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It’s easy to get excited about the more visible features in K2, but there are some equally exciting things happening behind the scenes. One example is the extensive work that’s been put into our latest release of K2 blackpearl (version 4.6.5) to make things like line-of-business integration even easier. In this release, we've added capabilities that are especially important to our K2 technical communities and developers. One of those features is the Endpoint Service Broker, and I thought I would talk a little bit about the benefits it brings to you.
The Endpoint Service Broker provides developers with an out-of-the-box Service Broker that integrates with Web Services, WCF endpoints and .NET assemblies. In addition, the Service Broker provides support for complex types using .NET serialization methods.
So what does this means exactly? It means that new scenarios are now possible with K2. The possibilities are virtually endless, but a few examples are - providing currency conversion capabilities within your purchasing request forms, including mapping and location capabilities in an insurance claim application and easier access to customer and vendor-related data in an order management application.
While this broker combines support for all these integration types into one place, easily accessed in the K2 workspace and surfaced as SmartObjects, the real value comes with the complex types support. K2 has supported Web Service calls within workflows for quite some time, but integrating with services that included complex data types required some additional code to handle the data correctly. As our customers start to use K2 for more and more complex scenarios, it was important to us to make that integration as easy as possible.
Now, with our built-in support for complex data types, we provide methods to handle serialization and deserialization of complex data types, which means you have less custom code to keep track of. Using the Endpoint Service Broker to create your SmartObjects also means that you'll have access to that line-of-business data in any K2 asset - workflows, forms and reports. Creating K2 applications for complex scenarios is easier, development time goes faster and maintenance costs are reduced.
If you’d like to see the K2 Endpoint Service Broker in action, take a look at this session from Renier Britz, where he walks through the use of the broker from end-to-end.