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Softology Workflow Product Description

Workflow may be defined as the automatic routing of work cases to the people or teams responsible for working on them. It is concerned with providing the information required to support each step of the business process cycle. Cases may be physically moved over the network or maintained in a single database with the appropriate users given access to the data at the required times.

Frequently, cases will be based on documents such as purchase invoices, application forms, complaint letters, stock control, safety records, order tracking, quality procedures and assurance ... the list is virtually endless ... and these documents may be scanned or originate from MS Office or other applications. Other cases may be, in effect, database records for customer or supplier information.

Regardless, the manual flow of documents and information in an organization is time consuming and prone to errors. Documents frequently get lost or shuffled to the bottom of in-baskets. Softology's Softology Workflow is an enterprise-wide Workflow and Document Life cycle Management solution. It alerts users to new cases via email, and will also notify managers if that work is not completed within the allotted time. This document covers the functions, features, user and technical aspects of Softology Workflow. In addition, it should be noted that Softology has an ambitious development strategy and the product is constantly evolving in line with our clients' needs. This information may consequently be superseded.

Softology Workflow is an Enterprise Wide solution. It may be used to automate any business process for which there is a distinct set of steps, which occur in a predetermined order. Documents may be booked into a central repository, indexed, and then automatically routed to the appropriate staff using the Softology Workflow engine.

Our product includes a full suite of construction applications that enable the business process to be mapped using a workflow diagram tool. There is also a comprehensive form design package that enables us to quickly customize the information captured for a workflow item during its flow through the cycle.

Softology Workflow also comes with a powerful reporting tool to enable you to report on items that are currently in processes, or indeed items that have completed their workflow.

The facilities provided by the Softology Workflow development kit typically result in a greatly accelerated business process automation development cycle when compared to traditional methods of business process management (BPM) software development.

User Interface
Softology Workflow is designed to use Microsoft® operating conventions, and is fully consistent with office systems such as Word. This enables users to quickly gain familiarity with the system after a minimum of training.

It is very important to realize that the Softology Workflow user interface is highly customizable. The form that the user interacts with has all the standard windows components available (such as check boxes, drop down lists, edit boxes, etc). In addition, the list of work items in each users electronic in-tray can be sub-divided by a given data attribute (for example, supplier name).

Once the workflow has been designed, Softology Workflow will:

  • Route documents to the appropriate people (either individually or to a group in-tray).
  • Send a copy of the documents to additional users (if required).
  • Validate the data entry form using business rules.
  • Alert users that new work has arrived via email (if the Softology Workflow email server is active).
  • Audit any work done to the workflow case.
  • Allow free format notes to be associated with the case.
  • View scanned documents using the built in Java viewer.
  • Alert managers when work is overdue.
  • Identify bottlenecks via the workflow diagram tool.

Document acquisition
Softology Workflow can acquire documents from scanners or from MS Word or other office software products, or from Softology's own Electronic Document Management (EDM) Softology's Document Management system.

Documents may be scanned and a workflow started when they have been fully indexed. For example, some customers use this technique for purchase invoice approval. The invoice is booked in with a reference and additional information loaded from their accounts system database. Completion of the indexing process triggers the start of a workflow. This may be configured to run during out of office hours to optimize server usage.

Workflow cases can also exist without any scanned information. In such a case, just the data form flows through the process sequence to the appropriate users. For example, product code specification by a manufacturing company. The case is routed to the appropriate brand manager who enters the case dimensions, expected selling price, etc. It is then passed on to the head of purchasing who specifies the minimum order quantity. Next, the logistics controller specifies the warehouse where the product will be stored. Finally, it is passed to the systems manager who specifies the nominal code, sales code, and product code ready for the in house accounts system so that the product may be ordered and sold to customers.

Softology Workflow will automatically send an email notifying users that new work has arrived for their attention. The email item contains a link that will launch the Softology Workflow browser ready for use.

Searching and Browsing
Commonly most EDM systems have the ability to search and browse documents. Using Softology Workflow, you may search using the following methods:

  • Documents can be located using any indexing information held against them using one of our general finder applications (either browser based or traditional plump client). You decide what fields to index during configuration, but they can be altered at a later date if your requirements change (added, removed, changed).
  • Documents will be located in your Softology Workflow in-tray if the workflow has determined that you should deal with them.
  • Softology Workflow has an API that allows you to bolt the software into existing systems and search for information.

Product licensing
Softology Ltd. is the author and owner of the product, and grants licenses to its clients and partners. Softology Workflow is licensed by concurrent user, together with a server license. We also have a revolutionary new licencing product that we have called the 'Fair Use Licence'. Please contact for further information.