Decision Task

A decision task can be used to invoke a DMN 1.1 decision table.

A decision task is a regular task that requires a decisionRef attribute that references a decision definition by its key. Such a decision task can be defined as follows:

<decisionTask id="checkCreditDecision"
              name="Check credit"
              decisionRef="checkCreditDecision" />

Instead of the decisionRef attribute it is also possible to use an expression which must evaluate to a key of a decision definition at runtime.

<decisionTask id="checkCreditDecision" name="Check credit">

One of the attributes decisionRef or decisionRefExpression must be present.

The referenced decision definition is resolved at runtime. This means that the referenced decision can be deployed independently from the calling case, if needed.

A decision task in state ENABLED can be started manually using the CaseService as follows:


When the decision task instance becomes ACTIVE, the referenced decision is evaluated synchronously. As a consequence, the decision task is always executed as blocking, because the engine does not distinguish between a blocking and a non-blocking decision task.

Transactional Behavior

The activation of the decision task as well as the evaluation of the decision are performed in the same transaction.

Decision Binding

By default, the decision task always evaluates the latest decision definition with the specified key. To specify a different version of a decision, it is possible to define a binding with the Camunda custom attribute decisionBinding. The following values are allowed for the attribute decisionBinding:

  • latest: use the latest decision definition version (which is also the default behavior if the attribute is not defined)
  • deployment: use the decision definition version that is part of the calling case definition’s deployment (note: this requires that a decision with the specified key is deployed along with the calling case definition)
  • version: use a fixed version of the decision definition, in this case the attribute decisionVersion is required

The following is an example of a decision task that calls the checkCreditDecision decision with version 3.

<decisionTask id="checkCreditDecision" decisionRef="checkCreditDecision"

Note: It is also possible to use an expression for the attribute decisionVersion that must resolve to an integer at runtime.

Decision Result

The output of the decision, also called decision result, is not saved as case variable automatically. It has to pass into a case variable by using a predefined or a custom mapping of the decision result.

In case of a predefined mapping, the camunda:mapDecisionResult attribute references the mapper to use. The result of the mapping is saved in the variable which is specified by the camunda:resultVariable attribute. If no predefined mapper is set then the resultList mapper is used by default.

The following example calls the latest version of the checkCreditDecision and maps the singleEntry of the decision result into the case variable result. The mapper singleEntry assumes that the decision result only contains one entry or none at all.

<decisionTask id="checkCreditDecision" decisionRef="checkCreditDecision"
    camunda:resultVariable="result" />

See the User Guide for details about the mapping.

Name of the Result Variable

The result variable should not have the name decisionResult since the decision result itself is saved in a variable with this name. Otherwise an exception is thrown while saving the result variable.

Limitations of the Decision Task

To evaluate a referenced decision, the integration of the Camunda DMN engine is used. As a result, only DMN 1.1 decision tables can be evaluated with a decision task. There is no option to integrate with other rule engines.

Camunda Extensions

Attributes camunda:decisionBinding, camunda:decisionVersion, camunda:mapDecisionResult, camunda:resultVariable
Extension Elements camunda:caseExecutionListener, camunda:variableListener
Constraints The attribute camunda:decisionVersion should only be set if the attribute camunda:decisionBinding equals version

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