Monday, November 4, 2013

Within the same tool (Athento), is it possible to configure and orchestrate workflows and not just integrate them with already-existing work flows? [FAQs]

This question comes to us from Francisco Nazario Santiago, who works in Mexico.

Managing review/approval workflows
Within Athento’s capture module, workflows aren’t managed as such: that’s done in the ECM module. The capture module is in charge of being that entry point for documents,  whether it’s done via capture of e-mails, monitoring folders, uploading documents from the platform itself, capture from Dropbox, capture from an ECM system, etc. – to the document management system and to obtain relevant information from them. In other words, once documents are captured, classified and their data has been obtained, the documents can be sent to an electronic document management system, which could be Athento’s very own ECM module, or that of any other repository (SharePoint, Alfresco, Nuxeo, OpenText, etc.)

From the ECM system, workflows can be configured. In the case of Athento ECM, it’s possible to configure revision workflows or approval workflows from the platform’s own interface.

Work flows can be parallel or serial (put another way, various people can review the document at the same time without needing to consider the order in which they do it) or sequential reviews in which one person can’t review a document unless another person has reviewed it before.

As a default, without any kind of parameterization and without additional costs, users of Athento ECM can use this functionality.

Business workflows
These work flows are adapted to the specific needs of your business. Normally, they are complex work flows, which include multiple decision paths and diverse people involved in the process.

These workflows require modeling of the flow and, afterwards, being included in the ECM tool. They have to be studied, analyzed and put into action. Athento’s applications are built on a development framework that considers the design and implementation of these work flows. Specifically, at its heart, Athento allows for the use of a high-level service called "Athento Workflow". This service permits users to work with workflows in  JBPM5 and Drools, which permit users to define tasks, activities, rules and phases of work flows that can be completely customized. For more information about what users can do with Athento, you can read the post that talks about integration with Drools. it’s also possible to work with flows with Athento and Bonita.

Although Athento ECM already comes prepared to manage work with complex workflows, these types of workflows require some parameterizing and adjustments to reflect the client’s particular situation. That’s why they don’t come included in the default version, and require separate billable hours of development. 


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