Development and deployment technologies for data-intensive web applications have considerably evolved in the last years. Domain-specific frameworks or model-driven web engineering approaches are examples of these technologies. They have made possible to face implicit problems of these systems such as quick evolving business rules or severe time-to-market requirements. Both approaches propose the automation of redundant development tasks as the key factor for their success. The implementation of CRUD operations is a clear example of repetitive and recurrent task that may be automated. However, although web application frameworks have provided mechanisms to automate the implementation of CRUD operations, model-driven web engineering approaches have generally ignored them, so automation has not been properly faced yet. This paper presents a pattern-based development approach for the Interaction Flow Modeling Language as a way to finally automate repetitive specification tasks. Our approach is illustrated by defining and applying IFML patterns for CRUD operations. Additionally, a supporting tool, which enables automation, is shown. The suitability of our approach and the utility of its tool have been evaluated by its application into several real projects developed by a software company specialized in model-driven web application development. The results obtained present evidence of a significant productivity improvement obtained by the automation of the IFML specification of CRUD operations.