Why Capture enabling your business is Critical?

Often we speak with business users and query about their productivity levels. In every case, most staff would complain that they are overwhelmed by paperwork. Many businesses are still transacting through manual processes and paper files.

Paper use in business has created a lot of problems. People hate paperwork because of these problems. A lot of time is wasted chasing paper, picking up paper from where it was left and dealing with lost paper.

To tackle this issue, businesses use document imaging and turn paper into an electronic format. This document then travels through email or file shares to reach different people and systems.

This approach is a step forward from physical paper but, it actually creates additional issues. All we have now is an electronic version (or versions) of the paper. Continue reading “Why Capture enabling your business is Critical?”

K2 Five 5.2 is out!

K2 has released K2 Five 5.2, with a focus on making it even easier to build business solutions. Many new features have been added to every part of the K2 platform.

Special Notice to all Australia & New Zealand based K2 Customers.

Are you worried about having to carry the burden of this upgrade on your shoulders? Don’t worry. PowerToolz is here to help you. You can save on expensive consulting fees, avoid the pain of manual conversion and reduce the risk of things breaking after the upgrade.

We are offering a free upgrade assessment and special pricing on PowerToolz for K2 customers based in Australia and New Zealand. Contact us for a fixed price upgrade to K2 Five 5.2 (Offer ends 30 March 2019).

Also, take a look at our globally available K2 Assistance packages.

K2’s recent partnership with UiPath brings a new integration option to K2 with this release allowing customers to kick off Robotic Automation actions in UiPath from K2.

You can Download K2 Five 5.2 from the customer portal now.

jeylabs will be releasing updated versions of our
PowerToolz suite to fully support K2 Five 5.2 shortly.

PowerToolz 5.2 has been released with full support for K2 Five 5.2. PowerToolz Express will follow suit.

Here is a list of newly added K2 Five 5.2 features caught our attention:

K2 Designer
Save Form as a Draft
: When working with forms on your mobile device, you may need to save your work as a draft to resume later or work on the form while you’re are offline. A new SmartForm event, called Submit, allows you to submit instead of saving a form. When submitted, the form goes to the Outbox.
Server side rule execution: Use server-side rules in SmartForms to improve the performance and experience on load. Additional actions and conditions are available in the server-side rule execution.

K2 Workflow Designer
Conditional Start Rule
: This rule allows you to specify conditions under which K2 workflows are started. You’re able to create simple or complex rules to determine whether or not the workflow should start. When using a conditional start, if the conditions aren’t met, the workflow instance is not created and the workflow doesn’t run. This allows you to approach workflow design in a new way. Instead of having a workflow with the complicated logic that determines which path to take, or which sub-workflow to call, you can simply add a condition at the beginning of the workflow that only runs when the start conditions are met. For example, you want a workflow to start on the initial check-in of a SharePoint document and not on subsequent check-ins, and configuring a conditional start rule is the perfect solution.
Warning Badge on Start Step: The latest SmartAssist functionality prevents you from accidentally deploying a workflow when there is no form or event configured to start it.
Call Sub Workflow: Often a single item of work results in multiple tasks, for example, when an order request requires each line item to go through a separate review process before the order can be approved. This is now possible by starting multiple workflows from a parent workflow, where you can configure the parent workflow to wait for the sub workflows to complete before continuing, or you can set the parent workflow to continue after starting the sub workflows.

Workspace
Application Forms: 
previously, you needed to mark a form as an Application Form and store the form in the Apps category for it to appear in the My Forms section in K2 Workspace. Now you only need to flag the form as an Application Form for it to appear in K2 Workspace.

K2 Management
Runaway Workflows: 
You can create a workflow policy in K2 Management to prevent workflows from starting a loop or recursively starting themselves in an uncontrolled manner, preventing performance degradation or system outages.
View Flow – click to reports: provides deeper visibility into processes with the View Flow click to reports enhancement. In the ViewFlow you can click a step which opens detailed reporting of that step in a new browser tab

K2 Package & Deployment
Deployment Validation: 
When deploying SharePoint packages to another SharePoint list, library, or site, in the past you had to ensure that your list and libraries were identical. If they differed slightly by having, for example, an additional column, you could not deploy. This caused issues when deploying to lists or libraries containing additional columns/properties (sometimes even hidden), compared to the source list or library. The validation check on deployment is now less strict, making it possible to deploy K2 packages between environments. You can now deploy solutions to a list or library with more properties than the source list, but keep in mind that any extra columns in the target SharePoint list or library are ignored when the columns used by the solution are found.

Deployment Logging: Deployment logging helps to troubleshoot or track K2 packages that have been deployed into an environment. This feature provides summaries of deployed packages and displays information such as the deployment date, status, duration and whether the package was analysed or not.

jeylabs Team was in Bangkok recently showcasing our PowerToolz for K2 suite of products to K2 customers and partners. We are excited about the K2 Five 5.2 release and our tooling is here to help you move to K2 Five with confidence and ease.

Whether you are looking to setup automated regression test suites to ensure that your critical business apps continue to work as intended or you need help with converting workflows to the new K2 Five format or to You want to understand what your K2 environment actually looks like, our suite of tools are tailor made to help you just do that and achieve more from your K2 investments.

Our products are backed by our K2 centres of excellence. Check out our K2 assistance packages and reach out to us if you need any help at all with your K2 environment.

The Importance of Updating Enterprise Software

At jEyLaBs, we strongly feel that the update and upgrade cycles are essential to see the best performance and optimal user experience of your software platform investments.

Typically, when an update or full upgrade is applied, the following are addressed:

Security Vulnerabilities
First and foremost, updates will keep you safe from known security holes, not always in the product but maybe in the frameworks utilised or the Server operating system that the software runs on.

Better Functionality
Updating your software will frequently provide enhanced capabilities, improved user experience and improvements to the underlying architecture of the software bringing improvements in the efficiency of OS resource usage and consequently improvements in speed and response times.

Squashing Bugs
When you begin using a brand-new installation of a piece of software, you gain the highest level of functionality available at that time. As the vendor continues the development of the software and users ask for more enhancements or uncover “undocumented features”, the validity of updates and upgrades come into play, fixing bugs, enhancing features and providing more efficient software.

At jEyLaBs, we work with K2 a lot.  It is important that the K2 update and upgrade cycles are reviewed with a keen eye. It is essential to get the best performance and optimal user experience from your K2 financial outlays.

Over the weekend you would have recieved a notification from K2, “Customer Bulletin: Code Fix Support End Date Information”. This reminds us the importance of keeping our software platforms up to date.

The latest version of K2 blackpearl and Smartforms – K2 4.7 – has a considerable number of enhancements and reasons for tou to upgrade, some of which we’ve listed below:

  1. SmartForms Application Lifecycle Management improvements, including the ability to identify and address any dependency issues in the designer
  2. SmartForms client event enhancements and Many new and enhanced controls
  3. Package by Reference in P&D tool and New Workspace
  4. K2 4.7, the upgrade mandates a consolidated K2 database.
  5. As per K2 policy, K2 4.5 is now no longer supported.
  6. Database consolidation is now a mandatory requirement.
  7. Support for K2 4.6.10 will cease in June 2017.
  8. Support for K2 4.6.11 will cease in September 2017.
  9. K2 has moved to a new Cumulative update strategy for K2 4.7 patches
  10. K2 is dropping support for older operating systems, databases, frameworks, etc. The installer will not allow you to install K2 4.7 unless you are on a supported OS, .NET framework and using a recent SQL server release.

The following are some key links for you to review:

  1. K2 4.7 Release Notes
  2. K2 4.7 Support Matrix
  3. K2 4.7 Third Party Support

We are able to offer you some incredible offers to assist with keeping your K2 up to date. Contact us via k2update@jeylabs.com for more information.

Why Automate?

I was reading an article on working hard versus working smart yesterday. There were two professionals doing their daily work and it pointed out how vastly different the outcomes were for them and their organisations.

We all want to be smart and want to work smart. Nobody sets out to do things the hard way. But what is important is how we actually end up doing what we wanted to do and whether and how we achieve them.

Most of us don’t really reflect on how our days are being expended or invested towards our goals.

Businesses have a mandate to be efficient and become more efficient as time goes by for the benefit of their customers, share holders, employees and partners.

Critical analysis of business practice and processes has to be conducted regularly to ensure this mandate is carried out. Self-reflection is important and follow up actions need to be carried out to optimise or focus on the right areas. This is a crucial aspect of governance.

Automating business processes is the way for organisations to have systems in place to support these governance activities.

Process automation gives you control, systemises paper and aids with visibility and transparency.

Working smart is about being systemised. Being disciplined. Are you automating or are you working hard? Contact sales@jeylabs.com.au for a chat.

K2 blackpoint and SharePoint Designer based workflows

Recently, my team has been working on a SharePoint project. As part of the brief we also have to fixup a few workflows that are behaving badly. We looked at the problem and it was a list that had couple of SharePoint designer based workflows attached for doing item updates and email notifications based on changes happening to the list items. One might think SPD can do it easily but, oh no, the requirement was to do date based checks on a regular basis along with reacting to the updates made to the list items. This needed time based loop and Date based calculations and other computations.

The guys spent ~two days trying to get this going and finally gave up. I think I can do this with blackpoint in couple of hours. Lesson: Choose the right tool for the right job. Just because it is free, dont kill yourself using it. Hope this is useful. Let me know if you had a similar or better experience with tools.

K2 [Smart]s…continued…

I really like smart objects 🙂 For a K2.NET 2003 user the benefits of smart objects will be obvious in one key area – keeping business data in one place! Keeping business data separate to the process! The SmartBox datastore provided by blackpearl neatly stores all your smartobject data in there (if you choose to use it). It keeps all the reference information in there as well so that your other bits of information that comes from external systems and other smartobjects can be linked to provide the rich set of information you required.

Blackpearl ships a bunch of Continue reading “K2 [Smart]s…continued…”