Background

Getting computers to do what we want is a hard process. Most people rely on off-the-shelf-software that often does what others want, but only superficially what we're after. The net result is that we waste a lot of time trying to manipulate this software to work for us, and often end up performing the hard bits manually, even on paper, and then additional time trying to integrate that process with the software product.

Applications such as Microsoft Excel help tremendously, because they allow us to create simple software applications without the need for complex programming. But spreadsheets are not really applications, and the model adopted by spreadsheets doesn't scale too well, and so as the spreadsheet grows, so does its complexity. As it becomes more complex, it becomes dramatically less manageable until, more often than not, we just give up and go back to working on paper.

Larger companies have the luxury of employing computer programmers to create custom software that is tailored precisely to their requirements. Yet even this is not a panacea: the development of the software proves to be expensive, the maintenance of the software even more expensive, and the quality never quite matches that of commercial software. Features that we come to expect in software, such as the clipboard, the undo button, help pages, security and so on – these are all very difficult, and very expensive, to implement in custom software. And so, more often than not, they're missing. The result is sub-par quality, a sub-par experience and frustrated users.

What's more, with no single system that is capable of satisfying all of these requirements, we instead end up with a multitude of software systems that each work differently, each require different training and each require significant (and constant) manual intervention to integrate.

This may paint quite a dismal picture of the software industry today, but it goes to show the great opportunity that remains: software has the potential to touch and transform every aspect of our business if we could just remove these hurdles by providing better tools.

This is exactly the position that WorkflowFirst seeks to take. By providing an end-to-end tool that lets ordinary business users have a role in creating the software that they use, we effectively remove the obstacles that normally make software such a frustrating and inefficient solution. WorkflowFirst provides all of the functionality that is needed to create easy to use, robust, flexible, secure and scalable business applications, with very little effort in next to no time.


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