Workflow Designer - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Workflow Designer

CNET Editors' review

Anyone who works understands workflow as an intuitive concept, but analyzing, modeling, and designing workflow processes is another thing. Workflow Designer is a freeware workflow application that does much more than map out processes and procedures: it serves as a centralized access point for the data and graphics tools you need to create everything from drawings of simple processes to elaborate mind maps and process diagrams. The optional cloud-based Workflow Connect system gives users access to a wide range of modules to expand their capabilities on demand without committing to unneeded tools.

Workflow Designer opened with an optional tool tip, the first of which explained the advantages of subscribing to Workflow Connect. We continued on to the main interface, which opened with a start page offering many choices. We could jump right in and create or open a Workflow or access a variety of Help and Setup options, Hints and Tips, Web sites, and other resources. The program's layout resembles a lot of graphics editors and word processors we've seen, with a top toolbar and a left-side palette of graphics tools, shapes, connectors, and other program-specific objects. We started with a new Workflow, which involved selecting the Standard Template, though we could create as many templates as we needed and add them to the selection tool or browse to any folder of templates, including imported data. The basic workflow diagram resembles a racetrack in a nine-point field. An optional, expandable right-side panel featured tabs displaying Workflow Details, Purpose and Scope, Revision History, and more, with a series of handy icons on the bottom. The program's Quick Draw tool made switching between tools, modes, and settings easy, with Step Details displayed on the right. We could also quickly access Tasks, Files, and a Jump feature from the right-side panel.

Workflow Designer is a capable tool that requires some familiarity not only with its features but also its concepts to get the most out of it. While anyone who has used Photoshop, CAD, or plotting tools will be familiar with Workflow Designer's basic operation and graphics tools, it's helpful to be familiar with process maps before you try to create one. For those who can make use of this powerful freeware, it's obviously highly recommended.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews

Results 1-2 of 2

  • 4.0 stars

    "Workflow does a great job on simple work flow diagrams."

    June 20, 2013  |   By Okie-Ron

    Version: Workflow Designer 5.1

    Pros

    The program is wonderful at doing flat flow charting.

    Cons

    The program is a little hard to get used to but is not to bad once learned. The printing leaves a little bit to be desired, break points would be nice.

    Summary

    For the price of the software it is a very good program for doing simple flow charting projects.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Design, document, report"

    July 3, 2012  |   By flingebunt

    Version: Workflow Designer 4.02

    Pros

    Workflow Designer combines workflow charts (or processes or flow charts as my colleagues call them) with documents so that I can add in or link to complete documentation for the chart that I have created.

    The best feature, for me anyway, is the reports. At a touch of a button (well a menu and a few buttons anyway) I can automatically generate a report including the workflow chart and associated documentation.

    Cons

    Lacks few of the more advanced features for making your workflow more pretty, like you might see in something like SmartDraw, but has a lot more other features, in particular documentation, linked documents and reports.

    Summary

    Basically you can use the diagramming tools to create a chart of your business processes. These charts appear to be fully customizable but I have to admit I haven't gone into all the features because creating basic charts is so easy you don't need to play around with too many features to achieve your goals.

    You can then add documentation to each step in your workflow chart. We had many policy and procedure documents stored in a very disorganised manner. Now they are all linked to workflows making it easy to find the right document at the right time.

    The reporting features are really nice. Management (in their wisdom) decided to conduct a surprise organisation safety audit last week. I was able to create a report that outlined all of our documentation directly from Workflow Designer. In fact I was the only one in the meeting who could produce all my documents. Needless to say other departments are planning to also start using Workflow Designer. This is great because we can configure Workflow Designer easily for multiple users.

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