ArcGIS Workflow Manager Is Now Available in a Software as a Service Environment
ArcGIS Workflow Manager is a scalable enterprise workflow management system that allows organizations to orchestrate processes across web, mobile, and desktop services. Three years ago, it was introduced for ArcGIS Enterprise. Now, Esri has released a new deployment option: ArcGIS Workflow Manager in ArcGIS Online.
The Benefits of Using ArcGIS Workflow Manager
Workflow Manager has historically supported organizations that need to do the following:
- Capture, standardize, and automate repeatable workflows involving several users across multiple departments and even multiple levels of government.
- Streamline and orchestrate complex processes across the enterprise that require integration with other business systems.
- Reduce the number of solutions and/or systems that an organization maintains.
- Replace highly customized, homegrown systems that are not capable of scaling and can’t handle high-volume work.
Such organizations typically have ArcGIS Enterprise deployments. However, there are many organizations that use ArcGIS Online only and face the same challenges.
So now, the benefits and capabilities that ArcGIS Workflow Manager brings to an enterprise deployment are available in a software as a service (SaaS) environment. This means that ArcGIS Online organizations can standardize repeatable processes, automate tasks, collaborate across teams, and capture institutional knowledge to become more resilient in the face of staffing challenges.
Highlights of what ArcGIS Online organizations can now do with Workflow Manager include the following:
- Automate and streamline business processes. Out-of-the-box tools in ArcGIS Workflow Manager in ArcGIS Online allow users to automate jobs, schedule work to be completed during off-hours, and optimize other online workflows.
- Monitor and report on work statuses in real time. Users can make informed decisions by monitoring the process of work in real time. They can also create their own charts or integrate ArcGIS Workflow Manager in ArcGIS Online with ArcGIS Dashboards to generate job reports.
- Configure low-code and no-code capabilities. Users can design workflows using a drag-and-drop interface, thanks to configurable step templates and integration with ArcGIS Arcade.
One of Many Ways to Employ Workflow Manager
Many organizations across a range of industries want to automate the process of submitting a request and getting approval. These could be requests to update assets or documents, change an address, get a permit, perform an environmental review, or get technical support.
Such processes are traditionally performed manually. Someone makes the initial request either by calling on the phone or by submitting a paper form in person, in the mail, or via email. The request is then passed from team to team as it makes its way through the system. One team reviews it, another team works on it, another team approves it, and yet another team delivers the results to the requestor. Challenges within this process include maintaining multiple forms of intake, tracking the request from start to finish, and assigning the steps to the right team or person to do the job.
With ArcGIS Workflow Manager in ArcGIS Online, users can orchestrate, standardize, and centralize the submission and intake process. For example, if the request intake process leverages ArcGIS Survey123, once the form is submitted, it can automatically trigger the creation of a job in Workflow Manager through the Survey123 webhook. Each step in the process can then be automatically assigned to various teams, whose members get notified when it is their turn to execute a step in the process. Managers can use dashboards to oversee how projects are progressing. And if needed, a public-facing dashboard can pull information directly from Workflow Manager to provide the requestor with the latest information about the project. When a request is approved or denied, Workflow Manager can be configured to send updates to key stakeholders.
Components and Future Releases
ArcGIS Workflow Manager extends ArcGIS Online to provide out-of-the-box work management functionality to design web-based workflows, automate tasks, and collaborate across teams. There is also an optional ArcGIS Workflow Manager Server Advanced extension for anyone who needs additional capabilities, such as scheduling workflows to run at convenient times. In future releases, ArcGIS Workflow Manager in ArcGIS Online will get more webhooks and geoprocessing tools.
Get more information on this new release of Workflow Manager.
Editor’s note: The online version of this article has been updated to reflect changes to the licensing of ArcGIS Workflow Manager in ArcGIS Online.