Define and deploy the Business Data Model (BDM)

This page explains how to define, deploy, export and import Business Data Model (BDM) and how these objects can be used in processes.

The Business Data Model is the definition of the business data that is shared by processes and process-based applications in a tenant. This page explains how to define the Business Data Model and how to deploy it. After the model is defined, you can use it to specify the business data used in a process.

Business data model (BDM)

Your business data is the information that is shared between your processes and applications. It is defined as a set of business object in a business data model (BDM). There is one BDM that is used by all processes and applications in a tenant.

A BDM is defined at tenant level. It means you can have different BDM per tenant on the same Bonita platform. See BDM data storage for more information on how to configure a business data model per tenant.

When you define a process, you specify the business objects that are relevant to the process. When a process is instantiated (a case is started), the specified business objects are instantiated as required, becoming variables within the process instance.

You are recommended to use business data instead of process data for any data that has meaning outside of one single process. The business data objects are stored in a database that can be accessed by all applications and processes in a tenant. There is no need to import data from an external system or write it back after a change. The data is automatically stored persistently. It is simple to specify the business objects relevant to a process or task, using Bonita Studio. You can also access a business object programmatically by its data access object (DAO).

To design your BDM, you need to consider the following:

  • In a BDM, you create predefined business object definitions that represent key concepts which are manipulated by your processes. For example, Orders, Invoices, and Leave requests are be shared by all processes when running in the Bonita Engine during production.

  • A BDM is composed of simple and complex business objects, and the composition and aggregation relationships between them.

  • There is one BDM for a tenant, so it must include all the objects needed. Updating a model must be done with care, so that the changes do not cause problems for deployed processes or applications.

  • Business objects are instantiated at diagram or process level, not at task or form level.

The BDM specification explains the details of what you must configure in a BDM. Use Bonita Studio to define a BDM.

Business data storage

The business data specified in the BDM is stored in a database. It requires two datasources, BusinessDataDS and NotManagedBizDataDS. When you define the BDM in Bonita Studio, the built-in H2 database and the datasources are created automatically in your development environment.

During development, you can use the tools in the h2-1.3.170.jar in the workspace Tomcat library to view the business data in the h2 database. If you modify database content manually, there is risk of losing data and losing synchronization with business objects in a process instance. However, it can be useful to view the database for debugging processes. If you change the BDM during development, this can also cause problems in existing process definitions.

When you are ready to go to production, you need to configure a database and datasources for business data in your production environment.

BDM specification

A BDM is a structured hierarchy of packages containing business objects.

A package is defined by its name, which must be a Java package name. It is highly recommended to follow the standard package naming convention.
Packages can be seen as logical containers, a package should contain business objects related to each other.
As example, a package could contain the objects Car and Wheel, a package could contain the objects Bill and Loan.

A business object definition consists of the following:

  • An object name. This must be a Java class name (starting with a capital letter), because a business object is implemented as a Java class.

Business object names must be unique, even across packages.

  • Attributes. These are the components of the object. There can be any number of attributes. For each attribute, you can specify:

    • A name starting with lower case letter.

    • The data type

    • The length, when relevant for the data type

    • Whether it is mandatory

    • Whether the object can contain multiple instances

    • Any unique constraints

  • A set of default queries, created automatically, and optionally some custom queries

  • Indexes for some attributes (optional)

  • A persistenceId, created automatically

Business objects can be combined using composition or aggregation relationships. They are managed using standard create, read, update, delete actions. A business object can be read directly using the Engine Java API specifying the Java DAO, or using the REST API. To read a business object in a Groovy expression, use the DAO. A business object can be updated only in a process, using an operation.


In some processes, user interfaces or system activities might need to handle multiple instances of a business object. Use cases include the ability to modify data on mass (for example, approving several leave requests from a list in a user form), and initializing a set of data coming from an external system (for example, loading a list of products from an external datasource and saving each of them in a business object instance).

To support handling of multiple instances of a business objects:

  1. Specify that a given business data is multiple, using a checkbox in the new business data wizard.

  2. Use a java.util.List of objects when accessing multi-instance business data from a Groovy expression.

  3. Set the list of business object instances in an operation using takes value of with a right operand that consists of a list of existing (possibly modified) and new business object instances.

  4. Delete all instances from a list of business object instances with an Is Deleted operation.

Unique constraint

An SQL UNIQUE constraint is a single field or a combination of fields that uniquely defines an entry in a database. A unique constraint on a single field means that every entry has a different value for this field. A unique constraint for a combination of fields means that this combination is unique, even though some of the component field values might be common or null.

You can specify a unique constraint for an attribute, to require that every value of the attribute is unique. This means that you can use this attribute in data queries knowing that it is not possible for two entries to have the same value.


JPQL queries are used to get information about data objects stored in the database. A set of default queries is defined automatically for each object in the BDM. You can also create custom queries.

The default queries are find and find_by queries. There are three types:

  • based on unique constraints (which returns a single result)

  • based on simple attributes (with = criterion)

  • based on Select All (which returns all Business data on the Business Object)

To create a custom query, use the query tab of the Expression editor to write a query script. You can use one of the default queries as an example. A custom query can be on multiple attributes. Only SELECT queries are supported.

To use paged results with a custom query on a business object, you need to define a related query that counts the total number of results that the query would return without paging. The count query name is based on the custom query name; for example, for a query named query1, the count query must be named countForQuery1. For a default query, the count query is created automatically.

When you call a query via the REST API, the relevant count query is automatically called in the background to get the total count, which can be used to calculate the number of pages necessary to retrieve all matching results. The result of the count query is visible in the HTTP response header, in the Content-Range field.

To call a query, use the DAO instance. For a Groovy expression, there is a provided variable that implements the business object DAO class.

Example: When handling business objects in a form, you want to reload business objects from a query and use a Groovy script to repopulate the form accordingly. Suppose that a form shows a list of contracts that can be filtered according to the choice of client in a selection widget. When the user selects a client, this triggers the execution of a business object query, Contracts.findByClient(). A script parses the resulting list of Contracts and repopulates the contract list widget. This scenario requires DAO objects to be called from a Groovy script expression.


The purpose of an index is to retrieve data more rapidly. You can specify indexes on business objects to optimize performance of application. For example, for a process to modify purchase orders with an instantiation form used to search for the appropriate purchase order, define an index on purchase order number.

When you view a business object in the Bonita Studio business data model wizard, you can see the attributes that can be indexed. You can define an index on a single attribute or on an ordered list of attributes. An index is automatically created on the PersistenceID, as a primary key. This index is not visible in the BDM wizard. The BDM defines the indexes needed for all applications and processes that use business data. There is no limit to the number of indexes you can define. However, if you define a large number of indexes and have a high volume of business data, it takes longer to build the indexes.

If you are using an Oracle database, do not define an index on a unique constraint attribute. The database creates indexes automatically for unique constraint attributes, so there are problems during execution if you also specify an index on a unique constraint attribute.

In a production environment, indexes are built when a tenant starts or after a new BDM is deployed. In a development environment, indexes are built when Bonita Studio starts and when the Studio BDM wizard is closed.

Composition and aggregation

Composition and aggregation are two ways in which you can define a composite business object that includes relationships with other business objects in the BDM.

  • In a composition relationship, a child object cannot exist independently of the parent. The composite business object contains attributes that are business objects. It can also contain attributes with simple data types. For example, a room object that is a child of a house object cannot exist if there is no house object.

  • In an aggregation relationship, a child object can exist independently of the parent. The composite business object refers to other business objects, as well as containing simple attributes.

Example: A Purchase Order object consists of a set of primitive attribute variables (such as PO number, client, creation date), and a set of order item objects. The order items have no meaning outside the order, so have a composition relationship with the purchase order. An order item contains a product object and a simple attribute for quantity. The product object has an existence outside the order item (it is used in the product catalog), so has an aggregation relationship with the order item.

In Bonita, a composition relationship is unique: A given object can only be used in one composition relationship. For exemple, you cannot use the same object Wheel in composition for an object Car and an object Bike. You will have to use an object WheelCar and an object WheelBike.

In Bonita, in an aggregation relationship, a child must exist when creating its parent. When creating a parent, you must refer to an existing child to value an attribute with an aggregation relationship.

In the Bonita Studio BDM wizard, you can specify the objects that are related by composition and aggregation, as well as the simple attributes. A child object can be mandatory or optional. A child object can be multiple, which means that the composite object contains zero or more (if optional) or one or more (if mandatory) instances of the child object. You cannot set a unique constraint on a child object. The default relationship is aggregation.

When you configure an object in the Bonita Studio BDM wizard, the attribute dropdown list contains the names of the objects that can be included by composition or aggregation. You cannot specify the object you are configuring or its parent.

A composed object is automatically saved to the database using an appropriate schema. For a composition relationship, the child object contains the id of the parent object as a foreign key. For an aggregation relationship, if the child object is not multiple, the parent object contains the id of the child object as a foreign key. If the child object is multiple, the child object ids are stored in a dedicated association table.

When you create a process that uses a business object with a composition or aggregation relationship, treat the object as a typical business object, with the following exceptions:

  • A composite object cannot be automatically mapped to page widgets or groups of widgets.

  • To set the value of a composite object, either use a Groovy expression or directly assign the value to the child object from an existing class instance.

  • You can use getter and setter methods in process or activity operations to set the composed objects as a single instance or as a java.util.list for a list of instances.

  • If your process uses a query from a Groovy expression or uses DAO objects from a client Java application, load the complete composite objects including the child objects.

Loading BDM objects

There are two design patterns for loading business objects: LAZY or EAGER.

  • With LAZY design pattern, only the parent object instance is loaded at initialization. To load the children objects instances, additional REST API calls should be made. This is the option to choose when:

    • object’s children are not edited very often in case’s lifetime

    • parent object along with all its children loading can get heavy, vertically and/or horizontally

  • With EAGER design pattern, both, parent object instance and children objects instances are loaded on the spot. This is the option to choose when:

    • object’s children can be edited quite often in case’s lifetime

    • parent object along with all it’s children are neither very deep nor large

Choosing the right design pattern depends on your technical needs and BDM schema definition. In Bonita Runtime, the default design pattern is LAZY loading. If necessary, you can override this for any business object by configuring it to use EAGER loading when specifying the object relationship properties.

LAZY/EAGER loading internal workings

From a technical point of view: the BDM schema is managed by Hibernate. This means that the parent object is retrieved with a SELECT SQL request.

With EAGER loading, this request is then "enhanced" by adding an OUTER JOIN statement for each child object having EAGER as design pattern. While it guarantees that everything is loaded in a single database request, it can lead to very heavy SQL queries. It is especially problematic with complex BDM schemas and can lead to excessive memory and processing power consumption.

With LAZY loading, by contrast, only the parent object is initialized on the spot. When accessing one of the child objects, a new SELECT statement will be generated. In practice, if we take a parent object with N children, if we were to load all of them on spot, it will either generate a single request with N OUTER JOINs when the children are marked EAGER, or, N+1 SELECT requests when they are marked LAZY.

The tradeoff between those two design patterns is execution time vs memory consumption.

If you are not sure about the final size of BDM schema, we do strongly recommend to use the default LAZY loading design pattern. Indeed, EAGER loading design pattern can have huge impacts on Bonita Runtime performance, due to the additional data load and information maintenance in memory.
If you still decide to use EAGER design pattern, we strongly recommend thorough testing with a test dataset having the size of your production’s expected dataset.

Multi-instantiation using business object variables in a list

The list can be a multiple business data variable, a multivalued process variable, or any type of list.

You can use a list business object or variable to create multiple instances of a task. The MultiInstanceIterator reference created at task level uses each item of the list to create an instance of the task.

Define the BDM

You define the BDM using Bonita Studio. It is automatically deployed to the built-in Bonita Engine and available to processes being run from Studio. This means that you can have a different BDM in each Studio during development, which enables you to test the BDM before deploying it in your tenant. However, if you are sharing diagrams and other artifacts in development, you need to synchronize BDM definitions, either by exporting your BDM manually for import into other development systems, or by using a shared project (not available in the Community edition).

To define the BDM, click on New in the coolbar then select Business Data Model. The current BDM definition is displayed. You can also right click on the project name in the Project Explorer, choose "New…​" and then "Business Data Model". Once defined, double-click on the bom.xml file in the Project Explorer to open it.

To create a package:

  1. Click on the button New package.

  2. The new package is created with a temporary name.

  3. Click the name of the new package to select it, and specify the name you want to use by typing over the temporary name.

A package must contain at least one business object. A new package comes automatically with a first business object, and deleting the last business object of a package deletes the package.

To add an object into a package:

  1. Select the expected package.

  2. Click on the button New Business object.

  3. The newly created object is added to the selected package, with a temporary name.

  4. Click the name of the new object to select it, and specify the name you want to use by typing over the temporary name.

  5. Then modify the object to specify the details.

To modify a new or existing object:

  1. Select the object in the List of Business Objects. The details are displayed on the right-hand side of the popup.

  2. The package of the object can be modified by clicking on Change package or by using drag and drop.

  3. Enter a description for the object. This is optional, but recommended for maintenance and for communicating with other developers using the same BDM, as well as business users.

  4. In the Attributes section, specify the attributes of the object. For each attribute:

    1. Specify a name. This must be unique within the object, and start with a lower-case letter.

    2. Specify the type, by clicking on the exiting type and choosing the new type from the drop-down list.

    3. If the attribute is multi-valued, check the box in the Multiple column.

    4. If the attribute is mandatory, check the box in the Mandatory column.

    5. If the attribute is of type String, set the attribute length in the field below the attribute list.

    6. If the attribute is of type of a BDM object, set type the Relationship (Aggregation or Composition) and the loading configuration (for lazy, select Only load related objects when needed, for eager, select Always load related objects)

  5. In the Unique constraints tab, specify the attributes and sets of attributes that have a uniqueness constraint.

    1. Click Add to add a constraint. The constraint is added to the list with a temporary name.

    2. Click the name of the new constraint to select it, and specify the name you want to use by typing over the temporary name.

    3. Select the constraint and check the boxes on the attributes section to select the combination of attributes that must be unique. You can specify a single attribute or a set.

  6. In the Queries tab, you can view the default queries and manage custom queries. To add a custom query:

    1. Click Add to add a custom query. The query is added to the list with a temporary name.

    2. Click the name of the new query to select it, and specify the name you want to use by typing over the temporary name.

    3. Select the Query to display the query content section (only editable for custom queries).

    4. Specify the query in JPQL. All the parameters used in the query must be specified in the list.

    5. Select the result type from the drop-down list.

  7. In the Indexes tab, specify the indexes for the object.

    1. Click Add to add an index. The index is added to the list with a temporary name.

    2. Click the name of the new index to select it, and specify the name you want to use by typing over the temporary name.

    3. Select the index to display the attributes section.

    4. Specify the attributes that you want indexed. To specify an attribute to index, move it from the available attributes table to the indexed attributes table using Drag and Drop.

    5. Use Drag and Drop in the index attributes table to specify the order of the index attributes.

  8. Save your Business Data Model using CTRL + S or the save button in the Coolbar. Use the Deploy button to deploy your BDM. It creates the BDM database structure. To reset the database, use the Clean Deploy button. Reset database is required when changes impact the mandatory or multiple setting for an attribute, a unique constraint, or when a non primitive attribute type is modified.

Generated Java dependencies

Two maven artifacts are generated from the Business Data Model : <ProjectId>-bdm-model and <ProjectId>-bdm-dao-client.
The version and groupId of those artifacts match the Bonita project version. It is possible to view and retrieve the bdm-model dependency from the BDM editor Maven artifact properties section.
Those maven artifacts are meant to be used from REST API extensions, using the following dependencies:

The generated model dependency template
	<groupId>[PROJECT GROUP ID]</groupId>
	<artifactId>[PROJECT ID]-bdm-model</artifactId>
	<version>[PROJECT VERSION]</version>
	<scope>provided</scope> (1)
1 In most use cases, when the dependent project is meant to be deployed server side (eg: Rest API Extension, Custom libraries used in process expressions…​etc.) the dependency scope of the model should be provided. When used and packaged as a client application, compile scope (maven default) should be used.

Contains all Business Object entities and DAO interfaces. Can be used as dependency of:

The generated dao-client dependency template
    <groupId>[PROJECT GROUP ID]</groupId>
    <artifactId>[PROJECT ID]-bdm-dao-client</artifactId>
    <version>[PROJECT VERSION]</version>

Contains client side implementation of the Business Objects DAO. Can be used as dependency of a java client application using the bonita-client and the APIClient#getDAO factory method.

The bdm-model dependency is automatically added when a REST API Extension is created from the Bonita Studio. It allows to manipulate Business Objects from a REST API Extension.

Only read operations can be performed on business objects from a REST API Extension, even with the DAO. Write operations are done through processes.

Build and Deploy BDM artifacts

It is possible to automate the build and deployment of the bdm-model and bdm-dao-client artifacts using only Maven. Publishing those artifacts can have its purpose if you need to consume them in any other maven or gradle projects outside of a Bonita project.

It is not supported for a Bonita project to depend on the bdm-model from another Bonita project.

It is required to have Maven and Java installed for the following instructions.

Open a terminal at the root of the Bonita project.

To install the artifacts in your local repository you can run:

$ mvn install

To publish the artifacts on a remote repository (Nexus, Artifactory, Github packages…​etc) you can run:

$ mvn deploy -DaltDeploymentRepository=<server_id>::<remote_repository_url>
Proper remote repository credentials must be configured in the Maven settings (<USER_HOME>/.m2/settings.xml by default) for the given server_id if required.

By default running those commands from the project root will build and deploy all the project submodules. You may cherry pick what module to deploy using:

Only publish the *-bdm-model artifact
$ mvn -pl bdm/model -am deploy -DaltDeploymentRepository=<server_id>::<remote_repository_url> (1)
1 -pl let you define a specific projects (modules) list. bdm/model is the path in the project to the *-bdm-model module. -am force the build of the dependent project.
Only publish the *-bdm-dao-client artifact
$ mvn -pl bdm/dao-client -am deploy -DaltDeploymentRepository=<server_id>::<remote_repository_url> (1)

Export the BDM

There are two ways to export a business data model: in a ZIP file for deployment, or in a BOS file for sharing with other Bonita Studios.

Export the BDM for deployment

To deploy the BDM, you export it as a ZIP file from Bonita Studio and then import it into Bonita Super Administrator Application.

Before deploying the business data model, you must Activate the maintenance mode, so that the update can be performed without affecting ongoing processes.

It is recommended to Back up the platform and database before deploying a new BDM in case of problems during the update.

In Bonita Cloud, a dedicated backup of the database can be done upon request. Just open a support ticket with a time frame and we’ll synchronize with you.

Follow these steps:

  1. Right click on your Business Data Model and select Export.

  2. Select a destination folder.

  3. Click Export. A file called is written to the folder that you specified.

  4. Log into the Bonita Runtime as the technical user.

  5. Go to the Platform maintenance page.

  6. Click Activate maintenance mode.

  7. Then, go to the Business Data Model menu (and, for Efficiency, Performance and Enterprise editions, choose Definition).

  8. Specify the file containing the business data model that you exported from Bonita Studio.

  9. Click Activate. A warning is displayed, reminding you that installing this new BDM will overwrite the existing BDM.

  10. Click on Install to complete the deployment. The Bonita Runtime loads the file, and retrieves the object definition enabling processes to use them at runtime. It also creates or updates the database schema in the business database, to store business objects appropriately when modified by processes. When the deployment is complete, a message is displayed. If deployment fails, use the Engine logs to analyze the problem.

  11. Go to the Platform maintenance page.

  12. Click Deactivate maintenance mode.

the database model is automatically updated when you deploy a new BDM. Avoid changing the database schema manually as it may jeopardize the persistence of business objects and cause errors at process runtime.

View the BDM

The BDM ZIP file contains a business object model file, bom.xml. You can open this file in a text editor to view the BDM definition.

Example contents of the bom.xml file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
            <businessObject qualifiedName="">
                    <field id="startDate" type="DATE" nullable="false" length="255" collection="false"/>
                    <field id="endDate" type="DATE" nullable="false" length="255" collection="false"/>
                    <field id="returnDate" type="DATE" nullable="false" length="255" collection="false"/>
                    <field id="daysOff" type="DOUBLE" nullable="false" length="255" collection="false"/>
                    <field id="leaveType" type="STRING" nullable="false" length="255" collection="false"/>
                    <field id="approved" type="BOOLEAN" nullable="true" length="255" collection="false"/>
                    <query id="query1" content="SELECT l.daysOff
FROM LeaveRequest l
l.leaveType = 'Test'" returnType="java.lang.Double">

Import a BDM in Bonita Studio

Bonita Studio is able to import a unitary BDM, exported as a ZIP file, or a BDM contained in a .bos archive.
Bonita Studio will try to import the new BDM into the existing one.
If the two models are conflicting (i.e there are business objects with the same name but with different content in the two models) the following rules apply:

  1. If business objects are conflicting across packages: Example: the current model contains a package with an object Car, the imported model contains a package with an object Car.
    This kind of conflict is considered as not solvable by Bonita Studio; thus the only possibility for the studio is to overwrite the current model by the new one. If overwritting is not the option for you, click on "Cancel", solve the conflicts by comparing the two BDMs in xml editors, make sure all processes and UIs comply with those changes, and import again."

  2. If business objects are conflicting in the same package: Example: the current and the imported model contains a package with an object Car. In the current model the object Car has only one field: brand. In the imported model, the object Car has two attributes: brand and color. The two models are conflicting: two objects with the same name but different contents, and the two objects are in the same package in the two models. This kind of conflict is considered as solvable by Bonita Studio. You will have the possibility to import the new model into the current one, and a decision has to be made for the conflicting package: keep the existing version of the package or overwrite it with the new one. The others non-conflicting packages will be merged.

Business objects in processes

When you design a process, you specify the variables to be used in the process. These can include variables that are instances of business objects defined in the BDM. You define a business object variable in Bonita Studio in a similar way to defining other process variables.


Each object created in the database has a unique read-only ID called a persistenceID. For each new persistenceID created, the number is incremented. The persistenceID is invisible to the end user in the Bonita Applications. A developer can recover this Id by using the method getPersistenceID.

When you declare a persisted business object instance in a process, there are two ways you can initialize it:

  • as a new instance: it is created automatically at runtime when the process is instantiated, with the structure defined for the object in the BDM (for example, a process designed to manage employee leave requests will create a new instance of the Leave Request business object). The initial value of each BDM attribute can be set via a groovy script. This way, you may set the process instantiation contract inputs to attributes. Go to Update BDM attributes from contract inputs for more information.

  • as an existing instance: the data is loaded by identifying a business object instance that already exists (for example, a process designed to let employees modify unapproved leave requests will modify an existing instance of the Leave Request business object).

After it is declared in the process, a business object instance can be adapted by reading or modifying its data attributes. The Engine will handle the persistence of the modification.

Initialize BDM attributes from process instantiation contract inputs

In the contract definition panel of the Studio (Details panel, Execution tab, Contract pane), you can import contract inputs from a BDM definition using the Add from data…​ button. It creates a complex input mapping the BDM class attributes (if an attribute is not a primitive Java element, another complex input is created and it goes on).By selecting Auto-generate the initialization script, the default value of the selected business data will be automatically initialized with an auto-generated script when clicking on finish.

If you select No, thanks. I’ll manually define how to use the contract, you will need to create a Groovy script that will set input to BDM attribute.

For instance, with the above class, using the Add from data…​ action in the Details panel, Execution tab, Contract pane will create the following complex input :

  • leaveRequestInput : COMPLEX

    • startDate : DATE

    • endDate: DATE

    • returnDate: DATE

    • daysOff: DECIMAL

    • leaveType: TEXT

    • approved: BOOLEAN Then, you need to go back to the process variable list (Details panel, Data tab, Parameters pane) and add a new variable of type or edit an existing one of the type and click on the Pencil to open the Groovy script editor.

Enter the following code snippet to have a new BDM instance set with the contract inputs:

var leaveRequest = new;
        return leaveRequest;

Initialize BDM attributes from contract inputs in task operations

In the case where a business object has to be initialized from task level inputs, you can set contract inputs from the Add from data…​ action like in previous section and generate automatically operations by selectionning Auto-generate the initialization script. The operations will be generated for business data attributes you selected. You can manage it inside the Details panel, Execution tab, Operations pane.

If you select No, thanks. I’ll manually define how to use the contract or create inputs manually, you can go to operation pane and add a new operation using the Add button.

In the first select box, choose the variable of type, then, click on Takes value of link and select Instantiate with in Operator type and click OK.

Then, click on the pencil button to open the Edit Expression editor. Choose the Script expression type and enter the same code snippet than the one above to have a new BDM instance set with the contract inputs.

Business Objects and connectors

You can use business data in a Java program by using the DAO. DAO gives read access to business objects.

In a connector, code is executed outside a transaction, so retrieving or updating business data by DAO is not supported.

You can however manipulate the business object outside the connector, and use business objects as connector input or output:

  • For a read, retrieve the business object with an expression (for example, employeeDAO.findByFirstNameAndLastName("William","Jobs"). Then use the object as input to the connector.

  • For a create or update, return the new or updated business object as output of the connector. Then use the business object (which is stored only in memory at this point) in an operation to update the business object in the business database, persisting the change.

BDM and custom REST APIs

Be aware that a poor implementation of a custom REST API accessing BDM objects can lead to poor performance results. See the best practice on this matter.

Handle BDM database schema manually

This section is for advanced usage. You should fully understand the database changes made when you update the Business Data Model before considering using this alternative.

You can use an alternative database SchemaManager implementation. A SchemaManager is responsible for updating the BDM Database schema, according to the changes you have made to your Business Data Model. As our third-party persistence layer Hibernate does not support all type of schema updates, you may want to use a SchemaManager that does not update the database tables directly, but rather let you (or your Database Administrator) update the database "manually".

For that, you can use the alternative we provide, by uncommenting the following lines in file platform_conf/current/tenants/[TENANT_ID]/tenant_engine//bonita-tenants-custom.xml using setup tool.

    <!-- Schema Manager that avoids to update the database schema when updating BDM -->
    <bean id="schemaManager" class="">
        <constructor-arg name="loggerService" ref="tenantTechnicalLoggerService" />

With this alternative, you should carefully update the database before deploying the new BDM version. Otherwise, there are a number of pitfals you may fall into.

Errors you can get if you:

  • use a business object without updating the database schema:

15-May-2018 12:04:12.106 ERROR [http-nio-52162-exec-8] org.hibernate.engine.jdbc.spi.SqlExceptionHelper.logExceptions Table "BUSINESSOBJECT1" not found; SQL statement:
insert into BUSINESSOBJECT1 (persistenceId, ATTRIBUT1, ATTRIBUT2, ATTRIBUT3, persistenceVersion) values (null, ?, ?, ?, ?) [42102-175]
15-May-2018 12:04:12.113 GRAVE [http-nio-52162-exec-8] org.restlet.resource.ServerResource.doCatch Exception or error caught in server resource
 org.bonitasoft.engine.exception.BonitaRuntimeException: USERNAME=walter.bates | org.bonitasoft.engine.commons.exceptions.SRetryableException: javax.persistence.PersistenceException: org.hibernate.exception.SQLGrammarException: could not prepare statement
  • extend the length of a business object attribute without updating the database column:

15-May-2018 16:09:28.066 WARN [http-nio-52162-exec-4] org.hibernate.engine.jdbc.spi.SqlExceptionHelper.logExceptions SQL Error: 22001, SQLState: 22001
15-May-2018 16:09:28.067 ERROR [http-nio-52162-exec-4] org.hibernate.engine.jdbc.spi.SqlExceptionHelper.logExceptions Value too long for column "ATTRIBUT1 VARCHAR_IGNORECASE(20)": "CAST(STRINGDECODE('   30     caract\u00e8res__________') AS VARCHAR_IGNORECASE) (30)"; SQL statement:
insert into BUSINESSOBJECT1 (persistenceId, ADDEDCOLUMN, ATTRIBUT1, ATTRIBUT2, NEWBOOLEAN, persistenceVersion, RENAMEDCOLUMN) values (null, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?) [22001-175]
15-May-2018 16:09:28.075 GRAVE [http-nio-52162-exec-4] org.restlet.resource.ServerResource.doCatch Exception or error caught in server resource
 org.bonitasoft.engine.exception.BonitaRuntimeException: USERNAME=walter.bates | org.bonitasoft.engine.commons.exceptions.SRetryableException: javax.persistence.PersistenceException: org.hibernate.exception.DataException: could not execute statement
  • change the type of a business object attribute without updating the database column:

15-May-2018 17:00:08.083 WARN [http-nio-52162-exec-5] org.hibernate.engine.jdbc.spi.SqlExceptionHelper.logExceptions SQL Error: 22018, SQLState: 22018
15-May-2018 17:00:08.084 ERROR [http-nio-52162-exec-5] org.hibernate.engine.jdbc.spi.SqlExceptionHelper.logExceptions Data conversion error converting "'now is a String' (BUSINESSOBJECT1: NEWBOOLEAN BOOLEAN)"; SQL statement:
insert into BUSINESSOBJECT1 (persistenceId, ADDEDCOLUMN, ATTRIBUT1, ATTRIBUT2, NEWBOOLEAN, persistenceVersion, RENAMEDCOLUMN) values (null, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?) -- (NULL, ?1, ?2, ?3, ?4, ?5, ?6) [22018-175]
15-May-2018 17:00:08.085 GRAVE [http-nio-52162-exec-5] org.restlet.resource.ServerResource.doCatch Exception or error caught in server resource
 org.bonitasoft.engine.exception.BonitaRuntimeException: USERNAME=walter.bates | org.bonitasoft.engine.commons.exceptions.SRetryableException: javax.persistence.PersistenceException: org.hibernate.exception.DataException: could not execute statement
  • change a relation between two business objects without updating the database / constraints:

Caused by: groovy.lang.MissingMethodException: No signature of method: is applicable for argument types: ( values: []
  • remove a composition relation without removing the foreign key in database:

16-May-2018 10:25:01.030 WARN [http-nio-52162-exec-10] org.hibernate.engine.jdbc.spi.SqlExceptionHelper.logExceptions SQL Error: 23502, SQLState: 23502
16-May-2018 10:25:01.030 ERROR [http-nio-52162-exec-10] org.hibernate.engine.jdbc.spi.SqlExceptionHelper.logExceptions NULL not allowed for column "INVOICE_PID"; SQL statement:
insert into INVOICELINE (persistenceId, persistenceVersion, TITLE) values (null, ?, ?) [23502-175]
16-May-2018 10:25:01.038 GRAVE [http-nio-52162-exec-10] org.restlet.resource.ServerResource.doCatch Exception or error caught in server resource
 org.bonitasoft.engine.exception.BonitaRuntimeException: USERNAME=walter.bates | org.bonitasoft.engine.commons.exceptions.SRetryableException: javax.persistence.PersistenceException: org.hibernate.exception.ConstraintViolationException: could not execute statement