Article summary


Provides details about how to develop a custom Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) 6.3 Dynamic Participant workflow step. A Dynamic Participant Step component is similar to Participant Step except the participant to which the workflow item is assigned is determined at run time.

A special thank you to Ratna Kumar Kotla for contributing an AEM package that is used in this article. It's great community members like Ratna that helps the overall AEM community. If you would like to contribute in this manner to help the AEM community, please reach out to the AEM community manager, Scott Macdonald ( 

This article uses an Adobe Maven Archetype 12 project to build an OSGi bundle. If you are not familiar with an Adobe Maven Archetype project, it is recommended that you read the following article: Creating an Adobe Experience Manager 6.3 Project using Adobe Maven Archetype 12.

Digital Marketing Solution(s) Adobe Experience Manager (Adobe CQ)
Developer (intermediate)
Required Skills
Java, SMTP, XML, Maven
Tested On Experience Manager 6.3


Click the following link to watch a recording of Ask the AEM Community Experts on Workflow APIs


You can develop a custom Adobe Experience Manager 6.3 (AEM) Dynamic Participant workflow step. A Dynamic Participant Step component is similar to Participant Step except the participant to which the workflow item is assigned is dynamically determined at run time. You create a Dynamic Participant workflow step by implementing ParticipantStepChooser.

When creating a Dynamic Participant Step, you can use application logic to determine to whom the workflow item is assigned. For example, your participant chooser can select the user that has the fewest work items. This article walks you through how to create a custom Dynamic Participant Step by using the AEM Workflow API and use it in an AEM workflow.

In this workflow example, content is reviewed using a custom Dynamic Participant Step.


Setup Maven in your development environment  

You can use Maven to build an OSGi bundle that uses the AEM Workflow API and deploy to Experience Manager. Maven manages required JAR files that a Java project needs in its class path. Instead of searching the Internet trying to find and download third-party JAR files to include in your project’s class path, Maven manages these dependencies for you.

Download Maven 3 from the following URL:

After you download and extract Maven, create an environment variable named M3_HOME. Assign the Maven install location to this environment variable. For example:


Set up a system environment variable to reference Maven. To test whether you properly setup Maven, enter the following Maven command into a command prompt:

%M3_HOME%\bin\mvn -version

This command provides Maven and Java install details and resembles the following message:

OS name: "windows 7", version: "6.1", arch: "amd64", family: "windows"


For more information about setting up Maven and the Home variable, see: Maven in 5 Minutes.

Next, copy the Maven configuration file named settings.xml from [install location]\apache-maven-3.0.4\conf\ to your user profile. For example, C:\Users\scottm\.m2\.

You have to configure your settings.xml file to use Adobe’s public repository. For information, see Adobe Public Maven Repository at

The following XML code represents a settings.xml file that you can use.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

Licensed to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) under one
or more contributor license agreements.  See the NOTICE file
distributed with this work for additional information
regarding copyright ownership.  The ASF licenses this file
to you under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the
"License"); you may not use this file except in compliance
with the License.  You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing,
software distributed under the License is distributed on an
KIND, either express or implied.  See the License for the
specific language governing permissions and limitations
under the License.

 | This is the configuration file for Maven. It can be specified at two levels:
 |  1. User Level. This settings.xml file provides configuration for a single user, 
 |                 and is normally provided in ${user.home}/.m2/settings.xml.
 |                 NOTE: This location can be overridden with the CLI option:
 |                 -s /path/to/user/settings.xml
 |  2. Global Level. This settings.xml file provides configuration for all Maven
 |                 users on a machine (assuming they're all using the same Maven
 |                 installation). It's normally provided in 
 |                 ${maven.home}/conf/settings.xml.
 |                 NOTE: This location can be overridden with the CLI option:
 |                 -gs /path/to/global/settings.xml
 | The sections in this sample file are intended to give you a running start at
 | getting the most out of your Maven installation. Where appropriate, the default
 | values (values used when the setting is not specified) are provided.
<settings xmlns="" 
  <!-- localRepository
   | The path to the local repository maven will use to store artifacts.
   | Default: ~/.m2/repository

  <!-- interactiveMode
   | This will determine whether maven prompts you when it needs input. If set to false,
   | maven will use a sensible default value, perhaps based on some other setting, for
   | the parameter in question.
   | Default: true

  <!-- offline
   | Determines whether maven should attempt to connect to the network when executing a build.
   | This will have an effect on artifact downloads, artifact deployment, and others.
   | Default: false

  <!-- pluginGroups
   | This is a list of additional group identifiers that will be searched when resolving plugins by their prefix, i.e.
   | when invoking a command line like "mvn prefix:goal". Maven will automatically add the group identifiers
   | "org.apache.maven.plugins" and "org.codehaus.mojo" if these are not already contained in the list.
    <!-- pluginGroup
     | Specifies a further group identifier to use for plugin lookup.

  <!-- proxies
   | This is a list of proxies which can be used on this machine to connect to the network.
   | Unless otherwise specified (by system property or command-line switch), the first proxy
   | specification in this list marked as active will be used.
    <!-- proxy
     | Specification for one proxy, to be used in connecting to the network.

  <!-- servers
   | This is a list of authentication profiles, keyed by the server-id used within the system.
   | Authentication profiles can be used whenever maven must make a connection to a remote server.
    <!-- server
     | Specifies the authentication information to use when connecting to a particular server, identified by
     | a unique name within the system (referred to by the 'id' attribute below).
     | NOTE: You should either specify username/password OR privateKey/passphrase, since these pairings are 
     |       used together.
    <!-- Another sample, using keys to authenticate.
      <passphrase>optional; leave empty if not used.</passphrase>

  <!-- mirrors
   | This is a list of mirrors to be used in downloading artifacts from remote repositories.
   | It works like this: a POM may declare a repository to use in resolving certain artifacts.
   | However, this repository may have problems with heavy traffic at times, so people have mirrored
   | it to several places.
   | That repository definition will have a unique id, so we can create a mirror reference for that
   | repository, to be used as an alternate download site. The mirror site will be the preferred 
   | server for that repository.
    <!-- mirror
     | Specifies a repository mirror site to use instead of a given repository. The repository that
     | this mirror serves has an ID that matches the mirrorOf element of this mirror. IDs are used
     | for inheritance and direct lookup purposes, and must be unique across the set of mirrors.
      <name>Human Readable Name for this Mirror.</name>
  <!-- profiles
   | This is a list of profiles which can be activated in a variety of ways, and which can modify
   | the build process. Profiles provided in the settings.xml are intended to provide local machine-
   | specific paths and repository locations which allow the build to work in the local environment.
   | For example, if you have an integration testing plugin - like cactus - that needs to know where
   | your Tomcat instance is installed, you can provide a variable here such that the variable is 
   | dereferenced during the build process to configure the cactus plugin.
   | As noted above, profiles can be activated in a variety of ways. One way - the activeProfiles
   | section of this document (settings.xml) - will be discussed later. Another way essentially
   | relies on the detection of a system property, either matching a particular value for the property,
   | or merely testing its existence. Profiles can also be activated by JDK version prefix, where a 
   | value of '1.4' might activate a profile when the build is executed on a JDK version of '1.4.2_07'.
   | Finally, the list of active profiles can be specified directly from the command line.
   | NOTE: For profiles defined in the settings.xml, you are restricted to specifying only artifact
   |       repositories, plugin repositories, and free-form properties to be used as configuration
   |       variables for plugins in the POM.
    <!-- profile
     | Specifies a set of introductions to the build process, to be activated using one or more of the
     | mechanisms described above. For inheritance purposes, and to activate profiles via <activatedProfiles/>
     | or the command line, profiles have to have an ID that is unique.
     | An encouraged best practice for profile identification is to use a consistent naming convention
     | for profiles, such as 'env-dev', 'env-test', 'env-production', 'user-jdcasey', 'user-brett', etc.
     | This will make it more intuitive to understand what the set of introduced profiles is attempting
     | to accomplish, particularly when you only have a list of profile id's for debug.
     | This profile example uses the JDK version to trigger activation, and provides a JDK-specific repo.


          <name>Repository for JDK 1.4 builds</name>

     | Here is another profile, activated by the system property 'target-env' with a value of 'dev',
     | which provides a specific path to the Tomcat instance. To use this, your plugin configuration
     | might hypothetically look like:
     | ...
     | <plugin>
     |   <groupId>org.myco.myplugins</groupId>
     |   <artifactId>myplugin</artifactId>
     |   <configuration>
     |     <tomcatLocation>${tomcatPath}</tomcatLocation>
     |   </configuration>
     | </plugin>
     | ...
     | NOTE: If you just wanted to inject this configuration whenever someone set 'target-env' to
     |       anything, you could just leave off the <value/> inside the activation-property.











                    <name>Nexus Proxy Repository</name>








                    <name>Nexus Proxy Repository</name>







  <!-- activeProfiles
   | List of profiles that are active for all builds.

Create an Experience Manager archetype project  

You can create an Experience Manager archetype project by using the Maven archetype plugin. In this example, assume that the working directory is C:\AdobeCQ.  



To create an Experience Manager archetype project, perform these steps:

1. Open the command prompt and go to your working directory (for example, C:\AdobeCQ).

2. Run the following Maven command:

mvn org.apache.maven.plugins:maven-archetype-plugin:2.4:generate -DarchetypeGroupId=com.adobe.granite.archetypes -DarchetypeArtifactId=aem-project-archetype -DarchetypeVersion=12 -DarchetypeCatalog=

3. When prompted, specify the following information:

  • groupId - partstep63
  • artifactId - partstep63
  • version - 1.0-SNAPSHOT
  • package -
  • appsFolderName - partstep63
  • artifactName - partstep63
  • componentGroupName - partstep63
  • contentFolderName - partstep63
  • cssId - partstep63
  • packageGroup - partstep63
  • siteName - partstep63

3. When prompted, specify Y.

4. Once done, you will see a message like:

[INFO] Finished at: Wed Mar 27 13:38:58 EDT 2013
[INFO] Final Memory: 10M/184M

5. Change the command prompt to the generated project. For example: C:\AdobeCQ\partstep63.

6. Run the following Maven command:

mvn eclipse:eclipse

7. After you run this command, you can import the project into Eclipse as discussed in the next section.


Add Java files to the Maven project using Eclipse

To make it easier to work with the Maven generated project, import it into the Eclipse development environment, as shown in the following illustration.  

The Eclipse Project dialog



Do not worry about the errors reported in Eclipse. It does not read the POM file where the APIs are resolved. You build the bundle with Maven. Eclipse is used to edit the Java files and the POM file.

The next step is to add a Java file to the package. The Java class that you create in this section impements the com.adobe.granite.workflow.exec.ParticipantStepChooser interface. For information, see ParticipantStepChooser.

Create a Java class named ParticipantStepImpl in the org.customworkflow.core.service.impl package. Because the ParticipantStepImpl class implements ParticipantStepChooser, you have to create a method named getParticipant. This method returns the dynamically resolved Principal id. 

The following Java code represents the ParticipantStepImpl class.


import com.adobe.granite.workflow.WorkflowException;
import com.adobe.granite.workflow.WorkflowSession;
import com.adobe.granite.workflow.exec.HistoryItem;
import com.adobe.granite.workflow.exec.ParticipantStepChooser;
import com.adobe.granite.workflow.exec.WorkItem;
import com.adobe.granite.workflow.exec.Workflow;
import com.adobe.granite.workflow.metadata.MetaDataMap;
import java.util.List;

import org.osgi.service.component.annotations.Component;
import org.osgi.service.component.annotations.Reference;

import org.slf4j.Logger;
import org.slf4j.LoggerFactory;
@Component(immediate=true, service = ParticipantStepChooser.class, property = {"chooser.label=Sample Workflow Participant Chooser"})
public class ParticipantStepImpl
  implements ParticipantStepChooser
  private static final Logger logger = LoggerFactory.getLogger(ParticipantStepImpl.class);
  public String getParticipant(WorkItem workItem, WorkflowSession wfSession, MetaDataMap metaDataMap)
    throws WorkflowException
  {"################ Inside the SampleProcessStepChooserImpl GetParticipant ##########################");
    String participant = "admin";
    Workflow wf = workItem.getWorkflow();
    List<HistoryItem> wfHistory = wfSession.getHistory(wf);
    if (!wfHistory.isEmpty()) {
      participant = "administrators";
    } else {
      participant = "admin";
    }"####### Participant : " + participant + " ##############");
    return participant;


This code uses DS Annotations. For information, see OFFICIAL OSGI DECLARATIVE SERVICES ANNOTATIONS IN AEM.

Modify the Maven POM file

Add the following POM dependency to the POM file located at C:\AdobeCQ\partstep63.

               <!-- for AEM6.1 use this version     : <version>6.1.0</version> -->
               <!-- for AEM6.1 SP1 use this version : <version>6.1.0-SP1-B0001</version> -->
               <!-- for AEM6.1 SP2 use this version : <version>6.1.0-SP2</version> -->
               <!-- for AEM6.2 use this version     : <version>6.2.0</version> -->

When you add new Java classes under core, you need to modify a POM file to successfully build the OSGi bundle. You modify the POM file located at C:\AdobeCQ\partstep63\core. The following code represents this POM file.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
 |  Copyright 2017 Adobe Systems Incorporated
 |  Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
 |  you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
 |  You may obtain a copy of the License at
 |  Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
 |  distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
 |  WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied.
 |  See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
 |  limitations under the License.
<project xmlns="" xmlns:xsi=""
    <name>partstep63 - Core</name>
    <description>Core bundle for partstep63</description>
                        <!-- Import any version of javax.inject, to allow running on multiple versions of AEM -->

        <!-- OSGi Dependencies -->
        <!-- Other Dependencies -->

Build the OSGi bundle using Maven  

To build the OSGi bundle by using Maven, perform these steps:

  1. Open the command prompt and go to the C:\AdobeCQ\partstep63.
  2. Run the following maven command: mvn -PautoInstallPackage install.
  3. The OSGi component can be found in the following folder: C:\AdobeCQ\Apartstep63\core\target. The file name of the OSGi component is partstep63.core-1.0-SNAPSHOT.jar.

The command -PautoInstallPackage automatically deploys the OSGi bundle to AEM.

View the Active OSGi bundle

After you deploy the OSGi bundle by using the Maven command, you can see it in an active state in the Adobe Apache Felix Web Console.

The OSGi bundle in Active State

View your OSGi bundle by performing these steps:

  1. Login to Adobe Apache Felix Web Console at http://server:port/system/console/bundles (default admin user = admin with password= admin).
  2. Click the Bundles tab, sort the bundle list by Id, and note the Id of the last bundle.

Create an AEM Workflow that uses the custom workflow step  

Create an AEM approval workflow that uses the custom Dynamic Participant step that selects the user to approve the content. (See the illustration at the beginning of this development article.) 

To create a workflow that approves content by using the custom workflow step, perform the following tasks:

1. Log into the Experience Manager Workflow console at http://localhost:4502/cf#/libs/cq/workflow/content/console.html.

2. Click the New button.

3. Enter Sample Dynamic Participant Workflow as the workflow title.

4. Open the workflow by double-clicking on the name located in the grid view. The workflow model has a Start, Step 1, and an End. Delete Step 1. 

5. Add a Dynamic Participant Step (under Workflow) by dragging-and-dropping it from the sidekick to the workflow model.


6. Right-click on the step and select Edit. In the Title field, specify Review.  Click the Participant Review tab. From the Participant Review drop-down field, select Sample Workflow Participant Chooser (this represents your custom workflow step that you created). 


7. Repeat Steps 5 and 6 for the Approve Content step (use the same workflow step). In the title field, specify Approve Content. 

8. Click Save. 

Invoke the Sample Dynamic Participant Workflow

The final task to perform is to invoke the Sample Dynamic Participant Workflow workflow from the Experience Manager Touch UI Digital Asset view located at:


Select an AEM We Retail page, as shown in this illustration. 

Select a We Retail page

From the top menu, select Create, Workflow as shown in this illustration.

Select Workflow

The Workflow dialog appears. Select the workflow, as shown in this illustration.  

Select the correct workflow

For the site admin UI at this UI, 


click on the messages icon, as shown here.

The admin message generated by the first step in the workflow

This bring you to the Workflow confirmation view. Click the Complete button and then the OK button.

Click the Complete button to complete the workflow

The worlkflow writes messages to the log files.06.03.2018 14:28:44.630 *INFO* [0:0:0:0:0:0:0:1

[1520364524622] POST /bin/workflow/inbox HTTP/1.1] ################ Inside the SampleProcessStepChooserImpl GetParticipant ##########################
06.03.2018 14:28:44.631 *INFO* [0:0:0:0:0:0:0:1 [1520364524622] POST /bin/workflow/inbox HTTP/1.1] ####### Participant : administrators ##############


See also