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I'm looking for a collaborative web application used for designing and executing various project processes.

Suppose that tomorrow I had a requirement to build a tracking application for a project management organization, that dealt with specialized rules around travel requests. Users should fill out a basic travel request form, with some basic validation. We'd want a database of submissions, with the ability to build in certain simple rules, like notify this person when a record is submitted, filter records a certain way, perhaps do some simple calculations and display them on a dashboard.

We have been using SharePoint and designing custom lists with workflows, and have found it very painful due to the fact that SharePoint isn't a true database. Regular project management software doesn't seem quite to be a fit; is there anything out there that will allow quick, GUI-based design of simple processes that capture, process, and report information?

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Activiti is designed exactly for this.

It is a workflows engine, and is open source.
Unlike SharePoint, it is standards-compliant and well-documented.

First, create the workflow definition:

Activiti workflow definition

Then, use the worflow, either in your custom UI or with the built-in UI:

Activiti user

Should you need to check the database, it is not far away:

Activiti database

You can actually choose the underlying database. While any JDBC-compatible database should do, the following are officially supported:

  • MySQL
  • PostGre
  • Oracle
  • DB2
  • MS SQL
  • H2

Getting started: 10 minutes tutorial

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