 5 years (but also provide longer term support contracts to EE customers). And I would further expect a lot of help in the community around it - as there is a huge crowd of happy Camunda users. Just note, that “forever” is quite a long time :slight_smile: Looking at innovation cycles in IT, I already find 5 years a long time frame - but of course that always depends on what you do…

Camunda is open source. I hope its licence allows to fork it.

It is Apache license, which does allow to fork Camunda, yes. I just don’t see how this would help. You need to invest effort into maintenance - this effort is either payed by us or contributed from the community. That will not change, even if at some point in the future we will reduce our own developers headcount on C7 (which we actually don’t do today). So I expect the C7 community still being a lovely place for C7 users.

And as I said above, we are working towards better features and a more seamless migration experience anyway - so I would users LIKE to migrate at some point in time anyway.

Besides, you could change to flowable. It’s a sibling project to Camunda so the migration cost would be probably lower than switching to Camunda 8 which is a completely different system.

I personally doubt that this will be less effort, especially given our own investment in migration. But happy to be challenged of course. But I prefer to discuss this 1:1 - as I am generally try to avoid speaking bad of our friends at competition :slight_smile:

Hope this helps a bit?

My bottom line would be: Why not stay with C7 for another one or two years and look into this topic again then?

Best
Bernd

4 Likes

Thanks Bernd, this does make sense. We have all our apps using spring boot embedded engine, so looking at C8 and the way it works - it doesn’t seem a lot of work to migrate these. What’s you view on this ?
We’d rather keep these existing apps running on C7 unless they hit EOL, may be another 3 to 5 years and then may be rearchitect them on C8 or another platform whatever the case may be.

Without looking at the code, I can’t really judge the effort, but typically it is not too much effort - correct. The biggest changes are typically, that you need to operate the engine separately from your application (Docker, SaaS, …) and that you can’t rely on transaction integration any more (which many customers do not do anyway).

I think it is fine to keep your Camunda 7 apps running for now and probably revisit that decision once in a while by looking where Camunda 8 and also migration stands.

I would definitely think again if you need to do bigger refactorings to your apps anyway, or if you need features that are available in C8 but not in C7.

Hope that helps?