Workflow Partners for BizTalk


Sylvain Duford has a post where he describes K2.Net and his reaction to a demo of their recent stuff.  I agree with Sylvain’s assumptions.  I’ve been watching K2.Net for a while now, and I am also very impressed with their stuff.  Thay are a very strong complement to BizTalk workflow. 


There are other workflow providers who are good partners to Microsoft, such as Captaris-Teamplate.  And for some projects, the Human Workflow Services provided within BizTalk is sufficient.  Perhaps it is best to consider all three alternatives when determining the best fit for your implementation.


If you have experience with workflow and BizTalk and are looking for someone to talk to about it, send me a note or post a comment here…

Comments (13)

  1. Owen says:

    I’ve received a couple of good emails from readers about their selections of workflow software and why. If you have a story that you would like to share, I’m interested in hearing about the process you went through to make your decision. I’m asked this question often by prospective customers, and this kind of case information (without naming your company, of course) would be useful.

  2. hung says:

    Do you know about default pass thru transmit pipeline and xml transmit pipeline (both of these are for sending).

    That is the difference?

    Some example I work on only work on one pipeline, not the other.

    Same question for default pass thru receive and xml receive pipeline (both of these are for receiving).

    What is the difference? What is the reason to pick one over other in some situation?

    I also have problem with MSMQT (serialization problem).

    I can not get message MSMQ (regular queue) from remote machine to work with MSMQT from a local biztalk machine.

    I can work with them individually, but when they have to send/receive from each other, the serialization format got stuck (I tried every from custom serialization to etc..)

    Basically, I don’t want MSMQ and MSMQT any more, I will use SQL adapter with biztalk 2004.

    My main question here (this question has been asked before by others on some forum but biztalk 2004 is so now, no answer yet):

    I want to save the whole message (XML message from a file receive function).

    The XML message should be able to save as a whole string inside some SQL server table.

    I came a cross some example but only field by field example.

    I need to whole message as a string to work with SQL Adapter for Biztalk.

    Any recommendation?

    Thanks,

    Hung

  3. Suresh Kumar says:

    we got a demo of K2.net last week…

    I was impressed with the good integration with the MS products. One question that i still need clarification on is whether K2.Net ACTUALLY relies on Human Workflow Services that are part of BizTalk 2004?

    I wasn’t sure if they did or not, perhaps someone can clarify.

    All in all a well rounded product.

  4. Curt Peterson says:

    My understanding after seeing the beta demo of the new K2 product is that it does fully leverage HWS, in fact the big rub has been that MS sees K2 as a competitor. The new version of K2 will require BizTalk and will leverage it completely.

    HTH

  5. Owen Allen says:

    In my view, K2.net is a partner, not a competitor. When I visit a MS Customer that requires workflow, I try to determine if BizTalk can provide sufficient functionality, or if a partner product is needed. If the use cases call for the modification of workflow by a business user, or for business user design of workflow, it will be a partner-based solution (e.g. K2.Net or Captaris-Teamplate).

  6. Suresh Kumar says:

    yeah,

    i tend to agree, i don’t see K2 as Microsofts competitor, definetley complimentary.

    That said, theres no doubt Microsoft wants to be offering this kind of stuff through their Platform and Office product groups one day… So K2 have a good 3-4 year window.

    Secondly… i don’t think K2 uses the BAM api.. and they run their own ‘state engine’ rather than invoking Biztalk HWS/Orchestration engine..

  7. Briony Barclay says:

    I’m looking at using K2 and Biztalk for a project to transmit sales information to a finance system, and am interested in any feedback from organizations who have implemented. Most information I can find has a Microsoft bent to it so it sounds great on paper but I’m concerned about the reality.

  8. Owen Allen says:

    Hi Briony,

    K2 can be reached here: http://k2workflow.com/global/contactus.aspx

    If any other organizations that may have implemented K2 want to answer Briony’s request for information, please do so!

  9. Paul says:

    I’ve got only one big question:

    I’m looking for a workflow management solution and i’ve seen a demo of Teamplate. It’s relatively easy to customize etc and i think it’s an advantage to purchase a system that integrates with the current MS enviroment. But there is also K2.net. Wich of these products is the best?

    Please post your opinions!

  10. Owen says:

    Hi Paul,

    I work with both K2 and Teamplate. I’ve seen and heard of successful implementations with both products, and am not in a position to recommend one over the other without knowing specifics about the situation. I recommend that you contact both companies, explain your requirements, and judge that way.

    Equivocally,

    Owen

  11. Paul says:

    Thank you for your comment Owen. I’m looking for a workflow management system wich can support our procedures of doing work.

    I’ll try to explain it briefly:

    First of all I want to create an app (GUI) wich can be used for storing information and reports on customers and suppliers. We’ve got procedures in case something had to be done for a paticular customer or (in most cases) the supplier.

    In case something had to be done internally a manager should choose a procedure. This procedure needs to be routed by the workflow management system. This makes it possible that no one forgets a task and the task are done in the correct order. It must also be possible to assign tasks to users back-and-forth so these tasks also appear in peoples tasklists and the status is being monitored.

    In the second place the managment needs information on who has jobs left etc. etc. But this should be no problem for any kind of workflow management system.

    In the third place it must be possible to export information from the system to a website.

    The question is: wich is more suitable to easily create an own app (managing customer and supplier info), start procedures (workflow) from this GUI, handle the workflow and has the ability to export or make information available.

    Does teamplate have more features over K2.net or are they mainly alike? Especially in case of:

    – creating an own GUI (a simple information/report management system)

    – starting procedures (workflow) FROM this GUI

    – getting management info about people, processes etc.

    – getting info from the system by a website that will be build using .NET (C#)

    What’s your experience with these apps? Why would you choose in one situation for Teamplate and in the other situation for K2.NET?

  12. Owen says:

    Paul,

    Both of the products will do what you are looking for. I work with both K2 and Teamplate and feel that you will be better served by investigating the products in your environment than with my recommendation from afar. If you’d like to speak individually, please feel free to email me – owenall (at) microsoft (dot) com.

  13. Jame Healy says:

    <p>How is that for a bunch of acronyms. I was recently reading <a href="http://blogs.msdn.com/oallen/">Owen Allen’s</a> posting on <a href="http://blogs.msdn.com/oallen/archive/2004/03/25/95904.aspx">Workflow Partners for BizTalk</a>, and it struck me tha

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