I think it is impossible that the process you have deployed can create a process instance automatically.Maybe the process should receive a message,just like the relation between father process and process-state.It's just my opinion.Hope to debate with you about jBPM.
If you create your own deployer (not to difficult, see the sourcecode for how e.g. the ant task does it) you can combine this with an automated start of a process instance.
Many other ways are possible e.g. a startup servlet that checks the latest versions every x seconds and start a process instance if a new version is encountered.
There is just no functionality for this created by the jBPM team.
ok thanks. I will likely use the quartz scheduler to invoke the definition. The main reason for wanting this functionality is to allow a nightly process to inform users of certain tasks after completion of batch processes.