Rapid Application Development, Robotic Process Automation, Business Process Management Systems – these all are examples of low-code platforms. They appeared on the market as early as the 1990s, but their popularity has increased significantly over the last few years. In this article, we want to show what makes WEBCON BPS stand out from other platforms and how it build up our trust.
Because not everything works out the first time
While creating applications using low-code solutions, while we do not exactly know all the requirements and we start working only with an idea, modifying the application is something natural.
The reasons are different. The requirements turned out to be imprecise, assumptions were wrong or it suddenly changed. Whatever is the reason, we have to be ready for it.
You can change the logic of the process, data patterns, forms layout – virtually everything – and the update will be available to all users. You can use the modified version of the application without having to restart it.
Each time we implement an application, we need to configure a form with features such as hide/show, edit/lock and fields that are required or optional, configured in different ways depending on the stage at which the workflow is currently running.
The vast majority of low-code solutions require embedding multiple patterns and scripts in each form, button and screen. This makes the maintenance or development of such an application hard and labour-intensive as it quickly creates a mess that is hard to control.
In the WEBCON BPS, simply select the check box to determine if a form field is required, editable, or visible in the workflow. This eliminates 90% of the cumbersome tasks related to manual forms creation. Changes can be made very quickly and easily.
Most workflow management tools are highly detailed, contain many steps and actions (e.g. the stages related to filling in the form by the user and all the activities that the system performs such as sending an e-mail, communication with an external system, execution of SQL procedures and others), so you do not know what the application is supposed to be used for.
So that business users and even application developers can understand a process well and in the same way, a simpler, more general scheme is created manually using another tool (such as Visio).
In WEBCON BPS this is solved in a different way, the workflow diagrams are surprisingly simple, the general scheme showing steps and the process path is the starting point. Activities that take place during and between individual stages are included and available with one click. To design the process and explain its course one interactive scheme is enough. You do not have to do the same thing many times. It is definitely easing a cooperation between IT and business.
Most low-code platforms have a linear or sequential approach. They may contain looping, branching, or jumping, but ultimately, the cycle starts in one place and ends in another. In WEBCON BPS the circulation can have any direction, it can end in many different ways.
Importantly, “completed” does not mean “final” at all. If necessary, the instances of already completed workflow can be restored and reactivated. It seemed like the end of the work, but suddenly something has to be improved? This happens and is no longer a problem.
Many low-code solutions require starting work with data modelling, even if we are not quite able to specify what we are aiming for and what deparments of our organization will use it.
In WEBCON BPS we can approach this in a flexible way. Sometimes, we know how the process will look like, that is, how a given document (e.g. compiled Excel with a valuation) circulates around the organization and we want to improve it for the beginning, so that we can ensure safety of the organization.
We often start our work with business by creating a data entry form to start systematic collection and storage of information that will streamline or improve the process in the future, enabling its control, optimization and automation.
The Contract Lifecycle Management will be a great example. Often there is a need to create the first, simple forms for registration of contractors, which in the future will developed into large verification processes and control of the contractor database. In case of such solutions, introduction of some automation elements to the application is possible at the end of work.
Another architectural problem of a large part of low-code systems is time and number of cycles. Some systems sometimes do not know what to do or even generate errors for elements where the process is “too long”, or running one workflow consumes resources available for the next workflow. There are other systems that cannot cope with many simultaneous elements of a given application.
In WEBCON BPS the running application element is by default at rest, it does not use resources apart from the resources used to store information about it in the database. Such processes may be for years in steps other than “completed”, if needed. Only waking up the element with actions such as a button on the form, scheduled event, launching Web services, incoming message, action resulting from another element, etc. will consume any resources other than SQL server memory. This means that we can have many workflows running simultaneously.
If you are interested in the WEBCON BPS and you are planning to implement some business application for your own organization, I encourage you to contact us.
GoNextStage is a team of experienced consultants and implementation specialist who support companies in the digital transformation on a day-to-day basis.