Workflow for new application RRS feed

  • Question

  • We are going to make a new application in which Workflow will be a very important part. Also the application will be a SaaS application which must be able to run in the cloud, as well as on premise. It must be a Webapplication.

    For the workflow we have two possibilities:
    - Using external product like skelta (www.skelta.com)
    - Making it by ourselves with WF4

    The advantage of Skelta is it's a complete solution with Versioning, UserDefinable flows, maintaining States of the flows, Multi-language, Tracing, Logging, Test/Simulation, Deployment, etc.
    The disadvantage is the Lockin for us. If we make a wrong descision, our project failes. This is because the workflow engine will be the heart of the application. And also pricing is a (little) issue.

    The question for us now is: is it better to make this workflow functionality in WF4? Of course it is possible to make it in WF4. But what will be the effort we have to make to create the same functionality as Skelta?

    Has somebody experience to make an estimated quess about the time we have to spent to make the Workflow with WF4.

    We have the next requirements:
    - Webinterface
    - UserDefinable workflows. Every tennant of the application has it's own rules on which the software must work
    - RulesDefinition by EndUser/Consultant. An experienced EndUser or a Consultant must be able to make the workflow in the runtime environment. Without, or with a little knowledge of programming.
    - Versioning: Workflows have versions. This must be possible.
    - States: The state of a running workflow must be saved. Because it can take sometimes more than a week before a workflow is ended.
    - Monitoring: it must be possible to view the (running) workflows. And see what choices/descisions have made. Long running workflows (too long) must be monitored and generate a warning/message
    - Tracing / Logging
    - Scaling: The workflows will be running in a Workflowserver? When the load of the server is too heavy, a new workflowserver has to be scaled up without user intervention.
    - Nulti-Language: The new application must be multi-language
    - Test/Simulation: It must be possible to simulate or test a workflow.

    Can anyone help us with our descision to Make or Buy?

    Regards, Pieter

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011 3:05 PM