Iceberg – other thoughts

I’ve mentioned in previous posts (1, 2, 3, 4) that I’ve been having a small play with Iceberg, the workflow automation system from Fractis.

Their tagline is “Build Workflow Powered Applications Without Coding”, an appealing concept to many. So how well do I think they have achieved it?

In terms of relatively straightforward applications, the platform is certainly capable of a fast development of data, forms and processes, as evidenced by the growing list of sample applications, and for many cases, especially in smaller businesses, or small teams, that may be enough to get some real benefit. In this area it is particularly interesting that they now have a hosted offering too.

For larger businesses or more complex processes there are still some things I would like to see them do:

  • I’d like to see the web services integration completed – at present Iceberg can consume web services but the ability to expose your workflow to other applications as a web service has not been released.
  • The ability to create new dashboard controls (if necessary by programming)
  • Some consideration of deployment issues – it’s great to be able to iteratively tune an Iceberg application, and in a small enough team it might be possible to do that “on the fly”. But in a larger group it’s important to manage the transition through test into live. I’m sure there are ways to address this at a database level, but if you have the skills in your organisation to do this, how much do you want to be locked into a platform?

Considering that the platform has only been around a few months, I think what they have done is impressive – I’ll be watching to see how it progresses.

Proactive application of technology to business

My interests include technology, personal knowledge management, social change