iFD Streamlines Document Workflow With New Product
February 18, 2015 Alex Woodie
In most organizations, work revolves around documents and the movement of those documents. Purchase orders come in from customers and they get approved or denied, which triggers the next step in the process. It’s how business has gotten done for decades, but there is room for improvement, according to inFORM Decisions, which two weeks ago launched an IBM i-compatible workflow management product called iWorkflow.
iWorkflow is a business process management (BPM) software program that’s aimed at automating much of the manual routing of documents that takes place in the average organization. The software runs on Windows, but integrates with iView, inFORM Decisions’ document management software for IBM i.
The new product includes two main components, including a document designer that helps organizations create repeatable workflows and a runtime component that actually executes that workflow on a Windows server.
The designer features a graphical environment that allows users to drag and drop objects onto a design canvas to create the general framework of the workflow process. The designer also enables the user to specify detailed business rules, including what user actions or pieces of data will be used as triggers in the workflow, says iFD’s Orlando Ferrer.
“Because of designer’s combined graphical and configurable design steps, the administrator has the ability to configure workflow processes in just about any which way they want to accommodate custom rules specifically to follow their own business process management steps within their organization,” Ferrer tells IT Jungle via email.
“As an example, in a requisition workflow process, an organization may want to pull an allotted purchase order amount from a specific department’s budget account into a requisition workflow process to calculate current allotted amounts,” he continues. The software can be configured to do that automatically, he says.
iFD is an IBM i application vendor, and iWorkflow was designed to work with IBM i applications. To that end, the Orange County, California, company ensured that iWorkflow is fully compatible with its IBM i-based document management and storage system, called iView.
Any IBM i spool file that finds its way into iView for dissemination or archival purposes can be used by iWorkflow, including the triggering of automated business processes. Other document management systems or image scanning systems can also be used as the source for documents in iWorkflow. External webforms and emails can also be used as triggers to initiate processes.
In addition to providing a framework for the automation of document-based workflows, iWorkflow also provides executives with a “looking glass” into business processes, says iFD. Users can view the state of workflows and a handful of metrics through a Web-based user interface.
With the addition of iWorkflow, iFD now offers an expanded range of document management and automation solutions, says iFD president Dan Forster. “Document workflow solutions provide companies with significant labor and paper savings efficiency by taking the manual processes out of internal document routing and approvals,” he says in a press release.