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The BPAF_EVENT, BPAF_EVENT_DATA tables are keeping the BPEL events for historic analysis, mostly used by the RiftSaw Console.
So, if you don't need this feature, you can turn it off by commenting out following line in bpel.properties.
Note that these two table are only keeping the events, for example, processStartEvent, variableChangeEvent etc, they don't contain things like instance. This explains why you get the data grow quite quickly in these two tables, as when you execute an instance, it triggers many events. And for now, we don't have a mechanism to clear the old events from database in a specified time.
In regards to remove the old instance question, we had some configurations to clean the process instances either at success, failure or always. Details can be found at here : http://ode.apache.org/instance-data-cleanup.html .
We don't have the functionality of removing old instance info from web console or using API yet (please file a jira feature request if you want it at here https://issues.jboss.org/browse/RIFTSAW), and I wouldn't recommend you to remove data from tables directly to remove old process instances, as it involves too many tables, which might be having some dirty data left in tables if you do it manually.