Monday, February 20, 2017

The Joget Advantage: Things You Probably Didn't Know About Joget Workflow

A few years ago, we published a post about the advantages of Joget Workflow and why everyone needed to pay attention to the platform. Back then, Joget Workflow was in its third edition and in the post, we talked about the key benefits offered by the v3.

But years have come and gone and Joget Workflow has gone through a handful of upgrades and revisions, and new features have been added, too. More importantly, the platform has evolved from being just a workflow and business process management (BPM) engine to a full-fledged suite of tools for building business applications that matter.

This simply means there are more things you can do with Joget Workflow now than we covered in the v3 post back in 2011.

So we’re putting this together to help you have a more comprehensive knowledge of what you can accomplish with Joget Workflow, plus some major advantages associated with the platform. But before we get to that, let's quickly get a handle on what the platform is about, for those who don’t know.

What is Joget Workflow?


Joget Workflow is an open source web-based workflow software to easily build enterprise web apps.

But Joget Workflow wasn't always like this. Initially, when Joget Workflow was first rolled out in 2009, the platform was crafted as an open source workflow management system for automating business processes and people-driven workflows. However, we wanted something more than that. So in 2012, we advanced from being a workflow system to a full-blown web application development platform.

Today, we've reached hundreds of thousands of downloads, with an army of incredibly happy users.

So what’s the thing with Joget Workflow? What makes the platform loved by people the world over? What are the benefits that are pulling together this troop of die-hard users? Let's have a look:

What Makes Joget Workflow Unique?

See, organizations are continuously looking for easier, quicker, and cheaper ways to build and deploy business processes and enterprise apps.

Traditionally, these two are handled manually. Manual business process management comes with lots of problems including high costs, human errors, inefficiency, unnecessary paperwork, and lots more. On the other hand, traditional software development is slow, requires high costs to maintain code, is designed only for software experts, among other downsides.

Occasionally, software providers have tried to resolve these issues through the development of workflow automation/BPM products and rapid application development (RAD) tools respectively.

But the problem is this: Most of these BPM and RAD products are typically constrained and limited in their capacity to deliver desirable results in a timely fashion. They’re essentially process-centric, which means no versatility.

This is where Joget Workflow comes in handy.


The Joget platform fills the gap by combining the best of both BPM and RAD, to allow both business users and IT professionals easily and quickly develop usable end-to-end enterprise web applications that support cloud and mobile, in a cost-effective way.

Digging Deeper Into Joget

To get a clearer picture of the awesomeness of Joget Workflow, it necessary to drill down a bit further into it. Here are the tools you'd come across in Joget:

1. Process Builder

Process Builder is a tool for building and modeling business processes. You can use it directly in the web browser and so does not need to be installed.


With a drag-and-drop interface, you can easily add, edit and execute processes, monitor ongoing and completed processes, and integrate with external systems using plugins.

2. Datalist Builder

The Joget Datalist Builder lets users build, design, and organize their data in tabular data lists which can be sorted, paged, and filtered.


Its drag-and-drop interface makes building data lists even easier as you can easily add new columns, for instance. Users can use configurable data binders to load data from different sources, extend those data binders using plugins, and easily preview their tabular data listings.

3. Form Builder
Form Builder is a useful tool with a drag-and-drop feature for easily designing web-based forms.


It offers flexible form layout and configuration, wizard-style property dialogs, and the ability to extend form element types using plugins.

4. Userview Builder

Userview Builder is a web-based solution for seamlessly designing front-end user interface (UI) for applications. You can add forms or data listings, configure and select what you want to be displayed, and enable mobile view for mobile devices, or even preview your web app UI.


Just as the above-mentioned tools, it requires no client-installation but supports a drag-and-drop environment.

Userview Builder makes use of forms and datalists to support CRUD (create, read, update, delete) for data management. It comes with configurable userview design themes and can extend userview functionality using menu type plugins.

5. App Generator

The Joget App Generator tool helps to accelerate web app development. Users can generate apps from forms and as well auto-generate lists, processes, and UI. It also makes it easy to create prototypes in minutes.


There are also ready-made process templates available for those who don't feel like generating processes from scratch.

What More Can You Do With Joget Workflow?

User Management: Joget Workflow also lets you manage users, groups, and organizational charts with its user management tool. And through plugins, you can do things like integrating users to external directory systems like LDAP or Active Directory.

Integration: Using plugins built on JavaScript and JSON APIs, you can integrate with external web-based technologies like PHP and .NET, portals like Microsoft SharePoint, CMS platforms like WordPress and Joomla, and vertical solutions built by SI or ISV.

Plugin-Oriented Architecture: Joget Workflow has a good deal of plugins developed and managed by a group of remarkably talented software engineers. With this dynamic plugin architecture, users can enhance and extend functionalities, bring data into data lists, and integrate with external systems like JSON, SOAP, and SQL/JDBC as there are pluggable elements in forms, processes, and UI.

Front-end Edit: This feature is designed to improve web app maintainability. It eases development as lists, forms, and pages can be edited without sweat. Perhaps, the most beautiful part is that you get immediate results even while still making the tweaks.

Joget Marketplace: One remarkable thing with Joget is that it doesn't leave you needing to design and build your apps from scratch. In the Joget Marketplace, you can find apps to use as templates, easily import and export apps, and seamlessly download ready-made apps and plugins.


The Joget Advantage

Joget Workflow is designed with the end-user in mind. Thus, it is built to deliver the following benefits.

1. Simplicity
From design to usability, Joget Workflow is simplicity-typified. Unlike what's out there, you don't need to go through complex steps to build apps or create processes. With just a web browser, you can turn your ideas into apps and maintain them properly, without the need to go through the long process of installation.

And if you don't feel like lifting a finger but want your processes to start running already, there’s the Joget Marketplace with a fistful of ready-made out of the box apps and plugins you can use right off the bat. There's also the hosted Joget Workflow On-Demand service for quickly building custom apps and automating processes without worrying about any infrastructure issues.


2. Cost-saving

One of the major challenges faced by organizations in the area of BPM and application development is high costs in terms of money and time. Some tools on the market today, cost a pretty penny but actually deliver low value.

Joget Workflow saves costs of time and money. Rather than investing separately in a BPM tool and RAD product, organizations can get better returns on their investment at a lower cost. You also won't have to waste time switching back and forth between a BPM platform and a RAD tool.

To top it off, Joget Workflow’s focus on simplicity reduces the time it takes to build apps from months to weeks or days, or even just minutes for working prototypes. This goes to save you money and eliminates unnecessary headaches.

3. Zero/low level of programming knowledge requirements

So you need programming knowledge to be able to develop apps, huh? Well, not with Joget.

Here, anybody can easily build operable apps without writing a line of code. Why? Joget Workflow supports both codeless and low-code development.

For pro developers, Joget helps to reduce the time and effort it takes to build apps, while accelerating process and increasing productivity.

For non-technical users, you can be sure to create apps you love even without ever knowing what code means. It's the 21st century, remember.

4. Flexibility and versatility

Imagine using a system that doesn't allow you the freedom to customize your work to what you want, or that only lets you fribble around one ironbound developmental activity illiberally. I bet you wouldn't want to work with that kind of tool.

Unlike many BPM and RAD products on the market, Joget Workflow offers great flexibility and versatility.

We believe these two are very vital for software, especially for areas like business process management and application development.

To start with, our platform is open source. It can be used to create versatile enterprise web apps to execute various business functions. And web apps created with Joget Workflow can be used on any device without being OS-dependent or platform-centric.

Plugins and APIs are available to integrate and extend to external systems as you like.

5. Accountability and security

If you've ever used software that caters to a business need, you'd know the importance of accountability and security in software.

The good thing is, at Joget, we pay great attention to these concerns. We understand that unsatisfactory security can lead to serious issues for users, so we work to ensure that our users get the most authentic security possible, coupled with openness and accountability.

THE FUTURE OF JOGET

We've made tremendous progress in our efforts to bring our next major edition on board.

While Joget Workflow v6 will carry on the good attributes found in v5, it's an even better edition. It'll come with great stuff but our focus for v6 stays around User Experience (UX), Maintainability, and Performance.

Feel free to leave your questions and thoughts below and we'll be happy to help.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

How to Get the Most Out of Business Process Automation


Business process automation (BPA) is considered a powerful means for streamlining business processes and approval steps, cutting costs, eliminating human errors and redundancies, and generally improving operational efficiency.

Joget Workflow lets you build workflow and business process management (BPM) applications that convey these benefits and more.

Now the question is this:

After creating your workflow/BPM applications, what are the most effective strategies that can help your team get the most out of such tools?

In this post, we gather seven best practices for doing just that.

Why does this matter?

Business process automation is a phenomenal tool that can completely change the way teams work. However, to experience this positive change to the hilt, you need to learn how to best implement the system and not just execute it lethargically.

In most cases, all that's required to achieve this is the right information coupled with germane actions. Read on to see our recommendations.

1. Get your team on board


BPM is not a one-man show. In automating your organization's workflows and processes, you need everyone’s support, from employees to upper management. You also need to get buy-ins and contributions from those who will be participating in the new system. Regardless of your position, going it alone could mean you're setting up yourself for failure.

Everyone needs to be on the same page regarding the tasks needing automation. So involve your team in the project (yes, BPA *implementation* is a project and should be treated as such) from the beginning. This may include process owners/managers, workflow participants, the IT team, and other relevant stakeholders.

Brainstorm and plan together. Ask about their expectations. Let them contribute their ideas. And be sure to treat each idea with respect, even if you may not get to use it eventually.

Why? Because it's only these people (especially prospective users) that can tell you their pain points and the best areas to automate, without which it'll be difficult to get the most out of automation.

Also, get them to commit up front to using the app so you won't have to struggle through deployment.

2. Keep your business objectives in mind


While successful automation could be one of your organizational goals (inter se), you need to set up BPA in such a way that it supports your broadscale business objectives, complements your team’s effort, and aligns with your vision.

Start with thoughtful planning, even before kick-starting the app development process. Decide on what you want — in line with your business objectives — and how you’re going to use the tool you create to achieve it. Doing this will make BPA more beneficial to your organization.

3. Choose a project manager


Just above, I mentioned that the implementation of business process automation is and should be treated as a project — seriously.

Now, one of the best things you can do to make your BPM strategy more effective and eventually get the most out of it is delegating the supervisory responsibility of the project to someone. Assigning a manager to administrate all the behind-the-scenes aspects of the project will only ever increase your chances of getting better results in a timely manner and within budget.

This person will be responsible for managing the entire project, from the app development stage to deployment and to the implementation phase; he should also be responsible for getting feedback and providing analytical reports for making improvements.

Here are some more things he will be responsible for:
  • In terms of communication, he'll be the main contact point for matters relating to the workflow application. 
  • He’ll work with the software provider. 
  • He should ensure everything runs smoothly and that every automation advantage is being harnessed to its maximum. 
  • He should keep an eye on the system and suggest ways to optimize the same for better performance. 
  • He'll receive feedback, suggestions, and complaints from users and ensure that appropriate support is provided. 
Apart from getting the most out of automation, one other benefit of choosing a project manager is that since it's the same intelligence overseeing the whole project, proper organization and effective monitoring will be easily achieved for excellent delivery.

4. Operate with knowledge


Operating from a position of knowledge, as opposed to running blindly, is indispensable for a successful business process automation.

There are two stages to doing this:
  1. Getting the history 
  2. Testing, tracking, and measuring the new system 
What's getting the history about?

Before bringing the new BPM system into operation, try getting an idea of what’s been going on with the current system. Get and evaluate information on how the process or workflow was managed in the past to find out how to best implement the new system.

On the other hand, after you've actually implemented the new automated system, you should perform regular testing and optimization. For this to be possible, you will need to track and measure your BPA metrics to see what processes are working well and which can be improved upon.

The information you discover will guide you to make data-driven decisions and take more appropriate action in optimizing processes, all of which are necessary for making your BPM project an unforgettable one.

5. Go with simplicity


You don't want to end up with a tool that's way too complicated to deploy, manage, or work with. Complexity makes your tools less desirable by potential users. Employees want applications that are simple, user-friendly, and responsive.

Here are some ways to achieve this:
  • Don't over automate. The trouble with some businesses is that they try to automate everything. But it isn't every process that needs to be automated. Do your homework by researching to find out the “automatable” processes in your organization. 
  • Keep the features and data to minimum. Employees do not want to be bombarded with features and information they don't need to see. Moreover, unnecessary data and components in an app or business process can distract workers and contribute to redundancy and inefficiency. 
  • Unclutter your app’s user interface (UI): The better looking an app is, the more it'll attract users, and by extension, the more enjoyable and simpler it'll feel to use. 
6. Standardize the fundamental operations
One of automation’s major benefits is its ability to simplify complex processes.

To get the most out of it, you need to standardize the basic operations that most support this simplification. Standardization makes it easy to work more quickly and within regulations; this contributes to business process optimization.

7. Be prepared for change

Business process management is designed to help organizations identify areas where changes are necessary, so that they're able to get to the next level of operational efficiency more quickly.

With this in mind, you need to prepare your work environment to support this sort of change. If opposed, the benefits that comes with automation may never be realized.

Moreover, you need to be ready to make changes as no process is written in stone. What you initially thought was running smoothly might turn out to be a candidate for tweaking.

Change must be anticipated, recognized, articulated, approved, implemented, managed, measured, and rewarded.

It's time to get started

You wouldn't get the most out of something you aren't working at, would you?

Business process automation offers a plethora of benefits (which we will cover in another post). To enjoy these benefits, you need to first get a go at it.

Joget Workflow is an open source web-based workflow solution that helps organizations build workflow and business process management applications, which can bring together the people, processes, and information needed for effective performance. With it, you can automate business processes using Joget's Process Builder, create enterprise web apps that deliver results, and do a lot more.

Sign up today for free to start using the platform, even if you know nothing about coding.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

10 Misconceptions About Rapid Application Development You Need to Do Away With

Have you noticed the fuss that's been going on lately about Rapid Application Development (RAD)? A lot of people seem to be talking about it these days. While that's generally good for the industry, there's a problem.

Arising alongside this rave are misconceptions and myths about the technique.

The problem?

Harboring these misconceptions and myths can cause you to misjudge certain concepts which will ultimately result in you making decisions that can affect your business negatively and slow down your organization's progress.

At Joget Workflow, we've worked with quite a number of really awesome organizations and developers who’re using our RAD technology to create great enterprise apps. We've also come across a number of people who had one of these misconceptions or another.

Today, we want to try to lay some of the confusions to rest. We've put together the top ten of these widely held misconceptions so you're better equipped to make smarter decisions and move your business forward.

Ready? Let's jump right into it:

Myth #1: RAD is for creating small applications only
Due to the fact that RAD is a development technique for quickly building minimally-coded software applications, some people tend to believe that it's designed to handle only small applications. But that couldn't be farther from the truth.

Of course, small applications can be built with RAD tools, but it's not limited to those kinds of projects. There are several success stories where applications created with RAD have thousands of users and are processing millions of transactions.

Myth #2: RAD tools are for business users only/RAD tools are for developers only


There are two schools of thought here…

The first one argues that rapid application development is a technique specifically reserved for business users to be able to build apps more easily. The other school of thought believes that RAD is designed solely for pro developers to make their work easier.

While these ideologies are partially true (because RAD makes life easier for both IT and business users), RAD is built for both, not just one of the two groups.

RAD platforms with no-code/low-code functionality provide extremely easy to use drag-and-drop visual development environment for both business users and professional developers, which means the idea behind RAD is to make it possible to develop apps with minimal technical skills in less time.

Myth #3: RAD is for small businesses, not big organizations


Some people are of the opinion that rapid application development is for startups, and not for big organizations. But that's incorrect — big businesses do use RAD but may not tell you.

If you are a big business, there are scads of benefits you can get from rapid application development. For instance, your development and testing time can greatly be cut down due to the reuse of patterns.

Myth #4: If you can code, you should always code instead of using RAD platforms


Well, this assumption is not just delusional but also very finite in scope. Imagine getting told that those who can walk should always walk instead of using cars.

Just as cars make movement easier and faster, RAD tools do the same when it comes to development.

People who can code will benefit a lot from RAD and are probably the best people to make the best use of RAD technology, as they have loftier technical skills and understand development better. In addition, they can easily create add-ons, plugins, and other relevant components to create apps that deliver great experience and meet business needs more intuitively.

Myth #5: You will need expert intervention for professional security and database design


Yes, it's true that professional apps usually require primo security and decent DB design. And in traditional development, the incorporation of these elements are usually handled by expert developers.

With the arrival of RAD, some people still think that achieving professional security and DB design requires expert intervention. But that's totally untrue.

Rapid application development tools come with new technologies including drag-and-drop form builders, automatic table creations, configurable security, and so on. From a security perspective, platforms like Joget Workflow have been scanned and rated by industry leading security services such as HP Fortify On-Demand. With this, non-coders — business users, product managers, and citizen developers — can easily and quickly create apps with top-of-the-line security and automated database design.

Myth #6: Rapid application development will steal the job of the dev


You know, one of the reasons why some developers are at sixes and sevens as to whether or not to adopt RAD methodology is because they erroneously think that RAD will take their job and leave them with nothing.
But hey, don't be misled!

RAD is not a threat to your job security; it's a tool for honing your craft, becoming much more productive, eliminating redundancies, saving time, and making more money in the process.

The world is fast changing and so is the way we work. You don't need to change your job, but rather, change how you work. For developers, it's RAD.

Myth #7: RAD applications cannot be integrated with other business tools

This again is caused by misinformation. A 21st century RAD tool should be able to integrate your applications with other business tools.

For instance, Joget Workflow makes it extremely easy to securely connect your enterprise apps with third-party tools via APIs in a reliable way. Plugins can be downloaded from the Joget Marketplace or custom-built by developers. Business users can in turn use these plugins inside an app without having to write a line of code.

Myth #8: RAD platforms cannot support lots of features


So you think rapid application development works just for ‘light’ apps, huh?

Wrong!

While some RAD platforms may not fully support gobs of features, there are those that let you develop apps that are rich in functionality. And some platforms even make it possible for these features to be customized as per business needs.

Myth #9: You can't create sterling UI/UX using RAD tools

Professional apps built using traditional methods usually have compelling user interface/experience and involve senior front end developers who are adept at HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Some people think creating such UI/UX is only possible with the manual, traditional method.

But here's the kick:

Great UI/UX is achievable with rapid application development methodology.

With RAD tools that have visual development capabilities, out of the box templates can replace the immediate need for UI/UX experts; and point-by-point adjustments can then be done where necessary.

Myth #10: It takes time to build big apps


While some folks think that you can't build major apps with RAD, some others think that the bigger the app idea, the more time it'll take to build it with RAD. They believe there are no limits to the size of your idea but that the real hitch comes when you try to incubate that idea.

Yes, it used to take weeks (even months) to develop big apps, but that’s the old way. In the new era, RAD platforms with minimal coding requirement let anyone with an idea to build an app quickly. That's one of the core objectives of RAD — rapid development.

So don't limit your creative imaginations. Instead, get your hands on a worthwhile RAD tool like Joget Workflow and soar.

Tell you what, over at Joget Workflow, we've witnessed situations where usable apps were developed within hours with our RAD platform, and prototypes within minutes.
And things are getting even more exciting as we're looking to roll out our next major version.

Joget Workflow v6 is coming with lots of upgrades with special focus on user experience, mobility, maintainability, and performance. It'll make building an app super easy, with minimum time and coding requirements.

We hope this article has helped to clear some of the confusions around rapid application development. Please feel free to leave your thoughts and questions in the comment section below.

Friday, January 6, 2017

What You Need to Develop a Successful Enterprise App

Enterprise applications have gone from being just optional add-ons to mission critical tools, necessary for smooth business operations in many organizations. A recent report by Apperian reveals that a vast number of corporate employees in 91% of the enterprises surveyed used work-related apps in 2016.

Worthy of note is the fact that a majority of organizations are planning to put more time, money, and effort into internal app development this year, thanks to the value apps bring to business — improved internal communication, increased operational efficiency, more seamless collaboration, anytime/anywhere access to data, and so on.

While this is good for workplace productivity, the problem is that as demand for business apps increases, internal developers may be forced to compromise quality in order to deliver more quickly. But business users have greater expectations — they want great user experience (UX) comparable to the ones found in consumer apps.

So how can you ensure you deliver a good enterprise app that's successful?

This post answers the question, but let's first have a brief look at what a “successful enterprise app” is:
A successful enterprise app is one employees find helpful — even delightful — to use. It does at least one of the following:
  • Solves employees’ problems and makes their jobs easier. 
  • Fixes efficiency issues. 
  • Streamlines complex business processes in an organization. 
  • Capacitates effective collaboration between both individuals and departments. 
  • Curtails costs of time and money. 
  • Allows organizations to quickly and easily identify and take opportunities. 
  • Enables employees to continue working outside of a traditional workspace. 
  • Improves workflow and approval processes. 
  • Provides secure access to information. 
Sounds good, doesn't it?

Here are the most important things you need if you want to build internal apps that deliver these benefits: 

1. A clear purpose of the app with an appropriate framework

One of the first things you will need is a well-defined, basic conceptual structure of the app you're trying to create. This comes at the ideation stage. The fact is, without an idea of what you want to build, you won't be able to actually build it.
Determine what problems the application will solve. This sort of structural framework will help you build an app that serves a clear purpose, something that's necessary for an app to be considered successful.

KEY TAKEAWAY: Don't try to generalize the purpose of the app but make it task- or process-specific.

We'd even recommend you get all the major participants to come together to deconstruct the app idea down to the crux of its core value proposition, and then build up from there. You may also want to talk to the target users — employees — to understand their pain points and gauge what they actually need. This will keep everyone on the same page regarding what to expect, streamline the development and deployment processes, and increases the app’s chances of being adopted by employees and eventually succeeding.

2. User engagement

Great user experience is an important feature of every successful app. Without it, your app will be treated with disinclination by employees.

What should you do? Create better UX.
A good idea might be to try to make your enterprise apps go head to head with well-built consumer apps in terms of UXD.

Here's why:

Generally, people are accustomed to consumer apps that are intuitive, clean, and user-friendly. You need to integrate these attributes into your enterprise apps. Statista forecasts that by the end of this year, over a third of the world’s population will own a smartphone; that's an estimated total number of almost 2.6 billion smartphone users in the world. This will amp up market demand for business-focused apps that meet the high performance and usability of consumer apps.

Your aim should be to build something that's truly exciting and engaging for people to actually participate. It should be to proffer a solution that’s better than and different from the clutter employees see out there. It should be to create stuff that offers a more convenient way of interacting with job-related tasks, making it rewarding to use. Only then will it be used to the same degree as consumer apps.

Don't know where to start? Here are a few guidelines to give you a leg up:
  • Keep all interactions within the app short and straightforward. 
  • Provide as much information as necessary to easily complete each action… sort of quick walkthroughs. 
  • Offer some level of customization so each user can tailor the app to their own needs. 
  • KISS it. (Not literally though; I'm talking about applying the ‘keep it simple, stupid’ principle when dragging and dropping those design elements.) 
  • And don't forget that UI is a key factor in user experience design. A flabby, strewn interface can turn users down forever.
3. Multi-platform accessibility

Where and how people access your apps matter. Build it for just one platform and you might be excluding a number of employees from the experience.


Bring your own device (BYOD) is becoming increasingly popular in the corporate world. According to a report by Gartner, an IT-research and advisory firm, employees use an average of three devices in a typical work day in the modern workplace. The report mentions that as wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT) gain momentum, that number is expected to increase to five or six devices per day. This means for your enterprise app to gain ground, it needs to be cross-platform.

We recommend you go with a web-based app. That way, it’ll be available and used across devices regardless of platform or OS. Joget Workflow makes it easy to quickly create enterprise web apps that are mobile-optimized and cloud-ready.

4. Your IT team's support

It is not uncommon to try to have a go at building apps on your own, especially when using a no-code/low-code platform like Joget. But here’s what:

You need your IT…

Not necessarily to write code but to help minimize the roadblocks that may once in a while pop up during the development process and in the future. For one, you don’t want to make your IT feel as though you're replacing their jobs with a third-party service. Remember, they'll be responsible for managing the app after it’s developed and deployed. You need to work with them from day one and not only when you run into technically complex issues you can’t resolve on your own.
With IT involved, you can be sure that you will be getting internal support like quickly handling minor bugfixes (this saves you from bugging your software vendor every time, which in turn saves your organization time and money) and their expert contribution, which all go to add to the overall success of your enterprise application.

5. Adoption strategy

Successful app development does not end with just the build process; it continues to deployment and adoption. And until the app fulfills its purpose, it's not successful. How can the app fulfill its purpose when it hasn’t been adopted and used by employees?

study conducted by SAP points out that 78 percent of enterprise apps are abandoned after their first use.

Here's the rub:

The app development process may not be the hard part, but adoption. Some organizations struggle with this. This is why you need a good adoption strategy in place.


To start with, create an app that's enthralling and easy to use as discussed in point #2 above. Most times, employees are typically already swamped with too much work. For example, they might already be overwhelmed by the high number of emails they get each day. Introducing “another burden” will only result in a slap in the face for your app. Not nice!

Some gold nuggets to give you a kick in the butt?
  • Offer incentives if you have to, but the best adoption strategy should be building an app that incentivizes its own adoption through its features and benefits. 
  • Talk them into using the app; if they understand it will help make their job easier, then they will use it. 
  • Follow up after the initial deployment, stay engaged with users, and identify and solve complaints. 
  • Sometimes, all you really need to do is train the staff on using the app. 
We advise you don’t force users to adopt your app. They should make that choice on their own on the basis of it being a better option. Otherwise, get back to the drawing board and create something better.

What You Don't Need

So above we’ve discussed some of the most important things you need to make your enterprise app successful. Good stuff, but here’s what you don’t necessarily need:

Coding skills!

Codeless development is growing in popularity. Rapidly. It's the future. And this means anyone can easily develop and deploy apps quickly using talent they already have.

If becoming a professional programmer intrigues you, great. But if you’re interested in building usable apps in minutes without gambling with quality, then you don’t necessarily need to learn to code; just learn how to work with technology. The trick is to take the next step by getting started with Joget Workflow today if you aren't already doing so.

Friday, November 25, 2016

What’s Planned for Joget Workflow v6?


the upcoming Joget Workflow v6 will have a dual pronged focus: User Experience (UX), and App Maintainability and Performance. Following the previous article which offered a sneak peek at what to expect, here’s a more detailed look at what’s to come.

User Experience

Enhanced App User Experience for Desktop and Mobile


Say goodbye to uninspired user interfaces expected in business apps, as v6 will provide a Universal Userview Theme that embraces Google’s Material design philosophy. Responsive to fit desktop and mobile devices, the theme allows for simpler and more flexible configuration, while still allowing fine-tuning via custom CSS or JavaScript.   

Customizable App Center with Joget Marketplace Integration


The App Center, the default landing page providing access to apps and seamless integration with the Joget Marketplace, is now a customizable app! Adapt the App Center to specific needs, or even replace it entirely if required.  

Dashboard Capabilities


One of the frequently requested features, a Dashboard Userview element now provides the capability for multiple elements to be presented in dashboard format for better information visibility.

Calendar View



The Calendar Userview element displays events in a familiar monthly, weekly or daily calendar view.

Unobtrusive Admin and Design Interface


The focus is on the apps, so the administration and app design interface is designed to be discreet and to stay out of the way. A floating design button toggles to show the Admin Bar and Front-End Edit Mode to show elements directly within the app.  

Design Apps Anytime, Anywhere with Support for Touch Devices


Touch devices are now supported! App designers can now use tablets or touch screen PCs to design all the processes, forms, lists and userviews. Dragging, dropping and configuring elements using your fingers or a stylus makes building and maintaining apps more accessible anytime, anywhere.

App Maintainability and Performance

Improved App Maintainability with Advanced Tools


The major challenge in app development is not building it the first time, but rather maintaining and evolving it over time. A big focus in v6 is improving app maintainability hence the new Advanced Tools which will make it easier to manage dependencies, while adding support for automatic merging of concurrent changes. For improved accountability, all changes to an app are now captured in the system audit trail as well.

Enhanced Configuration Options for Codeless Apps


The Joget Workflow platform allows for almost limitless extensibility via plugins and custom coding. However, the requirement for coding makes it less accessible to non-coders. In v6, there are now additional configuration options in various elements to allow for simple configuration instead. For example, retrieving data from multiple forms can be accomplished using simple form selections, instead of using custom SQL JOIN queries.

Improved Performance with Userview Caching


Caching is now available for all userview pages. Requiring just a couple of settings, any userview menu and page can be easily cached to eliminate bottlenecks and reduce server-side processing. When used appropriately, caching can greatly improve the performance and scalability of apps.

Database Connection Monitoring and Leak Detection



A new feature incorporated into the Performance Analyzer now provides monitoring of database connections at runtime. When logged in as an administrator, the Performance Analyzer displays the number of active and idle platform datasource connections at the top left corner of the app userview.

There is also database connection leak detection, which works for both BeanShell scripts and custom plugin code. When a possible leak is detected, a warning will be captured in the logs to allows administrators to identify the page causing the problem.

Additional Plugins Out of the Box for Greater Flexibility

v6 includes additional useful developer and integration plugins to cater for more complex app requirements.
  • More JDBC and BeanShell plugins are now available out of the box to allow for custom SQL and BeanShell code in forms and lists.
  • The Permission Userview Menu element allows userview permissions to be configured in the front-end app.
  • There is also a new Sync LDAP Directory Manager that allows LDAP and Active Directory information to be synchronized with the local user directory.

Latest Upgrades Under The Hood



Joget is built on Java using the proven and popular enterprise libraries Spring Framework and Hibernate ORM and in v6 they will be upgraded to new stable releases (Spring 4.3 and Hibernate 4.3) to take advantage of all the performance, stability and security improvements available.

Resources

While v6 is in the works, check out the current stable v5 release through the following resources:


NOTE: The features in v6 are subject to change prior to release.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Future of App Development: Touch to Build?

The Present



How does software get built today? The image of software engineers hunkering down over their computers is a familiar sight and is representative of how things work today. Building software and apps is the domain of experienced computer programmers and coders, of which there is a real shortage. This global phenomenon (check out a finding from the European Commission, for example) is not new, and will only get worse.

The Future


Now, imagine a future where non-coders are able to build and maintain apps. It may sound far-fetched and impractical now, but this is where we believe the world is heading. With the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, IT literacy and competency are rapidly increasing all over the world. With the emergence and growth of low-code platforms, and the feedback from the Joget Workflow community, the trends point towards a future where more and more people are becoming creators, not just consumers of software.

At Joget, our vision is a business world where apps can be built and managed anytime, anywhere. But just as how smartphones revolutionized photography for the average person as opposed to professional photographers, software development professionals will still play a big role at a deeper level. However, the time is ripe for everyone to be able to create software when required. Imagine someone walking around with an iPad to build apps anytime, anywhere. Dragging some elements here, dropping some stuff there, everyone is empowered to create.


Well, “touch to build” is arriving in the upcoming Joget Workflow v6. Watch this space for updates!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A Sneak Peek at What’s Coming in Joget Workflow v6

As an open source platform to easily build enterprise web apps for cloud and mobile, Joget Workflow has managed to build up a pretty large community of more than 1,600 installations and 9,100 community members to date. With a number of glowing customer testimonials and positive reviews on Capterra and GetApp.com, the platform is growing each day towards making app development simpler and more accessible.

The current v5 release provides a combination of nice new features, stability and security. However, there are a couple of focus areas for the next major release. Based on all the great feedback we have gotten from our community, and aligning with our vision for the future of app development, there will be a dual pronged focus in Joget Workflow v6: User Experience (UX), and App Maintainability and Performance.

User Experience and Mobility


User Experience (UX) and mobility are the Achilles' heel for enterprise apps. As consumer apps and sites redefine UX, enterprise software are often clunky in comparison. A key focus of v6 is to have Joget Workflow apps present a great user experience, learning from lessons in the consumer app world. Incorporating elements from Google’s Material design, mobile device responsiveness, and even touch support for designing apps (imagine using an iPad to build and maintain apps!), building beautiful and user friendly apps will be easier than ever.

App Maintainability and Performance


The major challenge in app development is not building it the first time, but rather maintaining and evolving it over time. A big focus in v6 is improving app maintainability, with additional tools to manage dependencies and to automatically merge concurrent team changes. Performance is also another key focus area. We plan to have tools to help app designers optimize their apps more easily through easy-to-use caching, and to prevent common app performance bottlenecks such as detection of database connection leaks.


The v6 roadmap has yet to be finalized, but there has been good progress and there should be a series of future articles to describe all the great stuff we have in store. Stay tuned!