Awhile back I was working with a company that was interested in a more robust workflow design experience compared to what was available OOB with MOSS 2007. We decided to give BlueSpring Software a shot since, at the time, they were one of very few companies that claimed to have tight integration with MOSS 2007 (this was before MOSS RTM’ed). The list price on their Business Process Management software was $120,000 at the time but we were able to haggle them down to the mid-$30k’s which should have been a sign of things to come.

The feature set demos for the software package were quite impressive, it basically did just about anything you could want from automating tax forms to making you breakfast… well almost.

After sending off some paperwork, we were provided with a link to download the software bits and a LiveMeeting appointment with their technical support to walk us through the installation. The support wasn’t bad, but here’s where the fun began.

  • The installation took almost 1 hour to install with live hand-holding from tech support – no joke.
  • The software literally didn’t work out of the box after installation.
  • Many things had to be manually edited (web.config files, xml files) to get it up and running for a clean MOSS 2007 Box. 
  •  There were too many components (BPMweb, BPMdesigner, and others).
  • We spent nearly a week trying to get all the documented ‘Features’ of the BPM Suite to work after which I just gave up on their software.
  •  No web based Workflow authoring tools – had to use an installed client software.
  • User interface and Design reminded me of Windows 98.

I’m sure BlueSpring Software’s a wonderful Business Process Management tool for non-SharePoint environments but it extracts no value from any pre-existing SharePoint investments your business has already made. Next time I’ll do a write-up on one company that has built their workflow product specifically as a SharePoint Solution in which you can graphically design processes from right within your SharePoint sites!

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