With a particular node we need to store numerous artifacts such as:
1. actual engineering drawing as an image
2. signed certifications certificates as an image
3. part inspection procedures as a word document
4. with document we must also contain a date timestamp, and owner id
In addition we need to migrate our existing in-house PERL/Oracle based data to jBPM.
The jPBM architecture uses jbpm_variableintance table to hold this information. I used the contextInstance.setVariable to populate this table.
In addtion we need produce numerous reports and charts measuring performance to schedule.
From your prospective how should be extend the architecture?
one thing you should at least *not* do is create a kind of dossier *in* the jbpm process variables. Use external storage for that and put references to it in the jbpm variables. use e.g. Java Content Repository for this and just reference the items in it from jBPM.
If there are specific needs, like dates that should be used in decisions in jBPM then store them there, but storing word docs in jBPM is not the way to go (imo)