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** Recommend an inexpensive workflow tool **

Posted on 2011-09-28
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Can I please have some recommendation to integrate an inexpensive work flow system in an office environment to model the process of electronic form completion from a sales department to a risk and legal department.

I'm not a programmer but when I hire one, would like to have this integrated in an ASP.NET environment.  It should not be expensive either i.e. few hundred dollars or maybe upto USD 1000.  I once remember being told about a system called Jira.  I know of Skelta, but that is circa. USD 30k.

Also I did some searches on here, and some people have mentioned Sharepoint, which I am not too familiar with.  How easy is it to build on sharepoint and what are the disadvantages?  If the users are spread globally, is Sharepoint required on each local client?

Some in built template forms would also be good.


Thx.
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Question by:abdb469
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Wouter Boevink earned 125 total points
ID: 36716080
If you plan to hire a programmer he can use WWF (Windows Workflow Foundation).

Sharepoint (which has a free version) is a server product, you don't need it on the clients.
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by:TheGeezer2010
TheGeezer2010 earned 250 total points
ID: 36716248
Sharepoint workflows can be easily constructed (if the built-in ones dont suffice) using Sharepoint Designer. There are limitations of working with Sharepoint Foundation (the free version of Sharepoint) but this may suffice for you :-

http://davidlimsharepoint.blogspot.com/2010/04/sharepoint-foundation-2010-is-available.html

Feature comparison between free and pay for versions (of which there are two flavours) -

http://sharepointpolice.com/blog/2010/05/03/sharepoint-2010-feature-comparison-sharepoint-foundation-2010-vs-sharepoint-2010-standardenterprise/

I have used SPD quite a lot and it is very easy to use, and very powerful but like everything, has its limitations.

Clients just need IE7 or FF 3.6 minimum, and it integrates well with Office 2007 (and superbly with Office 2010).

HTH
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by:abdb469
ID: 36970103
will take a look this weekend, thanks.
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by:sparab
sparab earned 125 total points
ID: 37136388
As I've been looking at workflows a while ago as well I've been looking at a few possibliities:

AgilePoint : had a lot of problems with it in SharePoint 2003 so dropped it
Nintex : looked at it, it's pretty nice but it's not really enterprise architecture as it resides on SharePoint and still a bit limited. Nevertheless it is rather promising, especially now that 2 big Microsoft guys joined up with Nintex.
K2 : strong workflow engine that does not only interface with SharePoint. Fits well in an enterprise architecture as it can run on it's own, which means all workflows of all applications can make use of your K2 environment and the licensing which used to be quite expensive is now pretty interesting. Only drawback is that it is quite hard to set up so you'll need a K2 consultant to assist you with that.
WF of course works as well, but for business users it's not that interesting to build workflows in SharePoint designer.
http://www.workflowgen.com/workflow/home/workflow_software_p354_EN.htm


Some open source
http://www.openwfe.org/
http://wiki.bonita.objectweb.org/xwiki/bin/view/Main/WebHome
http://www.opensymphony.com/osworkflow/

I hope this helps
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by:TheGeezer2010
TheGeezer2010 earned 250 total points
ID: 37136500
Microsoft next step up is to use Visual Studio for workflows :-

http://sergeluca.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/step-by-step-tutorial-creating-workflows-for-sharepoint-2010-step-115/

These can be used in conjunction with SPD and Visio

Another private company who specialize in pre-built workflow solutuions are

http://store.bamboosolutions.com/sharepoint-workflow-conductor.aspx?gclid=CNf0x-SbuKwCFcWGDgodwnqvHQ

Good luck
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by:abdb469
ID: 37196451
I have now been told it has to be for a java / oracle based system.
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