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Novell's new tool maps workflow

WorkFlow Professional allows companies to create, manage, and store information about business processes, which can then be managed through the GroupWise interface.

    Novell (NOVL) today rolled out the next version of its GroupWise Workflow automation tool for its groupware applications suite.

    WorkFlow Professional allows companies to create, manage, and store information about business processes, which can then be managed through the GroupWise interface. GroupWise is Novell's groupware package.

    When integrated with GroupWise 5.2, WorkFlow Professional lets users visualize the productivity of the suite and charts workflow. Users place icons on the workflow canvas and draw arrows to assign steps in the workflow to their coworkers. They can also include instructions on completing tasks. Workflow messages are received by users through the GroupWise Universal Mailbox when it is time for their steps to be completed.

    "It maps out your business process," WorkFlow product manager Rob Steele said. "When a user is designing the workflow process, it's kind of like using Etch A Sketch when you were a kid. You draw out the objects and connect the dots."

    Steele said it gives the user control over what otherwise is a poorly defined business process and shortens many time-consuming steps.

    WorkFlow Professional is being integrated with GroupWise 5.2 by FileNet under a partnership with Novell to develop workflow tools for GroupWise customers.

    The new tool is priced at $149 per user when purchased alone or $69 per user over the retail price of GroupWise when purchased together.