If you’re a developer, you’ve probably built an application that uses some sort of workflow automation. Whether it’s approval logic, parallel processes, or dynamic logic, these days, at least some sort of business process management (BPM) is integrated into a lot of applications. Why? Because they help companies improve operational efficiency, user experience, and, ultimately, customer service and satisfaction. In other words, they’re crucial for a company to remain competitive and relevant.
One of the key features of low-code platforms like OutSystems is a built-in workflow engine that developers can use to create the simplest or even the most sophisticated BPM workflows. At first sight, this may not seem that exciting, but the reason why this is one of my favorites is that there aren’t different steps for modeling and implementing business processes: it’s all built at once with a simple drag and drop.
As a result, any developer can easily understand the code behind automated workflows and quickly create new or change existing processes, thus accelerating the application’s development as a whole. But let’s dive into the details.
Building Automated Workflows in Low-Code Applications
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you this, but workflows are, in sum, the orchestration of business activities where a series of steps must be completed sequentially for certain processes to happen.
Let’s use an order management application as an example, shall we? This app has three processes going on:
- The first is an order approval process that is activated when someone submits an order and ensures that the process can only continue after manager approval.
- The second one is the order expiration that cancels the operation if the manager doesn’t approve the order after a certain time.
- And the third one is a “conditional process” that states that if the initial conditions change—for example, if new items are added to the order—the whole process restarts.
In low-code, this is how this automated workflow would look.
Pretty simple, right?
Now, imagine that you wanted to change the process flow. Let’s say you want the application to check the job role of the person submitting the order and, depending on the role, you want the app to send the approval order to the manager or to the financial department.
If it’s a role that will be submitting to finance, once the request is submitted, the approval goes to finance directly. They can either approve it—which will allow the person to proceed with the operation— or reject it—which will terminate it.
This is really easy and fast to change. But, hey, they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Now imagine moving pictures! For all the steps, take a look at my recent webinar Can Low-Code Handle Workflow and Complex Logic?...You Bet and see how it takes less than 10 minutes to change an automated workflow with OutSystems.