Friday, October 12, 2007

BPM / Workflow Tools for Microsoft

I'm currently evaluating workflow products on the Microsoft platform as part of a Notes Migration to Sharepoint effort.

Products I am looking at include:
K2.NET Blackpearl
Ascentn Agilepoint
Skelta BPM
Nintex Workflow 2007
WorkflowGen
Bluespring BPM Suite (edited to include)

It is interesting to see how every vendor approaches solving workflow in a different manner.

2 comments:

Michelle said...

Dear Ben,
I'm very curious to know what your finding is. I'm using one of those products. Can't say I'm very happy with it. It'll be great if you could share your evalutation.

Cheers,
Michelle

Ben M Abler said...

Hi Michelle,

I'm not willing to share my entire evaluation online, but I will say this -- my evaluation of these products concluded with strong points and weak points of every BPM product I evaluated. You have to determine what your requirements are and select an appropriate BPM tool that matches up well with your organization.

And technically, you don't need a BPM product if you are comfortable writing a lot of code (WF in Visual Studio), or don't need to easily upgrade workflows and be agile (Sharepoint Designer). Both of these were requirements for us (as little code as possible and needing to be agile).

I was able to quickly rule out some of the products after I determined that a SOA/web service based approach was the proper way to do this BPM on the Microsoft stack. In our environment, requirements and enhancements to custom applications change frequently. Everything we deploy is usually updated within 6 months to a year. Multiply this by 50-100 apps and it becomes very challenging to keep up (not to mention we aren't a big .NET shop). I needed the agility to be able to quickly upgrade and change process flows, which lead me to the Agilepoint and Bluespring products since they both has SOA based approaches to BPM.

If you would like additional information please contact me at:

ben dot abler at gmail dot com (spelled out to avoid spammers)