K2 workflow vs Sharepoint workflow

  • 23 May 2013
  • 1 reply


Have been thinking about trying to explain to non technical people why we want to use K2 workflow rather than the Sharepoint in-built workflow?

I am very much into K2 but as a developer, finding it a challenge to explain without going into technicals.

Any input would be great. Thanks in Advance


1 reply

K2 provides a powerful platform to build and run business
applications that integrate seamlessly with SharePoint, business apps typically
consist of workflow, forms, data and reports. The type of business apps range from
simple document approval workflows to powerful business applications with
complex forms that incorporates data from multiple systems with workflows that
deliver the correct information to the right people to make the most effective
business decisions, reducing cost, complexity and enabling a more agile
business environment. 

With K2 both technical and non-technical users are empowered
to create business application in a fraction of the time. Multiple design
environments designed for their respective audiences allows users to work in
tools that they are most familiar/comfortable with. 

Probably best explained/described by means of an example: With
a few simple clicks a non-technical user can build a workflow process for their
new leave request library without leaving the browser or opening complex desktop
applications like SharePoint Designer or Visual Studio. 

With any business application data is critical, continuing
with a leave request example before considering routing the request for
approval you need to know the employees leave balance, information typically stored
in SAP or other HR system. With SharePoint this requires complex web service
calls or in some cases custom code to access data for basic decision logic, this
is one example that makes is hard if not impossible for non-technical users to
participate in creating apps with OOB SharePoint tools. With K2 line of business (LOB) data
integration is made easy by providing an easy and consistent way to integrate
with a wide variety of common LOB systems out of box with visual tools instead
of code. Data exposed via K2 is not only available to workflow but also forms
and reports. 

Bringing me to the next point, Forms. For a manager to
review a leave request its more than just looking at the start and end date of
the request, other team members leave schedules will certainly influence the decision,
providing access to the information as part of the review cycle is critical. As
previously discussed data integration is made easy with K2, add SmartForms to
the mix and you have the  ability to
extend forms with information that matters from the browser without the need to
write code. Forms are a critical part of any business app, information and the user’s
ability to react on information that allows people to be empowered. 

With K2 it’s easy to track running and completed workflows,
a number of out-of-box reports allow users to get real time visibility into
their business apps. This allows organization to identify bottlenecks and areas
that’s not preforming as expected. K2 reports also includes comprehensive audit
and logging for all workflow based apps that’s always available, no additional configuration
required this just happens. 

Once you have created an app you need the ability to manage
and maintain the app through its life-cycle. K2 comes with a comprehensive set
of Management capabilities that includes things like Workflow Instance Management,
Process and report permissions, Workflow and Form versioning, Task Management, Workflow
error management and more. Error management is normally a big topic, even well
designed workflows can end up in error state, all it takes is for a mail server
to be unavailable due to network related issues and a process can fail due to
not being able to send an email. K2 makes is easy to track down and understand
the cause of an error, once identified and corrected you can simply resume the

This is by no means a comprehensive list of K2 features nor
is it intended to be a full-on K2 vs SharePoint discussion on feature level,
this is aimed at highlighting a couple of areas where current K2 customers sees
a lot of benefit using K2 building business apps with or without SharePoint. 


Let me know if you have any questions.