Swift Software’s original plan for upgrading JobTraQ X5 customers to X6 and the new visual workflow system was to automatically convert the existing workflow rules into single step processes in the new system. But because each X5 workflow rule was independent, there was no way to create a visual version of the system-wide process that those rules represented.

Customers who previewed the new visual workflow designer asked us why we wanted to automatically upgrade their old workflow rules into mini-processes instead of allowing them to use the new system as an opportunity to clean up and streamline their current systems into a few well-designed and powerful workflow processes.

We got this feedback so consistently that we realized we were going about this the wrong way. So, we stopped, listened, thought, and adapted: just what you would expect from the JobTraQ software team. The new plan, which is now well under way, is to run the legacy X5 workflow engine in parallel with the new X6 workflow engine and visual design system.

This requires JobTraQ admins to set aside some time to migrate their workflow rules into visual processes, but it provides a clean transition with complete control. The result is an easy-to-understand final process implementation that can take advantage of the full power of JobTraQ’s new workflow system. And because the new visual workflow designer is so much faster and easier to use, the reimplementation work will take much less time than managing the hundreds of separate workflow rules that some of our customers deal with today. You can find a detailed tutorial with best practices for the conversion process here.

The X5 workflow engine will remain available in all JobTraQ X6 releases through at least the end of 2013. This plan will give our existing customers a very simple and stable way to migrate their workflows from the X5 format to the new X6 format as they see fit.

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