Customizing business rules and workflows for each tenant / user group, is one of the most sought after features in a multi-tenant application. celloSaaS v 3.0 released this month, has a built in business rules engine and workflow engine. It also allows the product developer to expose select variables and actions to the UI layer so that the rules and workflow could be customized by a non-IT person.
For example a HR manager of a tenant would like to customize the business rule regarding administration. Or a purchase manager would like to customize the workflow regarding vendor approval or PO request.
The celloSaaS framework allows each product to define its own domain model and map it to the internal classes and variables used in the BR/WF engine, so that the end user who is doing the customization can deal with “easily understandable” entities and activities. Similarly, the framework also provides complete control to the product developer to decide what aspects of the business rule or workflow should be standard and what aspects should be exposed for customization by end users.
What about Microsoft Workflow Foundation?
There are two types of BR / WF tools. One such as the MWF, is developer friendly but not end user friendly and some other web based ones that are end user friendly, but lack the flexibility and control expected by product developers. Added to this is the lack of Multi-tenancy support. So after evaluating the options, celloSaaS eventually decided to build its own internal BR / WF engine that gives complete control and flexibility to developers, while allowing tenant level customization by end users.
But nothing prevents developers from using Microsoft Windows Workflow foundation or any such tool to design complex business processes and workflows in their development. The results of these developer level tools can then be used at the input or output of the celloSaaS BR / WF engine.
This option provides developers the best of both worlds.
We have a whole batch of features coming soon, that will add enormous value to the celloSaaS framework: Custom Query builder, Custom Report builder, Custom Chart builder and Custom Widget builder. These are tools that a end user at the tenant level could use to customize the product for their organization.
What do you think?
Since celloSaaS license packages come with free upgrades and source code licensing if necessary, building your own Multi-tenant engineering stack does not make sense any more. If you have a point of view, or if you think there is something important that the techcello team should put in its road map, please feel free to write to us.