Why Nintex Workflow Cloud even if you code?

For those of us who tried or in the process of evaluating integrating Nintex Workflow Cloud into your solution(s), eventually you will get to the question "Why should I integrate Nintex Workflow Cloud?" especially if you code your solution from scratch using platform such as .NET or Java, writing code will be the default way to support any business logic or process(es) of the solution you are building with such platform. Here is my two cents worth for that question.


Before we get into discussing why, let us get few more examples here. Take another solution platform for the same question - Sharepoint, which is considered as COTS (i.e. commercial out of the box solution) for intranet/collaboration portal. We do not expect lot of coding or customization, by default Sharepoint supports document management with its content type of Document Library, supports creating of custom records using Custom List, when come to automating a document or record created in Sharepoint, it is not going to be easy especially we expected it to be COTS, Nintex Workflow is just the right fit to complement the weaknesses making process automation possible on Sharepoint.


So now the question is when you create your solution from scratch using platform such as .NET or Java, by default you will code everything yourself and it would be much flexible and powerful to you when come to coding. Similar to if you are using Mendix for instance for your solution, it has what it called Micro-flow to support logic behind defined objects, events, etc. in Mendix solutions, why would I consider to integrate Nintex Workflow Cloud since the platform itself supports business logic?


Reasons to integrate Nintex Workflow Cloud to your solution(s)

Take Nintex Workflow Cloud to replace some of the building block of your .NET or Java solution, helps your saving efforts on reinventing the wheels. The building blocks of a custom built solution usually consists of different modules/blocks to handle different function groups, for examples there will be modules such as:

  • Security/Login module
  • User Management
  • UI (Portal Pages, Forms, Views, etc.)
  • Report Management
  • Business Process/Workflows
  • Document Generation/Processing
  • Electronic Signature


e.g: Solution Architecture Diagram of a custom developed solution


1. Workflow Module

In a solution architecture of a custom developed application/solution, we often modularized it into different module/design blocks. Some of the benefits of modular design is that modules could be reused in another solution, some of the modules could be puzzled with ready to go solution(s). The above example of a solution architecture diagram illustrates a need to include a Workflow engine, which should be handled by a ready to go solution such as Nintex Workflow Cloud, which makes a lot more sense than having to develop all the workflow functionality and management from scratch.


2. Document Generation

The above scenario tells us that we will need to build all these modules, of course if you have done one before you could re-use it, if not you will need to spend tremendous effort to write one. Nintex Workflow Cloud comes with some niche and unique features such as Document Generation. Automated document processes are common in today's business processes, majority of the solution requires the creation of document manually using a word template for instance, these processes could be improved by Document Generation features of Nintex Workflow Cloud. If document creation to be automated, one will find it challenging as there ain't many options of API to do that. It become more challenging if one will need to keep the solution up to date with never ending evolving technology of document API. This is a good scenario and good opportunity to pass the job to Nintex Workflow Cloud. The automation of document generation could be passed to Nintex Workflow Cloud,  once it's done, it saves the generated document to a specified shared drive where the initiation program could pick that up from there.


3. System Integration

One of the strength by Nintex Workflow Cloud is the capability and rich set of connectors and actions supporting integration with other systems. Further more, with the compliance to the Swagger standard, it is easy to extend to include connectors to other system that was not already included as part of the default connectors. Capability to integrate with external system is always one of the huge area in a solution, and it usually requires huge effort to build and manage, leveraging that as part of the Nintex Workflow Cloud not just saves the effort to build one, but also provides the flexibility when come to extending of connectors to other systems.


Again, these are just my two cents worth for the question by providing just few examples here. I believe there are many more reasons to explore, such as Public Web Form? if your solution is an Intranet based deployment, most of the time you are not going to expose your so called Intranet solution to the public facing internet, leveraging the Nintex Workflow Cloud's Anonymous web form could a a quick solution to the requirements.


The concept of modular design with integration of Nintex Workflow Cloud as the required Workflow module is not just saving you the effort to creating one from scratch, it helps when you left the solution to a customer after you done the development project, clears off hassles for your customers to maintain or troubleshoot the workflow module. IT platforms are being patched and updated at a fast pace today, patches and updates introduces huge bandwidth of maintenance. Getting Nintex Workflow Cloud to handle some of these functionality minimizes the risk and needs to continue maintaining the code. 

2 replies

Badge +3

There are also options for a hybrid approach.  We currently have a scenario where we are building an azure based application.  While the core application will be built outside of Nintex, we have started to get new requirements for a series of features that are really workflow related.  Initially these are all varying types of notifications with conditional logic based on the form content.  We are positioning NWC for all of the workflow processing so that we can easily maintain the evolving workflow requirements and put the maintenance and management of the workflow in the hands of non-developers.  In addition, as we move into document generation there are some great benefits to be able to quickly leverage the available services Nintex provides.  

Badge +5

I was hoping to look at Nintex Workflow Cloud for a recent solution where we needed to loop through users read from Azure AD, and populate them elsewhere - we ended up giving up on the approach because NWC was too slow (it appeared to throttle more and more as time went on). I do agree with the general strategy though - it makes much more sense to re-use a tested, evolved tool, than re-invent it.