5 Oct
2010
Posted in: Tech
By    5 Comments

Why You Should Pay Attention to Joget Workflow

OK, before I start writing on the above mentioned topic, let me just make it clear about my relationship to the subject of this post – Joget Workflow. I’m actively involving in this open source project since the days when it was still being crafted in the lab. Being an evangelist in the technology sense, I spend a lot of my time with Joget Workflow, primarily in the areas of technical consulting, technical training, open source community engagement, and enterprise support.

You might be doubting about how true are the points mentioned in this post, due to my direct involvement in Joget Workflow project. Well, Joget Workflow is an open source project, and its deliverables such as source codes and documentation are publicly and transparently available. No point for me to state something which is not true, that might be haunting me one fine day down the road :p

What is Joget Workflow?

Joget Workflow

I can summarize Joget Workflow with the following keywords:

  • open source (GPLv3) – free as in libre, not just gratis
  • workflow management system (a major component in the BPM domain) – think of it as process automation
  • XPDL-compliant, focused on people-driven human workflow
  • comes with Workflow Designer that allows user to graphically illustrate a process as flowchart
  • consists of Form Builder component that allows user to create and design forms without requiring HTML / web programming knowledge
  • designed with plugin-oriented architecture to support pluggable system integration using simple configurations, such as sending email notification, querying from or inserting/updating into database, calling SOAP web service or RESTful JSON API, creating a calendar event in Google Calendar, and etc
  • enriched with JavaScript AJAX and JSON APIs to enable integration with external systems, such as a vertical solutions built by SI or ISV, portal (Microsoft SharePoint, Liferay), CMS (Joomla, Drupal, WordPress) and etc
  • designed with simplicity in mind, even for IT-literate user who doesn’t have programming competency

– updated on 17th Apr –

You might also be interested at this blog post — “Advantages of Joget Workflow

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To find out further details about Joget Workflow, you can always visit www.joget.org and community.joget.org. Take a look at the video demos, and hopefully you will find it interesting enough to give it a try :)

Why Do I Need a Workflow Management System?

See, I’m being neutral here ;) I’m not saying that you need Joget Workflow, but rather, a workflow management system. Joget Workflow is one of the fantastic choices available.

Before I drill down further on the benefits, let me summarize the “why do I need workflow management system” with the following points:

  • to automate processes (examples: leave approval process, recruitment process, claim approval process, RFP process, grant approval process, loan approval process, helpdesk support process, student intake evaluation process, and etc) in your organization, using one unified engine
  • to flexibly and easily adapt business rule changes and corporate goals into system implementation

And these are the vital benefits / advantages that you could gain:

  • cost saving – Cost, can be in terms of monetary value and opportunity cost such as time. Undeniably, change management is an expensive process, that often result in costly system changes. Imagine multiplying the manday rate with requirement gathering session, lengthy project development cycle, and a few loops of system testing. Needless to mention, the hard-coded process flows built into a system are also time-consuming to be modified, as it involves the core.
  • process enforcement – When a process is designed this way, it will be automated this way. Anyone participating in a process knows exactly what to be done and when it should be done, even without knowing the whole big picture of the entire process. When an email reminder is designed to be sent on an activity that is left unattended for more than 2 days, it will be sent as planned.

If you are a business owner, or playing management-level role in an organization, you’re encouraged take a look at how Joget Workflow fulfills the above mentioned promises.

If you are running an in-house IT Department, SI or ISV, you could take a look at the feasibility of system integration (plugin-oriented architecture, JavaScript & JSON APIs) offered by Joget Workflow, to use it as the workflow engine in a software solution that you are developing, creating additional values even without users knowing the existence of Joget Workflow.

To enlighten you with more examples, I have involved in consulting for the following implementations:

  • Event registration process integrating with payment gateway. The whole implementation was scanned for PCI-compliance
  • Grant approval processes integrating with data forms running on external Java EE solution

Who Developed Joget Workflow?

Joget Workflow project doesn’t have any super-star celebrity software engineer or technical architect behind it, but … it is developed and steered by a group of highly competent Java EE developers, who truly believes in the product that they are crafting, and passionate about creating the world’s most user friendly open source workflow management system.

The technology architect of Joget Workflow was working on the development of a stateful widget-based Java web MVC framework back in year 2002, when the technology world was recovering from the dot-com bubble burst. Then, the MVC framework was used to develop a productized enterprise-scale knowledge portal. All these achievements were done during the time when MVC and widget were still little-known concepts, when there wasn’t much significant MVC framework exists, when portal and portlet were still a strange jargon, and when JSR-168 specification was not even been released!

If you are interested to find out the technologies that Joget Workflow is built on, you may take a look at here.

How Many People Are Using Joget Workflow

To the day of this writing, Joget Workflow has been around for 11 months. The first release – v1.0.0, was released at SourceForge on 30th Oct 2009.

A “problem” with Joget Workflow is that, we can’t tell exactly who are all the people adopting Joget Workflow. But, these are some of the general vital stats to give an overall picture. There will be further analytical stats to be officially announced by Joget Workflow project, as it celebrates the 1st anniversary end of this month.

  • began with 266 software downloads (excluding docs) in Nov 2009
  • recorded 10,538 software downloads (excluding docs) in 11 months
  • 78.53% of the visitors to www.joget.org site in Sep 2010 were new visitors (Analytics)
  • Enterprise Support subscribers in Southeast Asia, North America, and Central Europe
  • adopted in some government agencies in Malaysia
  • the top five languages that Joget Workflow is being translated to, by the community, are Korean, Indonesian, Thai, Spanish, German

– updated on 17th Apr –

Take a look at this infographic for some interesting facts about Joget Workflow’s progress, in its first year.

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What’s the Direction of Joget Workflow?

Joget Workflow began from its humble beginning as a workflow management system. However, ultimately, Joget Workflow will be much more than just a workflow engine for the BPM arena. In upcoming releases, it is heading towards the goal of application builder, with a lot of emphasis on usability and simplicity. The product roadmap of Joget Workflow revolves around the following 2 themes:

  1. code-less: Enabling IT professionals to build application without writing any single line of code. Take a look at the Leave Approval Process example I have published at Javalobby (already more than 5000 reads).
  2. code less: Enabling software geeks to build application and integrate with external solutions by writing less codes. Examples: Joget Workflow integrating with Google Apps, Joget Workflow integrating with Twilio cloud communications API.

See You All Around

The Joget Workflow project team members are going around conferences and community events to share about this open source workflow technology. I’m participating at the following events, feel free to buzz me for a meet-up if this project catches your interest:

Cheers!

5 Comments

  • good to see u back into action :-)

  • actually i’m the first to comment in your new blog? hooray!

    • haha ya congrats for being the first commentator in this blog!

  • Well done! Love your new blog :)

  • Hi Tiensoon,

    I am working with this Joget Workflow for few times now. I know some basics of this software. And it is absolutely right which you have written so far. The concept is to automate the whole process with a single software without writing a single line of code if I have proper logic. I could not explain in such a good way as you did. Thanks.

So, what do you think?