Workflow.com is a full featured workflow and business logic automation suite delivered both as a service or installed on premise. Its fully graphical tools balance the power of a full featured integration engine with the ease of use of a graphical only configuration paradigm.
Workflow.com provides a comprehensive set of tools to automate processes – integrate users and systems to provide true business optimization. Workflow.com enables business users to understand and often adjust their business logic without becoming programmers.
User Task Management. Communication. Forms. Process automation includes many other elements, however, the basic buildling blocks are managing users workloads and interacting with users. Workflow.com provides a ‘no code’ form builder as well as the ability to integrate external forms. Task management services and task lists are flexible and able to be integrated into the users normal work patterns.
All businesses use multiple software packages to manage their operations, sales, etc. Workflow.com understands its role which is to get things moving, get users engaged and talk to all of these other systems. Integration is not an afterthought, it is the reason that process automation exists. Integrating users, facilitating collaboration, and moving data – Workflow.com plays well with others.
All Workflow.com business design technologies are the same in the respect that business automation can be done without writing ‘code’. This includes scripts, queries and structured English. To accomplish this, tools are built to assemble pre-built, encapsulated pieces of functionality from the library. These elements which are steps, rules, dashboard pieces, and form elements enable business analysts to automate processes, assign tasks, communicate, update databases and process rules.
Because workflows and forms are built using ‘prebuilt’ elements that represent higher business concepts, process automation is much faster to build and deploy than traditional software development.
Package software or SAAS services are also fast to deploy but are limited in scope as to how much you can configure them without doing a lot of work. They were built to do a specific business function in a really slick way. Workflow.com provides elements that can be assembled in an unlimited variety of configurations that can help solve many business automation problems.
Businesses change. Well, at least successful ones do. Software and processes need to change alongside of them. The graphical flow and logic tools in Workflow.com facilitate rapid evolution, testing and deployment of updated ‘businesses’ (not a typo, your business processes are your businesses).
The variety of user interface mechanisms enable users to interact with business processes in natural ways like from a device, from a phone, from email, or from a browser.
Some workflows start with a form interactions. This could be a form created using Workflow.com designers and published on a company intranet. These interactions can also occur on an external form in another application or on a website.
Workflows can be scheduled to start running on a given date, a computed date, or on defined intervals. You can also create a workflow to figure out when the start date should be.
Trigger events can be any number of things that happen in other systems, workflows, or monitored data sources.
Workflow.com allows process automation by business analysts without writing code. While the toolbox can be extended by software developers, all of the aspects of automating business logic (forms, flows, integrations, rules, dashboards) is done using the same basis paradigm and similar design technologies. IT/Software Developers only need to be involved if there is special user interface requirements or interactions (external forms) or integration to non standard systems needs to be done (SDK).
All of the tools and designers are visual. You can see exactly what your forms look like, how your processes will flow, and how your rules will execute.
The testing of rules/flows/forms is done in the same graphical pattern that they are built in. After using visual designers to configure your routing and logic these same pieces can be run, interacted with, and observed. All Visual.
No Code to Write. No Script. No structured text. None. Nada.
The visual designers can be accessed from anywhere right from the browser. Build. Test. Monitor… all right in your web browser.
Workflow.com has a graphical form designer that allows dynamic HTML forms to be built without coding. However, many organizations have forms that have been painstakingly built or specific UI interaction patterns that are critical. User interactions can be done either using the graphical designers OR using ANY other technology that can access our REST or SOAP based API’s.
Workflow.com contains a full graphical designer that allows flexible and responsive forms to be created without coding. These forms can be triggered by direct user interaction or assigned to a user to be worked as part of a process.
User interaction forms can be customized based on the technology that is accessing them. The same task interaction can be tuned to look and act differently on a phone as compared to a computers web browser.
… and over 50 more
Forms can be laid out in a simple x/y (where you put the control is where it goes) or using custom layout management. These Form layouts allow for controls to be adjusted when forms are re-sized or used on machines with different resolutions.
All forms can be reused in different workflows. If you have an approval form, it can be assigned to a user in a workflow, a group in a different workflow, etc. The data about what is being approved and who it is assigned to is controlled by the workflow, not the form itself. This reuse allows for creating building block interactions that can be evolved and leveraged as the processes mature.
The forms leverage the rule engine to provide active and rule based validation of the data while the form is showing. These validation breaks automatically attach to the data controls they relate to. The rules can be anything from simple validations (phone number format, required fields based on other form data) to more complex rules leveraging database lookups, data contexts and user rights.
The rule engine is also used to control the forms visibility and enabled properties. Rules can be written to hide, disable or even auto complete a form based on any set of conditions. This makes the forms interactive and flexible as if they were coded by programmers instead of built in a visual designer.
The data that populates the form control can be provided by the workflow or can be looked up interactively using the rule/flow engine. The ability to change the data context of the form allows for user interactions like:
Forms can also be built in any web technology and interact with the workflow engine using a REST or webservice API. These forms can be assigned, have timeout and escalations, be responded to directly in email etc. just like forms built in the form designer.
Forms can be assigned to users, groups or roles. Forms can also be assigned to a Guest. When a form is assigned, the assignment is communicated to the user and/or recorded in a task list. When the user responds, the process moves on to the next step.
Users can be involved in the process with tasks assigned for them to work on. These tasks can be communicated actively (like through email), can be listed in the Workflow.com web or mobile user apps, and can be embedded in external portals (like sharepoint) or custom applications using the API.
While tasks can be worked directly in the forms designed in the graphical form designer or using any other web technology, they can also be configured to be handled with a direct email response. A user gets an email, hits reply and provides an answer, or clicks a link right in the email. Emails sent back to the system will complete the workflow interaction.
More complex interactions can be handled with forms built in the graphical form designer without code, or forms built in any web technology that can talk to our REST service interface. Forms can be used to start interactions as well as respond to tasks along the process. These tasks might be to review, approve, make decisions, and edit or provide data or any other user task.
Tasks can be reassigned either on a task by task basis or can be delegated to other individuals who have the right to ‘act as’ a person. Because of this, there is no need to adjust the process when a certain person calls in sick or goes on vacation.
All processes can be tracked and the data around them secured. The process can publish additional data to provide detail beyond the default data that is gathered by the execution of the workflow: Status, Assignments, State Changes, Timings, User Interactions, etc.
Using the Report Designer, dashboards can provide overviews of the state of the task based processing and assignments.
Tasks can be assigned to a user, to a group (like ‘Coding Supervisors’) or contextually to a role in the system (like manager for the finance department or head nurse on 3west).
Users without credentials in the system can also be assigned tasks to interact with. While they cannot login, they would be informed of their task via Email or other mechanism and would be allowed to interact with the system. Both using forms and email responses.
Workflow.com includes a large library of ready-to-use steps that can be configured in your workflows. Check out a free trial to see a full list.
Steps are used for integration with external or internal systems, and can make data available to other steps in the workflow down stream.
Flows can take more than one path at the same time, and then merge together to complete a process. Some people call this parallel processing, we call it branching and merging.
Decisions designers are built on a foundation of re-usability. Once you create a flow you can use it again as a template, or more importantly, use the flow in another flow to save time re-implementing common processes.
Interacting with users can happen in a variety of ways. We want to make sure you can meet the users where they are and that includes email, texting, and other common communication mechanisms.
It’s important to know what is happening in your workflows and Workflow.com provides a number of tools to help you build reports and gain visibility into what is happening where, and who is involved.
Interesting rules require handling and management of data structures. The rule and flow engines are built to work with structured, nested data and collections of data. This data can come from a variety of sources. In addition to native code structures, data structures can be defined using a screen (not code) right in the tool. These data structures can be marked as being able to be stored in the database, are available to be used in service inputs/outputs and of course can be consumed in rules and flows.
JSON data structures can be imported as types for the rule and flow engines.
XML and XML Schema types can also be imported and used.
Database tables, views or stored procedures can be integrated, and exposed in the visual designers.
The SDK also allows custom types to be added. A type added by the SDK is not special (PODO – Plain Old Data Object) except that it has been registered as available to the designers.
Create. Edit. Merge. Read. Excel documents hold, manage and move data in almost every business. A special set of excel flow steps allow full manipulation of excel data. Reports and flows can produce excel results.
Merge Data. Combine. Change. Use the flow engine as a document creation engine.
Like excel, CSV data can be created, read, or changed using special flow steps.
A variety of other file formats can be handled and the files themselves can be manipulated.
Webservices can be integrated using a wizard. Once integrated they are available to be used in the flow engine and reporting engine. The types defined in the service definition are also available to be used as defined types in the flow engine. None of this requires any programming and the service integration is validated as part of the setup.
Rest services (JSON, XML and raw HTTP) are supported and able to be integrated using the same pattern as webservices. The integration is defined, the results are analyzed and flow steps are created to handle the interactions.
JSON objects can be integrated as new data structures. These objects can be picked up from any source: email, ftp, files, service calls, etc.
XML data (both defined in XMLSchema and undefined) can be integrated using graphical tools in the designers.
Microsoft SQL Server. Oracle. Sybase. Postgres. MySQL. Plus any ODBC Database. Integration with database is a wizard driven process where the database connection is setup, tables/views/stored procedures picked. Flow steps and report datasources are created and registered. In the flow engine, you can pick steps to get, change, and save data. In the report engine data sources allow you to report against the database. In rule engine, data structures representing the database entities can be used to make decisions about database data.
Files can be listed, fetched, and saved to FTP and SFTP.
HTTP. HTTPS. POP. IMAP. Twitter. Facebook. Twilio. Salesforce. There are adapters to dozens of systems. The SDK allows new adapters (flow steps) to be easily created by programmers to systems requiring a bit of extra care in integration.
Take action from any report view. All Workflow.com reports are active. Clicking on data in the reports will show all the actions you, as a user, have the rights to do. Complete or reassign an assignment. Update a document. Send a notification. Copy something.
The normal disconnect between ‘this is data I am viewing and analyzing’ and ‘this is where I go to work on it’ is gone with Workflow.com. Even alternate styles like a cross-tab or graph let you drill in and work the items inside them. For instance, if you had a pie chart of failed messages, you could see and work the messages, right from within the pie chart.
The fully graphical report designer shares the same underlying philosophy as the rule, flow, and form designer. Build reports without writing code, script, or sql. Reports are assembled by selecting data sources, dragging data into visual views, setting up filters to limit down the data. All of this is done with a live view of the report being updated at each step.
Dashboards are assembled in the Workflow.com visual page designer. Dashboard elements can share the same data context or be independent. Users can even customize their own versions of dashboards for personalized views.
The combination of the reporting/dashboard creation with the flow engine allows additional actions or processes to be triggered right from the dashboard. Processes can be hooked up to the designed elements so that new processes can be triggered right from within the data views.
Reports can report against data in a database. SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, Postgres, Sybase and ODBC are all supported. Integration with a database table, view or stored procedure is done via a wizard that walks you through selecting the elements and creates new data sources.
The report designer is not limited to only reporting against databases as it can also report on any other data structure, file, service call etc. Any interaction that produces a list can leverage the report designer to create and analyze data. Reports from non database sources do not look any different than reports from database sources in terms of how they are assembled or displayed.
Charts can be created in the report designer on any subtotals or groupings. Charts are also active, clicking an element of the chart allows you to drill into and even act on the data that makes up that charting data subset.
Cross tab reports can be built graphically including customized subtotaling, combining elements on either the row or column axis, etc.
Any report can be set up to run on a schedule for snapshots allowing an accurate and easy to analyse view of the data over a time spectrum. The resulting time based data capture can be reported on in the graphical report designer.
The rule engine is leveraged to help provide meaning to data in a report. Additional calculated columns can be added using rules. Rows or fields can be colored with the rule engine providing the logic. Even data can be filtered down using the rule engine.
Report output can be customized to produce documents for distribution.
Reports can be scheduled to be set up to run on schedule: daily, weekly, first day of month, last day of quarter, etc.
Workflow.com includes a full featured scheduler that allows tasks to be scheduled and executed at certain intervals or different times. Activities can be automatically triggered on a time span interval daily, weekly, first day of month, quarter, year etc.
Events (like a file showing up or an email being received) can be monitored with flows being triggered to handle the event.
External systems can be monitored and exceptions can be handled using the engine. Results can be written and reported on using the report designer.
Full integration to manage EC2 and S3.
Send and receive twitter messages.
Add QR Codes to documents and images.
Telephony and SMS integration using Twilio
Full integration with messaging infrastructures allows flows to be handlers and sources of messages.
Scan data and files from within flows.
Quote rates for between currencies. Store of historical quotes for analysis and auditing.
Encrypt/Decrypt files via PGP
Create appointment requests.
Run powershell scripts and commands from flows
Manage servers using Microsoft’s systems management tools.
Full SalesForce integration against the Enterprise WSDL. SalesForce customizations are usable from within the flow engine.
Contact us about other integrations. Many systems can be integrated with via a service layer. Systems with .NET library integrations can often be natively integrated without code. There are a number of maintained integrations not on this list so if you are wondering how Workflow.com would integrate with other systems, lets talk.
Workflow.com enables small/mid size businesses to access enterprise class functionality. Decisions.com platform is a superset of workflow.com and includes both enhanced rule creation functionality plus enterprise infrastructure for deployment of mission critical and scalable solutions.
Decision.com platform servers can run in both active-active and active-passive clusters.
Multi-Site disaster recovery configurations can be setup to allow full recovery of your running environment even in the case of a full data center failure.
Applications built in Decisions.com can be deployed into an apartment style multi-tenant environment allowing multiple ‘clients’ to have full data segmentation on the same physical or virtual server.
Servers can be configured to run in a multi time zone mode allowing users to interact with the system in local time.
A full set of tools and dashboards allow system health to be monitored either internally (using internal dashboards) or through industry standard monitoring tools.
In high transaction volume installations, work can be balanced and transferred between different servers in a cluster.
Workflow.com was built to be deployed in the cloud… but we understand that every organization has different needs. The same code base that runs on Amazon EC2, Azure also can be deployed in a local data center.
Because Workflow.com allows custom processes to be developed, the performance characteristics of these workflows can vary. The Workflow.com tool has a built in profiler so the these workflows can be tuned easily.
Single sign-on via SAML (Google, Salesforce, etc) or Active Directory can be configured for the Workflow.com installation.
Workflow.com forms, dashboards, and other UI elements can be skinned to match other applications in the environment.
All workflows/forms/pages are integrated with a ‘learning’ translation engine. As the forms evolve, translators are assigned tasks to provide language translations.
Workflow.com respects culture settings.
While the designers are targeted at business analysts needing to control and manage logic, software developers can use the SDK to extend the platform to produce software products, add additional integrations, and extend platform provided entities.
Flow steps are most simply created either by taking a .NET (c#, vb.net, etc) method and registering it as something the flow engine can invoke. This method will cause them to appear as a reusable step in the step catalog.
Very much like creating a flow step, a rule is also a method that returns a true/false statement that is registered to be available in the rule engine.
Reporting data sources can be made either against sql databases or ‘custom’ ones can report on any data structure. Once created, the report designer will automatically augment it with standard filters. Additional custom filters can also be added via the reporting SDK.
Form and dashboard components are also able to be integrated via the api. Platform specific renderers are registered for each type of form/page element.
The platform has an extensible component model that allows additional data elements to be created and added to any core entity in the platform (flow, document, account, folder etc).
The SDK is built on a comprehensive application framework that has building blocks that include: