Flowable Enterprise is a hybrid workflow platform that offers customers both open-source flexibility and a significant low-code/rapid application development feature set. The open-source flexibility allows for the use of code or even the customization of many aspects of the Flowable engine when required, while the low-code/rapid application development feature set allows for shorter time-to-market for many workflow applications.
You may be wondering about the use of "rapid application development" here. In our opinion, since many platforms in different segments of the software industry offer some low-code features, we like to use the rapid application development expression to capture the fact that a given platform allows for the rapid build-out of complete applications with very little traditional coding. Such is the case with the Flowable Enterprise workflow platform, since it offers features such as - but not limited to - the following UI/UX (user interface/user experience) features:
A capable, drag-and-drop forms designer.
The ability to use that forms designer to create robust end-user forms.
A customizable interface that allows users to see customized forms and dashboards in various locations, making it possible to display "at-a-glance", targeted views of information in process applications.
NOTE: You may have noticed that we’re using "Flowable Enterprise" here instead of "Flowable"; this is because Flowable's open source offering doesn't offer the low-code features listed above. In order to gain access to those features, you would need to be using Flowable Enterprise.
Let's take a quick look at a Work Form, which is similar to a "Dashboard" in some other applications. First, for context, here's the simple process model for our application:
And here's the Work Form that we built as shown in Flowable Work, the tool where your end users would perform their workflow application work:
You may have noticed the nearly 1:1 correlation between the tabs that are visible in our simple Work Form and the User Tasks in the process model. This is just one way we could customize a Work Form.
Here's the Work Form as shown under development in Flowable Design, Flowable's design-time/development tool; you can see that it uses a very familiar interface to allow for the specification of the configuration properties for the form and for each field:
The ease of building forms extends beyond Work Forms to both User Task forms and Pages, the latter of which can be deployed within applications marked as "Flow-Apps" and displayed as first-class menu items within Flowable Work. We believe this ability to create forms and then deploy them in various places in a user-centric application is key to being able to rapidly create and deploy complete and usable process applications.
For more information about Flowable Enterprise or its ability to support the rapid development of your workflow applications, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summit58 is an independent advisory and consulting services provider that specializes in open-source workflow. Each open-source workflow platform has its own strengths and weaknesses, characteristics that make it a better fit for some use cases than for others. If you want to engage with a company with proven expertise in open-source workflow that will help you determine and implement the right platform for your needs, please contact us at email@example.com; we would love to meet you and discuss how we can assist.