General Workflow Questions

Hi all,

I am new to webMethods Workflow 6.0.1, and have a few basic questions:

  1. I know WF can integrate with LDAP, but what about Active Directory? Any others?

  2. Do WF Participants (e.g. end users) need the Workflow Designer installed on their desktops to access the Inbox? We could potentially have well over a hundred end-users, and we’d like to avoid having to install the heavy WF Client on all of their computers. Is it possible to access the Inbox and other end-user functionality from a web browser?

  3. Can we create standalone Workflows, outside of webMethods? For example, we may have some projects here that aren’t using the webMethods platform, but still have some Workflow requirements. Could these non-webMethods project still effectively utilize wM WF? Does the WF server have to attach to a Broker?

  4. Based on experience, are there compelling reasons to develop on WF 6.1 over 6.0.1?

All responses, advice, opinions are welcome. Thanks.


Welcome to WM Users! I’d encourage you to register and to visit often.

Since Active Directory is LDAP-compliant, you should be able to integrate with it as with any other LDAP directory provider. See the “Workflow LDAP Authentication Plug-in for Example” in the Advantage Workflow SIG for details on how to integrate workflow with LDAP.

I think you would just update the ldap.prop file to point to your AD server. You might take a look at Active Directory LDAP Compliance for more details.

Workflow end users do not need workflow designer on their workstations. However, if you plan to use the thick client inbox and thick client task panels the users will need the workflow client installed. When they login they will be taken directly to the inbox and will not see the menu bar that contains the users, designer, administrator and monitor tools. If you will be using thin-client (HTML) inboxes and task panels, then the users do not need anything on their workstations other than a browser.

Workflow requires webMethods broker to be able to initiate workflows from Modeler or other Broker clients such as Integration Server. You also need Broker to import publishable document types to be used in your workflows. I do not think you could complete the installation without specifying a valid Broker.

I don’t have experience with WF 6.01. The Advantage Workflow SIG contains links to the Workflow release notes and and enhancements and fixes document. A quick summary is “New features of webMethods Workflow 6.1 include improved security, improved design and runtime usability, and expanded administrative control capabilities. In addition, webMethods Workflow runs on JVM 1.4 for faster performance and improved appearance.” Judging from the sheer number of fixes and enhancements, I would certainly attempt to use 6.1 rather than 6.01 if at all possible.



Thanks for the quick and thorough response. Just to clarify: An end-user can still access their WF inbox via a web browser, without having to install the thick-client?


Yes, if you have designed your workflow’s task panels as thin-client HTML pages. The workflow tutorial, available on Advantage, contains a section on doing this. Users login to their inbox using the WfServlet which by default is hosted in the Integration Server’s Tomcat instance, but which can be hosted in other servlet containers as well.

You can customize the default HTML inbox or have it appear as part of a portlet in a webMethods Portal. An example of the former is also, you guessed it, available on webMethods Advantage.