WorkfloPlus as a standalone tool allows organisations to define, manage and execute their processes digitally as well as collecting auditable and rich data. However WorkfloPlus is unlikely to be the only digital tool within that organisation and there is a good chance that work that is carried out using WorkfloPlus is either initiated or takes some context from information or events within other tools.
Before starting you integration journey, it’s wise to consider the below:
- Why do you want to integrate?
- How do you want to integrate?
- What do you want to achieve?
- Scheduling from external system
- Job reports written to file store
- Data written to analysis place
The most pragmatic way to manage the relationships between tools might be via manual tasks carried out by people according to business processes (e.g someone has raised a new work order, so I need to create a copy of the workflow with the new work order attached as a PDF and then assign it to the right person), however at a certain volume, depending on the simplicity of the rules, the more efficient thing to do might be to automate that interaction using some integration, this ensures that the action happens immediately and consistently according to some prescribed logic.
How to Integrate?
Often we are asked "Does WorkfloPlus integrate with X?". Whilst some tools do provide direct integration to other tools, this is typically only where those tools are created by the same company, or by companies in partnership or where they are recognised to form part of a "stack" (a software term for tools that are commonly used together). Much more commonly some form of middleware or integration layer will be needed.
An integration layer sits between two or more tools and manages the interactions between them all, one of the advantages of using an integration layer is that it allows you to include your own business logic whereas direct integrations between tools will often be limited to common use-cases.
In order to enable and encourage integration with WorkfloPlus it has been created using Open APIs, these are APIs that are publicly available to authorised developers to access data and initiate activity with WorkfloPlus.
What Can Be Achieved?
It's hard to give an exhaustive list of the possibilities from integrating with WorkfloPlus; however some of the most common examples would include
- User Management; allowing external systems to create, edit or remove users as needed, especially useful where a workforce is quite transient in its nature - if it is comprised of a large number of contractor or temporary workers
- Contextual data loading; features such as job metadata and data collections provide additional contextual information to both those completing the jobs as well as the people reviewing the job later on, if the source of the data is an external system then an integration layer could update it in response to any changes in the external system or write the latest information to each job as it is created.
- External scheduling; if the plans and schedules for work exist in an external tool such as an ERP or PLM tool then an integration layer could create a scheduled job in WorkfloPlus for each scheduled activity, potentially pulling in files, drawings and metadata and attaching them to the job before scheduling it for completion on the date and by the person/team indicated in the external system
- Automated parts ordering; where WorkfloPlus collects data related to usage of parts for repairs this data could be fed into an ERP in order to enact automated purchase of replacement parts, or even be used to predict future demand for parts and to order them in advance
If you would like to discuss your integration options or what's possible using WorkfloPlus, please get in touch with the team by emailing email@example.com