K2.net comparison (Evaluation vs. competitors)

Found this post entitled “SharePoint – Integrated BPM and Workflow Evaluation”.  Bob Mixon has evaluated a number of workflow products – including Skelta, K2.NET and Ascentn.

I’ll have to look into the Skelta and Ascentn products – esp. with comparison to the new Black Pearl product (and the latest versions of those competing products/tools).

Yes – this post was from 2005, and so the playing field has changed somewhat, but the criteria used to determine which workflow product was best suited is still valid :

The product must provide…

  1. a graphical user interface giving non-developer business analyst the ability to create process workflows.
  2. the ability to add or extend workflow process actions using the Microsoft .NET platform.
  3. integration in core Microsoft infrastructure.
  4. administrative tools to facilitate the development, management and deployment of workflow processes.
  5. integration with Active Directory.  Our environment uses AD OU’s extensively and we cannot administer this information in more than one location.
  6. integration with SharePoint; both WSS and SPS.  This integration must include:
    1. the ability to trigger workflow process events from both document libraries and lists,
    2. the ability to create and manage workspaces,
    3. the ability to upload, move and copy documents,
    4. the ability to update, move, copy and delete list items.
  7. integration with Microsoft Office tools, including InfoPath.  This integration must include the ability to extract information from documents/forms for use in workflow process decisions.
  8. a minimal set of built in reports giving us the ability to view running processes, process bottlenecks and optimization points, etc.

Click here for the full (introduction) article, including scores and comments in a number of categories.

 Another post details some feedback & comments from vendors (Captaris, K2.net and Skelta – The Evaluation Continues)

This is a list of criteria that was used to determine the best suited product, with K2.NET coming out equal or tops in most categories.

  • Workflow Designer
  • Workflow Administration
  • Microsoft Exchange Server Integration
  • SQL Server Integration
  • Microsoft SharePoint Integration
  • Server, OS and File System Integration
  • Microsoft MSMQ Integration
  • Workflow Action Support
  • Workflow Engine Customization (.NET integration for engine and workflow action customization)
  • Real-time Process Monitoring and Control
  • Reporting
  • General (support, support availability, maturity of product, product cost)

Full Story

Here are the results (overview) from Bob’s evaluation :




K2.net 2003 Enterprise Workflow


Currently the K2.net product best fits our business requirements.  This product provides a full set of built-in workflow actions that tightly integrating with SharePoint, Microsoft Office (including InfoPath), Exchange, etc.

Ascentn BPM System


The Ascentn product by far has the best workflow designer of all the products evaluated; built directly into Visio.  This provides a tool many users are familiar with which may reduce training and education needs.  Ascentn was able to demonstrate integration with InfoPath but no other Microsoft Office integration “out of the box”.  Built in SharePoint workflow action types are limited.

Skelta Workflow.NET 2004 with SharePoint Accelerator


The Skelta product provides a full set of built-in workflow actions that tightly integrate with SharePoint, Microsoft Office (including InfoPath), Exchange, etc.  I found the workflow administration features to be limiting; workspace administrators can create and deploy workflows without any approval by IT.

Captaris Business Process Workflow


The Captaris product has a very nice workflow designer UI with an integrated debugger.  This is the only product I have evaluated that has the integrated debugging feature.  Unfortunately the workflow action feature set is limited and requires development for most common tasks.  Limited “out of the box” reporting also requires development in every step of a workflow process.



This product was ruled out because it does not support any direct SharePoint integration features; or that information was not provided on their web site.  From the information I was able to find, this product was geared more towards a development environment.

SharePoint – Integrated BPM Evaluation – High Level Summary

I’ll have to apply this criteria to the Black Pearl product – and even consider some more “categories” in the new realm of workflow tools.

Thanks to Bob Mixon for the numerous articles.


2 thoughts on “K2.net comparison (Evaluation vs. competitors)

  1. We are now in the year 2009; does these info apply here.

    I think that k2 will rule completley after the 0902 release due to it’s full integration sharepoint 2010, Visual studio 2008, and TFS.

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