Effective databases using web forms and workgroup processes
Streamline communication with employees, partners and customers
Incoming and outgoing letters
Cars fleet management
Orders for subcontractors
Requests from customers
Budgeting and managing its realization
🙂 Free workflow solutions
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a) General information (5)
What is the purpose of that kind of system?
Companies and employees exchange information every day. Sometimes still based on paper, partially automated or with limitations like a specialist editing its own Excel/Access only. We believe that effective knowledge sharing is a key and that is why companies need a system of that kind.
Why Malcan Workflow?
With one word: completness. In one product we deliver possibilities to create database applications with web forms, sites, reporting, for internal and external users. System is directly relying on database, open for integrations, and proposed functionalities allow effectively create customized solutions. We compete not only with quality, but also with price.
Workgroup usage scenarios in different companies look very similar e.g. vacation tool, training tool, delegations, helpdesk, invoicing. Unfortunately "similar" does not mean the same, and differences can be huge. With Malcan Workflow you can take such free solution and customize it quickly to suit your needs. We will be happy to assist you.
Internet browser only
Not only filling forms and taking decisions, but all proces designing, workflow graphs and scripting is available with your browser only
In the cloud SaaS and on-premise
You choose to order it in the cloud (software as a service) or set it up locally on your own server
b) Storing data (3)
Data list is a table in database 1:1
In a moment, when user needs a list of data with given columns, exactly such database table is created in the backend SQL Server. You may think of this system like a safe database wrapper where all the operations are registered and must satisfy security rules.
Field data types
Systems allows gathering many simple and complex data types ranging from text and number fields, through date ranges and attachments to multivalue fields.
Connected relational and object model
Building application requires determining data tables, their fields and relations betweem them. Forms understand that model and that is why it is so easy to create advanced applications. It is similar with built in scripting language that understands it as object model e.g. Invoice.Partner.Pay(Invoice.Price)
c) Screens and webparts (6)
Downloading data in portions
System always downloads only portion of records, user then see first 20 or 500 elements. You may prefer to download portions using previous-next buttons or just show more below - without reloading the full screen.
Sorting and filtering by a user
Views can be easily defined with few clicks, but user may want to adopt it e.g. using column arrows and sorting them up or down or writing few letters of own additional filter. System will combine defined requirements with new once.
Commands (for one or mulitple objects)
You may define custom commands on data objects e.g. notify Customers about product availability, issue invoice for purchases, confirm item. They are available just at the record by own criteria and permissions, just next to standard actions Edit or Delete. You may also run command on multiple objects (choose many and click once)
Customize graphics and layout to suit your preferences - use or create own template in just few clicks. You may change e.g. logo, colors, forms layouts, borders (thousands of combinations). Technically you can also add your custom CSS/JS.
Mobile and desktop view
System automatically adopts to your desktop or mobile device, but you may also switch anytime. When designing a screen or webpart you can mark it to be visible on given devices only.
Different language? Not only system itself can do it, but you may define your own data in different languages. This way top menu, pages, field names and your own data are always consistently presented. Currently available languages are English and Polish.
d) Web forms (9)
Form with... children
Complex forms may require multiple additions like invoice with invoice items that are taken into account or recalculated on major form. You may nest your related data also on forms.
Make it easy positioning fields, thin and wide fields may span multiple columns, set labels, description tooltips and validations as you prefer e.g. labels above, validations on the right.
Editing documents in-place
There is no need to copy document from portal to desktop, edit it locally and then after changes are made upload it again on the form. Just clik Edit, open e.g. in Word, edit, save and go (intranet only, IE, Edge IE mode)
Dynamic visibility of fields
Simple criteria (formula as in Excel) is enough to show or hide given form field e.g. after you choose option Car you will see a question, what type?
Expandable field categories
Forms may occupy too much space. Fields can be grouped into categories, and those can be visible always, expandable, visible only when having some values etc.
Lookups by letters
Forms usually reference each other and use common data e.g. pupil is assiged to particular school and you need to choose a school. Single letters are enough to quickly narrow results and find the proper lookup value. No popup windows.
Formulas as in Excel
There can be any mathematical formula that is calculated as you type like in Excel. Moreover - for demanding requirements - scripting is available with conditional instructions like IF ELSE, loops etc.
Date with hours?
And one date or a range? One hour or a range from-to? Maybe both ranges or maybe time alone? Here you have 7 predefined types with ergonomic interface and marked non-working days e.g. appointment or booking will need one date with hours from-to only.
You can easily ensure correctness of form data with the help of own criterias (Excel like formulas) and custom hints or errors
e) Workflow processes (3)
Automatic workflow graph
Regardless of the level of difficulty process graph is automatically created for you, grouped by participating actors. Such diagram informs workgroup participants on which stage given topic is processed and e.g. who we are currently waiting for.
Actions by permissions
Workflow process is defined by states and paths between them called actions e.g. Invoice for acceptance (state) => Acceptance (action) => Invoice accepted (state). All actions can be taken by group of people, individuals or approvers nominated dynamically.
System allows to create parallel workflows. All the kind of branches and then waits for subprocesses are available
f) Security and performance (5)
Working on behalf (representations)
Everyone may set a deputy to its surrounding (managers, peers, directs), administrator freely, each manager may just work on behalf of direct subordinate. It is just a click to switch and data modifications are registered who and on behalf of whom.
Permissions apply to individual fields
Imagine workflow that in the first phase someone is entering two values, and then in second phase someone else fills two other values. Those people gain permissions only to the fields they saw
Sorting and filtering directly within database
Sorting (in which order elements are shown) and filtering (on what criteria/permissions and pagination "get next portion of 50 elements") are executed directly in database. It is essential virtue of this system improving performance. There is no such case that thousands of records are downloaded, application is checking and filtering, then displaying the valid 5. It is exactly downloaded the final 5.
Private or public site?
Sometimes we need a private site dedicated to particular people only, and sometimes we need a public site like this (so after logging in we get full access)
System optimizes transfer of data between browser and serwer and also between database and application server. Data that change rarely are kept in memory and served at once with no loads on server.
g) Technical data (4)
Requirements for user: BROWSER
System works with all major and supported by their producers browsers, not older than 5 years old (on computers, tablets and phones)
Server requirements: SOFTWARE (on premise)
System requires application www server, Microsoft Windows Server + IIS (any version) and access to Microsoft SQL Server database (any version, including free Express). For sensitive data and solutions demanding high availability or fault tollerance you may double both: www server (NLB cluster) and databases (SQL Server cluster).
Server requirements: HARDWARE (on premise)
Application server is not demanding. We propose to start with virtual machine: 4GB of RAM, 2 virtual processors, 1GB of disk just for setup files (not changable). Application server may run several applications (not only this one).
Database server requires space for one database and its size depends only on the amount of data you want to store, starting with few MB only.
Minimal server requiremenets (on premise)
One (existing) Microsoft Windows Server (IIS) all together with free database Microsoft SQL Server Express and a folder for files/attachments.
h) Integrations (8)
Sending emails (SMTP)
All sent emails are firstly collected in the application database (where it is easy to check what, to whom and when was sent) and in a moment sent further using the SMTP gateway. You may configure your own post server or use a free account e.g. outlook.com (encrypted SMTP)
Users and groups synchronization (Windows domain)
System may automatically synchronize chosen users and chosen groups with Windows domain (Active Directory). Synchronization is a one way (changes found in domain are rewritten to the system). Synchronization also applies to chosen fields like first name, manager, user photo etc.
Logging in internally (intranet)
System ensures automatic logon within Windows domain (Active Directory). Persons having internal employee account is never asked for password, system automatically recognizes user.
Logging in externally Facebook/Google/Microsoft
You may use your current external account from Facebook/Google/Microsoft like gmail, outlook.com or Office365. System does not use social functions, uses only your account to log you in.
System tries to organize as much as possible in a declarative way (given at design time). Sometimes you need to run a concrete operation. Here scripting language comes. It is an object model available for designers that is run on events like adding a new data, running a new workflow action. read more
WebAPI and JSON
All existing built-in functionalities have the form of WebAPI e.g. every call is an HTTP GET or HTTP POST, regardless it is a simple API like https://malcan.com/?f=GetVersion or complex one for whole page. It is always based on parameter f (function name) followed by arguments
Remotely running custom script
In a situation where external system need to run some custom action you may take advantage of WebAPI ScriptRun with an argument Script e.g. https://malcan.com/?f=ScriptRun&Script=HERE YOUR SCRIPT like
var p = NewProcess("Project issue")
p.Title = "Message from external system"
Managers, organization structure
System supports both managers alone and whole organization structures with heads of organization units. Managers may always work on behalf of direct subordinates. Managers may also be automatically synchronized from you Windows Domain (Active Directory)
i) Reporting (3)
System contains built in mechanisms to report both: single data (including children like invoice with invoice items - in formats XML, WORD, PDF, EXCEL, HTML) and multirecord tabular data (in formats XML, EXCEL). At last it is always an option to base on SQL Server database directly.
Reporting single record
System has built in option to download XML data file from every single record. In order to allow users download PDF, WORD, EXCEL, HTML you need to tell the system how it will look like and prepare a template replacing that XML. It is a template for all document formats.
Reporting tabular data
All webparts presenting tabular data has built in feature to export to XML and EXCEL data. On the contrary to single records there is no need for custom templates. Webparts itself determine exactly which fields to show, what is the sorting, filtering etc. What's on screen is in the report. Just click to enable.
j) Pricing (7)
Subject for sell is the license for using the software and its price mainly depends on three factors: 1. Use our cloud OR own setup on-premise (and the number of application servers) 2. Number of users 3. Number of data tables.
Quantity of data, workflows, requests does not count into on-premise license.
1. No time limits 2. Same second license for testing server 3. One year product support (meaning free access to newer versions with newer functionalities and bugs removed, no limits with questions and Malcan consultant anwers regarding product). Option to prolong the product support for another year equals to 15% of the license value.
License does not cover
1. Business consulting, processes optimalisation 2. Required Software+Hardware 3. On-premise deployments with external logging Facebook/Google/Microsoft 4. VAT tax
One time price for application server with 1 year support, in EUR, U/T: number of users and tables Attractive discounts for partner firms or for multiple servers
Pricing in cloud
Monthly payment, price net, in EUR, U/T: number of users and tables Using address like https://*.malcan.com, product support included
How do I know how many tables I need?
Number of users is clear, but we may think of the number of tables. Let's imaging few simple examples e.g. vacations tool are 2 tables (limits, vacations), training requests is 1 table, invoices flow is 3 tables (sellers, invoices, invoices items). There are of course complex relational data using dictionaries, anyway the lowest price version T10 enables running 2-3 business processes.
Storing files in SQL database or in folder?
Data frequently contain attachments, which in terms of volume are much bigger than text entries put in form fields. You may choose to store them together with all the other data in database or point a folder on the server side. Nominating a folder can be essential from the database licensing point of view (free SQL Server Express might be sufficient).
k) What's next? How to start? (4)
Testing enviroment for free?
Sure, just let us know and we will arrange one for you available straight online. You may also opt for test environment on your server (on-premise)
How quickly I can run my own solution?
Technical deployment is quick (on premise takes few hours, in the cloud few minutes). It is always a matter of complexity of the solution so it is difficult to be precise here. Anyway we can arrange an online meeting where within 30 minutes and from our template or from scratch we create customized example for you so you may take it later and continue by your own (possibly with our assistance only).
What is a difference for testing environment?
There are no functional differences. Main menu and all sent emails are marked only "for testing purposes only". This lets users differentiate between production and testing enviornements. Testing license is also a free of charge option to the production license.
Are you interested or looking for cooperation?
If you are interested in this product or you are considering it for your customer you are very welcome to contact us.
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