Workflow is the central nervous system to any process. Just as thousands of complex nerve tissues control the activities of your body, workflow defines the process and the movement of information and documents from one participant, machine or system to another for action, according to set rules. Without this central nervous system process breaks down, much like the body would.
With the release of K2 Cloud and K2 Five comes a brand new, completely redesigned and modernized K2 workflow designer. Our powerful yet accessible designer is key to the pillar by which our mission stands – to automate every process in every organization. Without it, processes would fall apart or become hopelessly off-track.
The new designer is built to enable the visual design of complex or simple workflows, including powerful patterns such as serial flows, parallel flows, rework, looping and much more. Let’s take a closer look.
Infinite Canvas & Configuration
When you step into the new designer, you’ll notice a lot of improvements. First, of course, is that it looks much different. Second, you’ll quickly find that the canvas is infinite in all directions. This gives you an intuitive drag-and-drop web-based designer so you can model your workflows no matter how complex and large they might get in any direction. You’ll never be constrained to the size of your screen, as with some other tools.
Even if you aren’t ready to configure all the actions throughout the workflow, you can still start to model and sketch it out on the canvas – once it is fully designed and modeled, you can go through and configure all your steps later. This gives you the flexibility to ideate and collaborate on the appropriate model of a given workflow, and then go through the process of putting the logic behind the steps once the design is complete.
Graphic rules authoring allows you to easily incorporate business rules for sophisticated business processes that include exception handling, escalations, task redirection, SLAs and more. All this while configuring each step can span your entire screen, as configuration windows slide in and out from the sides of the canvas logically as you work through all your configuration steps.
Finally, ‘Recent’ and ‘Search’ is persistent throughout the design experience – that way you can quickly locate recently used or frequently used steps.
Smart Assist Configuration
To accelerate design and best practices we built an inline guide and pre-configured logic for common use scenarios, real-time workflow validation and existing asset search.
Now as you build, the designer will discover related business data and surface that for you. And, when you’re configuring the logic it will make suggestions to you as you build – automatically ensuring you’re following best practices as you go.
Not only will it make suggestions and surface information to you, but it will also do things for you automatically like –configure a step or generate decision logic.
Finally, to give you a bit of peace of mind, the designer will validate the workflow in real-time, detecting errors as you go and making suggestions on how to improve the logic and configuration.
Drive Work to Completion
In the end, workflow should all be about getting work done quickly and efficiently. Any workflow that doesn’t fulfill that goal should be scrapped or rebuilt. With our new designer, you’re able to dynamically assign work to the right people and configure actionable notifications, including task specific context, so that actions go to the right people, systems and machines with clear guidance on the action that needs to be taken.
You’re also able to create business policy-based rules and drive the completion of tasks in a timely manner with reminders and escalations built into the logic. You can also assign deadlines to control task outcomes.
All of this ensures that the process you have built provides the most efficient operational experience possible – all built visually, without coding.
As has always been the case with K2, we always aim to drive the extensibility of our platform through a rich set of APIs. Workflow is no different, as we recently made updates to our workflow API, which is fully available with this release.
Our workflow API is REST-based and enables powerful integration and interaction with third-party systems and custom applications. Developers can quickly discover and test K2 API capabilities because it has Swagger definitions, making this much easier – even if you don’t have a lot of experience interacting with APIs.
The API also enables the K2 workflow designer to be hosted in third-party applications and can call third-party systems within the context of a workflow.
Across the board – our new workflow designer is incredibly powerful. We’ll be quickly innovating on this, so make sure to stay tuned to our blog and social channels for updates.
We hope you enjoy using it and of course, we look forward to hearing your feedback. Please share your thoughts with us either in the comments below or with us directly. If you want to learn more, don’t hesitate to contact us today.