View Full Version : OS Workflow vs. Pentaho

09-02-2005, 06:10 PM
We're in the process of selecting a workflow tool for our solution, and we've narrowed it down to OS Workflow and Pentaho.

Could you please explain the pros and cons of OS Workflow and Pentaho?.


09-06-2005, 10:07 AM

Comparing OS Workflow to Pentaho is a little like comparing apples to apple pie. Although the Pentaho BI Platform has workflow as a core service, it has much more built in functionality; reporting, analytics, dashboards etc. The entire suite is designed to build complete Business Intelligence solutions.

The Apples: We selected Enhydra Shark (shark.enhydra.org) as the workflow engine that we embed. One of the main differences between Shark and OSWorkflow; is Shark’s use of the Workflow Management Coalition’s XML Process Definition Language (XPDL.) We like XPDL with built in support for deadlines, exceptions, sub flows and it’s extensions. It is also supported by a number of other workflow engines both Open Source and proprietary (see http://www.wfmc.org/standards/XPDL.htm) for a list. There is an Open Source visual editor, Enhydra JaWE as well as a new Eclipse project proposal “Java WorkFlow Toolbox Project (JWT)??? which will also support XPDL.

We found the Shark server easy to extend with new tool agents, assignment managers etc. The Shark project seemed to have more support and more activity including up to date releases. The last OSWorkflow release is over a year old. Check out the Workflow FAQ in the developer zone for more details about our selection criteria.

The Pie: The Pentaho BI Platform is much more than workflow. We let the Shark team do what they do best, build the engine. We add business value. For a company like yours, who may be solving problems like Billing and Collections, there is more to do than just the collection steps in the workflow. A schedule needs to be created to periodically run the business rules that will identify the delinquent accounts or better yet the accounts that are likely to become delinquent. Initiate a collections workflow for each account, audit the results of the collections in progress and completed, report on these collections and be able to analyze their success. Many of these pieces to the solution are complete applications that would need to be integrated into your workflow. That is what the Pentaho BI platform is designed to do.

Doug Moran
Pentaho Developer

Post edited by: dmoran, at: 09/06/2005 14:16

Post edited by: dmoran, at: 09/07/2005 00:40