What Does Nintex Workflow Cloud Mean for SharePoint Users?

Several of our customers have asked what the Nintex Workflow Cloud means for our SharePoint Server and Office 365 offerings. The short answer is it makes them better.

Use Nintex Workflow Cloud as a Library of “Sub-Processes”

Every workflow you create in Nintex Workflow Cloud is meant to be called by something else.

We call this Workflow as a Service™ (WaaS). We’ve dabbled in this in SharePoint-land, both on-premises and online, with a recent feature called External Start, in which you could publish a workflow as a web service, but this goes far beyond that. WaaS means we can listen for events (in lots of places) and trigger workflows accordingly.

A Nintex workflow for Office 365 or for SharePoint Server will shortly have an action that lets you call out to a Nintex Workflow Cloud workflow. If you’ve used our on-premises workflows, you might be familiar with the notion of User-Defined Actions (UDAs); this feels like that, but it’s much — much more powerful. Nintex Workflow Cloud workflows run independently, in parallel if desired, offer many more connectors and are consistent to all calling workflows and other apps.

Use It When SharePoint Plays Only a Supporting Role

If you’re using SharePoint only as a place to store documents, you’re missing out — SharePoint’s a lot more than that. That said, for plenty of use cases, it makes sense. In those cases, where SharePoint is a content store, there’s nothing requiring the workflow to be SharePoint-centric.

Moreover, what if the process is truly multi-application? Forcing everything into SharePoint just because that’s where workflow lives could be confusing if not counterproductive.

In those cases, there’s a payoff to using Nintex Workflow Cloud instead. It gives us an engine we engineered. One we can adjust and evolve.

Use It When SharePoint Isn’t Involved

We know this might sound like heresy to some people, but not every business problem is meant to be solved by SharePoint. There are times that what you want to do involves orchestrating other things in other places; when that happens, you don’t have to bring SharePoint in for the sole purpose of hosting a workflow.

Are you working in a combination of Microsoft Dynamics CRM plus NetSuite’s ERP service, interacting with users over emails and/or SMS texts and, and not really using documents anywhere? Nintex Workflow Cloud was born for those scenarios.

Use It to Bring Together Multiple Systems

Nintex Vice President of Product Ryan Duguid likes to talk about how Nintex Workflow Cloud will bring together all the people in a company, all the different processes and all the different systems.

That means SharePoint. Box. Dropbox. NetSuite. Salesforce. Workday. That means out-of-the-box connectors to every system you’re interested in and a set of capabilities that will appeal to advanced developers who want to do even more.

The number of systems that organizations use has grown tremendously. With Nintex Workflow Cloud, you have a way to bring together the systems you care about and use on a day-to-day basis. It connects all of them.

The platform is modern. It’s forward-thinking. It’s micro services architecture. And it’s exciting.

Nintex for Office 365 and SharePoint Server will Often Remain the Right Choice

If your solution revolves around automating SharePoint itself, and involves a lot of site and list interaction, Nintex Workflow Cloud won’t be targeting those scenarios until after it’s officially launched later this year.

If you want a tightly coupled experience that works as a seamless extension to SharePoint Online or SharePoint Server, our SharePoint-coupled offerings do that — and do it well.

There’s No Extra Cost to You

It’s not like you “buy” Nintex Workflow Cloud. For that matter, it’s not like you “buy” Nintex for Office 365 or SharePoint Server, either.

Nintex no longer requires an up-front investment; you subscribe to it, and the fee is based on the number of workflows you create. You can run those workflows across any Nintex platform depending on best fit. There’s no barrier to entry with Nintex Workflow Cloud.

 

Want to try Nintex Workflow loud for yourself? Get a free, 30-day trial today!

Mike Fitzmaurice

Vice President of Workflow Technology Mike “Fitz” Fitzmaurice is Nintex's subject matter expert and chief spokesperson for workflow, business transformation, and technology evangelism. Before Nintex, he spent 11 years at Microsoft, and was involved with every version of SharePoint from pre-2001 through the 2010 release. His expertise includes process automation, integration, collaboration, and a lot of other “ation”s. Follow @mikefitz on Twitter.