Comparison of Third Party Workflow Engines for SharePoint

In 2016, Microsoft introduced Flow – which connects and synchronizes SharePoint lists with external apps. This year, in May, the company rolled out an updated for enhancement and extensions to SharePoint Libraries. This is in addition to what SharePoint provides out of the box, workflow capabilities, which can automate a range of business process.

However, there could be scenarios when business processes demand more than what Sharepoint can provide. For example, you might want to have multiple versions of your workflows or generate reports on the state of workflows.

analytics reporting ctaBelow are some of third party providers that can provide additional capabilities to SharePoint.

Nintex :

  • Nintex has all the options provided by the SPD Workflows.
  • Needs to be added as an app from SharePoint App Store. After activating its respective feature, it will be available within SharePoint.
  • It can run both within the Farm or Online Context.
  • The interface is simple and customization can be done directly on the browser.
  • Cost depends on the number of WFEs. It also varies based on number of Workflows and Forms.
  • It needs relatively minimal effort for maintainability and the changes won’t affect progress workflows.

K2:

  • In terms of Options, K2 is similar to Nintex. K2 has an AppKit for Cloud and installation for on Premises.
  • Has good reporting capabilities.
  • It can be run within the WFE. However, for Online it is Workflow as a Service.
  • Although it has good options for extensibility, it doesn’t score well when non-technical users want to change workflows as it involves a learning curve.
  • It needs a relatively lesser effort for maintainability. It doesn’t effect in progress workflows.
  • Cost is for entire server regardless of number of WFEs. On cloud: cost is based on number of Workflows and Forms

AgilePoint:

  • AgilePoint is a business process managed software which is being offered as PaaS. It is so much more than a workflow engine. It has all the features provided by other vendors. It also has features like changing the workflow in between.
  • It is workflow as service.
  • Features include easy to update processes, migrate to new processes, and change/update processes in-flight.
  • Cost is based on the core or users and public or dedicated cloud service.
  • Since the underlying schema is XML, it will be easy to save and use in other applications if migration is ever an option.

At Acuvate we have delivered projects involving complex workflow requirements. If you have a workflow requirement that you want us to help you with please contact us at info@acuvate.com

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