Business Data

The Business Data feature allows to store and load business data in a built-in repository without defining a schema. Compared to other features like database steps and JPA no additional database, database connection, schema or tables are needed

The business data structure can be defined by declaring normal data classes. When storing a business data object all objects that are referenced from the root object are stored as well. Loading a business data object will recreate the whole object tree again. The data is stored in a schemaless JSON based data format in the ivy standard System database. This allows to add fields to data classes over time and still be able to load old business data without migration.

Moreover, the business data feature allows to search the stored data by defining field based filters.

Business Data Concept

Basically the Business Data Store implements a document store. Beside the stored value, the repository stores additional information about the Business Data, like an identifier, a version and the creation / update date.

A value data class can have fields of complex types, which allows to create an object hierarchy or tree. The storage mechanism can handle recursions and will respect objects of same instances. So if the same instance of an object is referenced in a field and in a list - after storing and loading the value - the loaded value will have the identical structure, the field and the list entry will reference the same instance.


A Business Data value is identified by an identifier given by the repository and its data class.

A unique id is generated if a Business Data value is stored the first time. If there is a field of type String with the name id in the Business Data class, the generated id will be stored into this field too.

It is also possible to use your own id if you set the id to the Business Data value before saving it for the first time.

Business Case Data

The handling of identifiers of Business Data values is complex because you have to manage the identifiers in the process data manually. Therefore the Business Data Store can store data in the context of a business case. You can activate this by annotating a data class with the @BusinessCaseData annotation. On the Data Class Editor simply check the BusinessCaseData checkbox in the Annotations section. Now, all values of the annotated data class are automatically associated with the current business case. You can use the get method to load the value associated with the current business case. If no value is associated it simply returns a new object.

Migrate data classes

It is allowed to add and remove fields in the value data class hierarchy. New fields will be initialized with null, when old values get loaded. Deleted fields will no longer be available. The information will still be persisted until the value gets stored with the new information - which will override the old information.

Optimistic locking

Business Data supports optimistic locking. It is possible to check if the current version is up to date and save only if this is the case. It is possible to update a value partially so that multiple participants can work on different parts of the same Business Data value. See the Concurrent Modification WorkflowDemos projects for a practical example.

Business Data Usage

The Business Data feature methods like get, save, find and delete are accessible under ivy.repo in IvyScript.

Associate value with the business case (BusinessCaseData context)

Annotate the main data class of the business case with the @BusinessCaseData annotation:

public class BusinessCaseDossier

Get (load or create), modify and save a dossier value in the context of the current business case:

BusinessCaseDossier dossier = ivy.repo.get(BusinessCaseDossier.class);

Note, that the method get either loads the dossier if there is already a dossier associated with the current business case or creates a new dossier.

Store (without BusinessCaseData context)

Create and save:

Dossier dossier = ...
out.businessDataId =;


It is recommended to only store the id of the business value in the process data. After a task switch you must load the business data value from the repo with the stored id. This is required, because the business data repo does not keep the reference to the instance on the task switch.

Load (without BusinessCaseData context)

Load, modify and save:

Dossier storedDossier = ivy.repo.find(in.businessDataId, Dossier.class);

Store with own Id

Create and save with own Id:

Dossier dossier = ...
String yourId = ... // generate your own id, be sure it is unique! = yourId; // set your id to the Business Data value;

ivy.repo.find(yourId, Dossier.class) // get your Business Data value


Be aware that the id can not be changed later and the maximum length of the identifier is 100 characters.


The WorkflowDemos sample project of the Axon.ivy Designer contains examples on how to use the Business Data Store.

See Public API of BusinessDataRepository for more code samples.

Business Data Limitations


The Business Data store is not designed for storing huge binary objects like PDFs.


The ivy scripting types XML, and Tree are not serializable.

Collection types like an ArrayList can be stored in a field, but not as root object. Always use a simple DataClass or plain old Java objects as root object to store and load in the repository.

Public API objects like IUser, ITask or similar should not be stored into the Business Data repository. As workaround it’s better to store the id of a Task or User and reload it via this identifier.

The type of a stored field should never be changed (E.g. from Number to String). The already stored data deserialization could fail and more likely Business Data with the new type can no longer be found via the search API as the search index is strongly typed.

Project Dependencies

When using the same Business Data value type in multiple projects ‘a’ and ‘b’ it is best to define the data classes for the business data in an own project ‘base’. Then define a dependency from projects ‘a’ and ‘b’ to project ‘base’.


If you use an object of a type that is defined in project ‘a’ inside the business data value (e.g. add it to a list) then the business data value cannot be loaded in project ‘b’. This is because project ‘b’ is not dependent to project ‘a’ and therefore cannot load objects of classes that are defined in project ‘a’.


The business data will be duplicated to Elasticsearch. This offers us powerfull search capabilities but we also have to deal with their limitations.

Do not use Maps with random or generated keys in your data structure. This will lead in a explosion of Elasticsaerch mappings.

Prevent cyclic references and back references from lists to the parent object. This can lead to huge json while expanding these data structures.


The BusinessData store serializes Java objects to schemaless JSON by using Jackson. Ivy DataClasses are predestinated to be serialized with Jackson. However, Jackson is able to store and load any Java object hierarchy. The following customizations could help to store your special plain old Java objects, which may not be serialized by default.


Jackson is not only used for BusinessData serialization, but also to provide and consume REST Services. If you customize the serialization of Jackson, it will very likely also affect the serialization of Java objects which are used as input or return parameter of any REST service. If a serialization behaviour must only be applied for the BusinessData serialization, declare it as Own module.

Custom constructor

The deserializer expects an empty default constructor to recreate a Java object. If you have a non default constructor (with parameters) or a factory method to create instances of your object, Jackson annotations are required so that the deserializer knows how to recreate the object.

For a sample see:

Field without get/setter

The ObjectMapper will only store fields as JSON which are public accessible, either by getter methods or its field visibility. The recreation of such field will fail if no setter is public accessible. Via annotations either the serialization of this field can be avoided or the recreation can be enabled.

Avoid the serialization of a field:

public class MyCar{
    private List<Wheel> wheels;

    public List<Wheel> getWheels(){
        return wheels;

Enable recreation of a setterless field:

public class MyCar{
    private List<Wheel> wheels;

    public List<Wheel> getWheels(){
        return wheels;

Own module

If simple annotations do not solve a serialization task, it’s possible to write a completely custom serializer and deserializer for Jackson. To do so implement a class that extends com.fasterxml.jackson.databind.module.SimpleModule and add your customization code into it. Register the class via SPI: create a file META-INF/services/com.fasterxml.jackson.databind.Module and store the qualified name of your module implementation in this file.

However, if you need to serialize instances of a popular library there could already be a Jackson module available that handles its serialization. See

If a module is already public available, simply add its JAR to the classpath of your project.