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K2 blackpearl is a business process application enabling people to build and run business applications, including forms, workflow, data and reports.https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/product-logos/zj/91/E44FJP3ZT2QX.JPEGClimb to the top of K2!We used it across the business, however, it was a sales team and a marketing team that used the K2 platform the most.,Integration with crucial, third-party systems - made it all work even more smoothly. Automating our workflow and processes. Saving time and manpower!,Some tutorials for beginners - one-minute demos may not be enough Better adjusted pricing.,8,Avoiding hiring some new people let us save some money Better delivery of particular projects,SharePoint Designer,Canva, Evernote, Wunderlist, Asana, Trello, Facebook for Business, Twitter Ads, LinkedIn Publishing PlatformOne Process Automation Platform To Rule Them AllK2 is used by a couple of departments within our organization. We have been using K2's technology to replace workaround systems developed by our business technology teams. K2 fits the need by providing business technologists the ability to quickly create process applications that scale to department level and beyond.,Extremely thorough documentation provides quick paths to self-enablement. Forget BPM consulting vendors that charge you the premium for that secret sauce knowledge required to run their products. K2 is very transparent about their technology. K2 recognizes the fact that Digital Transformation can be a grass roots approach, growing from small projects into larger programs and their licensing model supports such scenarios. Compared to other top-tier vendors from the Forrester and Gartner reports, K2's pricing model is based on solid footing. Their Customer Success team will help you remove roadblocks so common with software implementations. The company stands behind the product. K2 infrastructure has been very reliable so far. Sure, you will run into occasional bugs here and those will require attention, however, the whole platform is designed very well. K2 hosted on Microsoft Azure offers the best of both worlds mix of scalability and feature rich, technical sophistication. Any gaps in product monitoring can be offset through Azure out of the box tools. K2 Sales and Professional Services teams are professional, pleasant to work with, helpful and lack huge egos so often found at other vendors. Quick innovation and constant feedback loop - K2 releases frequent fix packs enhancing their platform very frequently. They listen to their customers. Mature training paths for Citizen Developers and DevOps Pros. Let's face it, the reason why you are rolling out Digital Process Automation is to bring value to your organization vs. drive profits of consulting companies that offer delivery services. K2 offers quick ramp up via multiple training courses that can be tailored to your organization needs. Some training is available online at no charge for folks interested in the self-study model.,Platform health monitoring doesn't exist outside a couple of log files and process execution dashboards. You will need to look for other tools to compensate for this. Azure telemetry fits the gap, there are other 3rd party solutions that can support this need. K2 user community is fragmented and the company doesn't invest a lot of effort into community building activities outside of occasional events that support major releases or smaller user groups. Compared to other DPA platforms the number of job opportunities is still much smaller. There are pockets of hiring activity associated with Sharepoint. K2 fills the void not addressed by Microsoft technologies, however the Microsoft ecosystem for Digital Process Automation is very confusing. Microsoft Flow, Nintex, K2, Business Application Platform, AuraPortal and Sharepoint tend to compete for the same market. K2 is the most sophisticated platform out of those all solutions but because of confusing marketing messages from all vendors it's hard to see at time how they are different from the rest of the pack. Deployment process leaves room for improvement i.e. needs more automation capabilities. The partner ecosystem is filled with smaller companies that specialize in many Microsoft products and sometimes that confuses the positioning of K2. You need to know what to ask for in order to get the maximum value vs. expect to be guided. Not all small partners approach teaching and enablement as a priority.,9,Relatively quick implementation of two major projects with a minimum involvement of third-party consultants and specialists. We enrolled occasional help when designing our infrastructure stack. High level of satisfaction among application users. Helps generate positive vibe about the digital process automation program within the company.,Pega Platform, Appian, camunda BPM and Alfresco Activiti,Azure SQL Database, Microsoft Azure,,6,Replace business developed workarounds in technologies that don't scale and provide transparency into work in progress Business-driven app development Increase business agility and improve employee satisfaction,Yes,Price Product Features Product Usability Analyst Reports,One of the leading vendors in the evaluation overstated the willingness to negotiate terms of the final agreement and attempted to inflate the business value of process automation to make their product pricing look more favorable. Next time I'd ask for quotes a lot sooner and red flag vendors that are not transparent about the pricing model. We wasted a few weeks of precious time.Process Automation with K2We use K2 to rapidly develop software solutions to automate our business process across the organization. These solutions are developed for specific teams as well as enterprise wide. We are able to develop solutions in a much more rapid time frame then if they were written in .Net from scratch. The built in workflow engine alone saves tons of development time. This engine can also be incorporated into applications written in house that had a basic workflow engine in it. This quickly gave us an in depth workflow engine quickly.,They offer free pre-built solutions for common issues facing many companies. These are great to quickly get an application up and running and also a quick way to learn from an existing application how everything in K2 functions and works together. Their workflow engine is robust and really helps streamline the development process. Developing process automation solutions is very streamlined with the workflow engine. Their integration with SharePoint is an awesome way for companies to extend on their existing SharePoint solutions and sites with a true application development environment complete with workflow engine.,It is very difficult to find/hire K2 talent to build up a development team. Without Resources, it is hard for K2 to succeed in an organization. The learning curve to digest all that K2 has to offer and development methodology is very steep. This steep learning curve makes getting a development team using K2 a slow process. K2 can be buggy which causes issues which are harder to resolve then when using a standard development environment such as .Net or Java. It is arguable whether hiring some really good object oriented .Net developers would be more productive than investing in K2 considering the money saved could pay for some really top of the line developers. Especially considering .Net developers are much easier to find than K2 developers.,7,Our team of 20 loan officers could be reduced to 2 once our automated process was put into place that completely streamlined their processes. One team had to work across 5 different applications and K2 brought data from all of them into one place where it could all be seen in one place. This streamlined their process and reduced opportunity for errors.,Nintex Workflow Platform,MS SharePoint, ServiceNow, Informatica Cloud Data IntegrationK2 blackpearl reviewIt was used as our workflow engine incorporated with InfoPath forms on SharePoint 2007 Standard across the organization.,Very intricate and detailed workflow solution Great compatibility with multiple platforms Versatile,Reduce complexity More free training available Reduce cost and simplify program,4,Prior to me being on the team, the person I replaced was able to convert many paper form processes into InfoPath/K2 electronic solutions. This was successful at the time and increased employee efficiency.,Infowise, Turbo, Sharepoint Designer and Nintex Workflow,10,NoK2 needs some serious work in terms of UI and architecture design. Would not recommend.It is being used across the entire organisation for a client of mine,It is a solid enterprise workflow engine and pretty much does what it says on the box The forms solution is good, but hardly great,The UI is horrific The SharePoint integration is poor from a development point of view,1,It has been positive in terms of reducing manual business processes,Nintex Forms and Nintex Workflow,Nintex Workflow, Nintex Forms, SharePoint Designer, Visual Studio.NET
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K2
39 Ratings
Score 7.4 out of 101
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K2 Reviews

K2
39 Ratings
Score 7.4 out of 101
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Kinga Odziemek profile photo
February 07, 2018

User Review: "Climb to the top of K2!"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We used it across the business, however, it was a sales team and a marketing team that used the K2 platform the most.
  • Integration with crucial, third-party systems - made it all work even more smoothly.
  • Automating our workflow and processes.
  • Saving time and manpower!
  • Some tutorials for beginners - one-minute demos may not be enough
  • Better adjusted pricing.
A great platform for those having problems with optimization of processes, workflow, automation and deadlines. K2 boosted our productivity and allowed us to save some precious time on processes that took too much [time].
Read Kinga Odziemek's full review
No photo available
April 26, 2018

K2 Review: "One Process Automation Platform To Rule Them All"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
K2 is used by a couple of departments within our organization. We have been using K2's technology to replace workaround systems developed by our business technology teams. K2 fits the need by providing business technologists the ability to quickly create process applications that scale to department level and beyond.
  • Extremely thorough documentation provides quick paths to self-enablement. Forget BPM consulting vendors that charge you the premium for that secret sauce knowledge required to run their products. K2 is very transparent about their technology.
  • K2 recognizes the fact that Digital Transformation can be a grass roots approach, growing from small projects into larger programs and their licensing model supports such scenarios. Compared to other top-tier vendors from the Forrester and Gartner reports, K2's pricing model is based on solid footing. Their Customer Success team will help you remove roadblocks so common with software implementations. The company stands behind the product.
  • K2 infrastructure has been very reliable so far. Sure, you will run into occasional bugs here and those will require attention, however, the whole platform is designed very well. K2 hosted on Microsoft Azure offers the best of both worlds mix of scalability and feature rich, technical sophistication. Any gaps in product monitoring can be offset through Azure out of the box tools.
  • K2 Sales and Professional Services teams are professional, pleasant to work with, helpful and lack huge egos so often found at other vendors.
  • Quick innovation and constant feedback loop - K2 releases frequent fix packs enhancing their platform very frequently. They listen to their customers.
  • Mature training paths for Citizen Developers and DevOps Pros. Let's face it, the reason why you are rolling out Digital Process Automation is to bring value to your organization vs. drive profits of consulting companies that offer delivery services. K2 offers quick ramp up via multiple training courses that can be tailored to your organization needs. Some training is available online at no charge for folks interested in the self-study model.
  • Platform health monitoring doesn't exist outside a couple of log files and process execution dashboards. You will need to look for other tools to compensate for this. Azure telemetry fits the gap, there are other 3rd party solutions that can support this need.
  • K2 user community is fragmented and the company doesn't invest a lot of effort into community building activities outside of occasional events that support major releases or smaller user groups.
  • Compared to other DPA platforms the number of job opportunities is still much smaller. There are pockets of hiring activity associated with Sharepoint.
  • K2 fills the void not addressed by Microsoft technologies, however the Microsoft ecosystem for Digital Process Automation is very confusing. Microsoft Flow, Nintex, K2, Business Application Platform, AuraPortal and Sharepoint tend to compete for the same market. K2 is the most sophisticated platform out of those all solutions but because of confusing marketing messages from all vendors it's hard to see at time how they are different from the rest of the pack.
  • Deployment process leaves room for improvement i.e. needs more automation capabilities.
  • The partner ecosystem is filled with smaller companies that specialize in many Microsoft products and sometimes that confuses the positioning of K2. You need to know what to ask for in order to get the maximum value vs. expect to be guided. Not all small partners approach teaching and enablement as a priority.
Not well suited for:
- automation of knowledge work (Adaptive/Dynamic Case Management);
- use cases requiring application of very advanced business rules. There is a third party business rules engine that works well with K2 though;
- Java engineers- wanna-be-BPM consultants - K2 is best suited for Business Technologists aka Citizen Developers;
- outsourcing based delivery model - you need to train your onshore people;
- teams and companies that don't want to learn on their own. if you want to outsource your DPA program to a foreign based IT services provider, pick a different vendor;

Well suited for:
- 60-70% of all digital process automation uses cases you will find in your organization;
- department and enterprise-grade process automation applications;
- Citizen Developer adoption;
- integration intensive use cases;
- software teams not afraid to extend K2 with their own code through well-documented APIs;
Read this authenticated review
No photo available
February 06, 2018

User Review: "Process Automation with K2"

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use K2 to rapidly develop software solutions to automate our business process across the organization. These solutions are developed for specific teams as well as enterprise wide. We are able to develop solutions in a much more rapid time frame then if they were written in .Net from scratch. The built in workflow engine alone saves tons of development time. This engine can also be incorporated into applications written in house that had a basic workflow engine in it. This quickly gave us an in depth workflow engine quickly.
  • They offer free pre-built solutions for common issues facing many companies. These are great to quickly get an application up and running and also a quick way to learn from an existing application how everything in K2 functions and works together.
  • Their workflow engine is robust and really helps streamline the development process. Developing process automation solutions is very streamlined with the workflow engine.
  • Their integration with SharePoint is an awesome way for companies to extend on their existing SharePoint solutions and sites with a true application development environment complete with workflow engine.
  • It is very difficult to find/hire K2 talent to build up a development team. Without Resources, it is hard for K2 to succeed in an organization.
  • The learning curve to digest all that K2 has to offer and development methodology is very steep. This steep learning curve makes getting a development team using K2 a slow process.
  • K2 can be buggy which causes issues which are harder to resolve then when using a standard development environment such as .Net or Java.
  • It is arguable whether hiring some really good object oriented .Net developers would be more productive than investing in K2 considering the money saved could pay for some really top of the line developers. Especially considering .Net developers are much easier to find than K2 developers.
K2 is well suited for building applications around process improvement where the workflow engine can come into play. The workflow engine can quickly build many process automation tasks without writing much code at all. Managing workflows in the production environment are also very nice as where the workflows are at in the process are tracked and are easily re-started. Integration with SharePoint is also valuable if an organization has a deep use of SharePoint. This allowed us to quickly leverage existing SharePoint lists and sites already developed without starting completely over.
Read this authenticated review
Kristen Roskob profile photo
March 13, 2017

"K2 blackpearl review"

Score 4 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
It was used as our workflow engine incorporated with InfoPath forms on SharePoint 2007 Standard across the organization.
  • Very intricate and detailed workflow solution
  • Great compatibility with multiple platforms
  • Versatile
  • Reduce complexity
  • More free training available
  • Reduce cost and simplify program
K2 blackpearl is appropriate if the user is familiar with building Visio diagrams, or versed in Visual Studio with multiple processes needing to be done at once.
Read Kristen Roskob's full review
Paul Keys profile photo
September 07, 2016

Review: "K2 needs some serious work in terms of UI and architecture design. Would not recommend."

Score 1 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
It is being used across the entire organisation for a client of mine
  • It is a solid enterprise workflow engine and pretty much does what it says on the box
  • The forms solution is good, but hardly great
  • The UI is horrific
  • The SharePoint integration is poor from a development point of view
It is well suited when being used outside of SharePoint by custom applications or when all you are looking for is Forms and workflows. As a SharePoint embedded workflow engine it has a long way to go to compete with the likes of Nintex
Read Paul Keys's full review
Brent Heezen profile photo
May 25, 2016

User Review: "K2 or Not to K2?"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
K2 Blackpearl is being used in multiple segments of our organization and is used in various types of engagement models and architectures. Its use is two-fold - in one scenario, K2 Blackpearl is leveraged through its use of SmartObjects to orchestrate manual-centric workflows for integrating business segments with custom in-house host systems for interoperability. In another scenario, K2 Blackpearl SmartForms are used to implement a smaller, isolated work process for a specific business segment/need leveraging SmartBox.
  • K2 BlackPearl provides better versioning of processes than other BPM products I have used. Because of the feature-rich capabilities available being built on the MS Workflow framework, you can ultimately reach the level of code customization you need - but also leverage the tooling and code automating features of K2.
  • Its level of extensibility is fantastic. To say it is extensible and interoperable means a lot, because a lot of products SAY you can extend a feature, but it requires ripping out the kitchen of the house. K2 Blackpearl doesn't require kitchen replacement... you can upgrade the sink, replace the cabinetry, and extend pretty much everything. I have not run into a situation in the 6 years of using the product that I could NOT customize/extend a capability.
  • K2 Blackpearl's physical architecture options are plentiful. If you understand the product components and the granularity of the specific business need, you can provide an accurate blueprint installation of the product initially, and adapt or scale the product capabilities with relative ease via configuration and distributed options. They even offer training on physical infrastructure deployments if you are concerned about future use or growth.
  • Because it can be used as an integration platform, debugging and problem resolution can be cumbersome. If there was a way to spin up an environment isolated to a local sandbox it would be hugely beneficial vs. a full blown development or quality assurance environment.
  • Features to support complex form building capabilities are not as advanced as other BPM products. Something to consider when evaluating your business use case.
  • Because the platform is rather large, when trying to get support for a specific issue, it can take some additional clarification and patience with support in getting the correct skilled resource to help you with your problem.
Just like any product, you need to make sure the product is solving the business use case and is the appropriate solution to the problem. K2 Blackpearl is for manual-centric workflows where work items are assigned to individuals (not queues) and immediate response on a work item assignment should not be guaranteed. It is not a form-based workflow or a synchronous work process - it needs to be used to manage the work of individuals on a per-work item basis when inventory, visibility, traceability/auditing, and system interoperability is required. For Smart Forms, like any forms modeling tools, the Data Capture and Presentation needs to be a concise, simple, and relatively basic validation. Like any Forms Automation tools or Forms Modeling tools, when you need to start verifying your claim number to a source of truth, your invoice to an invoicing system, and the complexity increases, you need to be smart with the product chosen and think through vision/strategy on how long the life span of your application is vs. the amount of build time to build.
Read Brent Heezen's full review
Ajay Mandke profile photo
September 15, 2015

Review: "K2 Blackpearl - Pros and cons in a nutshell"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
K2 BlackPearl provides a robust enterprise level workflow platform and we are using K2 BlackPearl to automate business processes within the organization. Some of the business processes are small and specific to group or department (such as vacation approval) but some processes involve users from multiple departments and involve field workers. Examples include: adding a new meter equipment in field and a spot bonus approval process to recognize employees.
  • K2 BlackPearl provides exclusive activity/event library addressing common systems and scenarios ( AD integration for user management, Exchange integration, SharePoint integration for actions such as document management, user management, CRM). It also provides excellent framework to connect to LOB systems using Smart Objects. This helps developers focus on core process logic than interface details.
  • K2 offers ability to version control process definitions and process instances. It also provides mechanism to recover from errors (such as retry, or move process instance to newer definition). This feature is critical especially for long running processes involving multiple approvals/user actions. K2 also provides excellent, powerful reporting out of the box. Custom reports can be built leveraging the existing skill set such as SSRS.
  • Unlike many other specialized workflow platform (SharePoint workflow, Nintex etc), K2 BlackPearl platform is powerful and allows integration with any system that supports standards such as .NET, Web Services etc. Developers can build reusuable custom activities, custom functions etc. or leverage growing list of community developed library at K2 Underground. K2 also allows Visio based plugin to allow Business users to define process flow and then have it imported into Visual Studio for developer to implement it. K2 also provides multiple ways to define processes targeting different audiences (K2 For SharePoint designer, K2 Studio for less complex processes and Visual Studio for developers)
  • Better integration with TFS automated build tools is one feature that is missing out of box. My organization has controls on code migration and deployment and use TFS for other code and builds. We cannot use the automated build for K2 workflow projects.
  • Ability to define business rules in external rules engine/repository which can be used by workflow processes
K2 is best suited for business process that involve
    • Human participants (User tasks with rules around task assignment, escalations)
    • Integration with multiple systems such as AD, SharePoint, Exchange, CRM, any custom in house application with supported database layer
    • Ability to manage versions, robust error handling
    • Reporting and audit for workflow processes
With other process automation such as BizTalk, it is important to distinguish that K2 is not well suitable for system workflows that involve data transformation, manipulation and exchange between systems.

K2 excels at business process automation compared to other common products because it can integrate with multiple systems and can truly be enterprise grade workflow platform leveraging common skill set of .NET, Web services, SSRS etc.
Read Ajay Mandke's full review
Guy Wiggins profile photo
September 23, 2015

Review: "K2 BlackPearl and its use in an AmLaw 200 Law Firm"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We have used K2 BlackPearl as the core workflow engine for managing our new matter intake process. All new legal matters that come into the firm are entered into a complex form we built that is then routed using complex K2 workflows. We have a number of different workflows depending on the type of matter. For example, is it a new client and a new matter or a new matter for an existing client? All of the data for these new matters is stored in SharePoint and we use the SharePoint web parts to give people visibility into the status of the new matter workflow. It is being used across the entire firm and is a mission critical system.
  • Extremely reliable. We have never had an outage or a major technical issue with it since we have deployed it.
  • Very robust tool - can easily integrate with other systems using API's where necessary. (Called Smart Objects.)
  • Handles versions of workflows very well. You can have older versions of workflows running while you work on and deploy newer versions. This happens seamlessly.
  • Robust back office engine makes it very easy to see the status of workflows and to redirect or reroute or cancel as needed.
  • We are not on the most [current] version so I can't do this fairly. I know that if you wanted to build forms without coding, you needed to use their SmartForms product which is a significant extra cost. They do have a basic forms package but it was not flexible enough for our needs.
K2 blackpearl is a very robust workflow tool. It should only be deployed in organizations that have the developers and engineers that can support it but I think that is true of many workflow tools in general. It does not reside directly on SharePoint servers as some competing products do so it is not as completely integrated into the SharePoint stack. This has pluses and minuses. Because the K2 server and database are separate this can give you some flexibility and it does not demand resources from SharePoint front ends. However, it also means that it is not as tightly integrated.
Read Guy Wiggins's full review
Deepak Kadam profile photo
August 19, 2015

User Review: "K2 for Business Process Automation"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We are using K2 blackpearl in some departments and not across the organization yet. We also developed and implemented projects using K2 blackpearl in combination with K2 SmartForms.
  • It helped to create flexibility in our Process Automation. It has become easier than ever to modify the existing processes (implemented in K2 blackPearl) when the need arises.
  • We were able to create web forms efficiently using K2 SmartForms which is powered by k2 blackPearl. It's an exceptional tool to create web forms without writing a single line of code.
  • The parallel approval mechanism supported by K2 blackpearl was really helpful in our projects as we want to send work items to group of users rather than a single individual.
  • We are looking for usability and Category Security feature in K2 SmartForm which is powered by k2 blackpearl.
  • Is it possible to design SmartForms using Visual Studio designer? that is something we are looking for so that we can version it in Sorice Control appropriately. .
  • There is a need to improve the performance of the processing of the work list items generated in K2 Workspace.
It is well suited for small departmental workflow. However, I'm not sure how it will work at the enterprise level where volume is very huge.
Read Deepak Kadam's full review
Aria Mansuri profile photo
March 19, 2015

User Review: "K2 Forms and BPM is hard to beat"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I used K2 in a previous position as an alternative to InfoPath forms, forms creation and workflow based on business processes. The client was heavy in form creation and forms required to follow a complex set of processes for example a parallel review, branching for decision points and approval etc. K2 was both efficient in creating the forms using "SmartForms" and the workflows were both easy to create and provided great analytical reporting that was an added benefit to our clients.
  • Form creation and use of SmartForms with Smart Objects allows for fast creation of web forms with added benefit of validation and set controls that are repeatable
  • Workflow and business process management was easy to do in K2 allowed for analytics to know exactly where the process is in a given time and be able to audit and report on it
  • Support from K2 was fantastic and assisted our team to be sure our installation was correct, even though they provide a fairly detailed instructions, every installation is always a bit different due to the uniqueness of environments.
  • Installation and configuration is an area we spent a lot of time to be sure our configurations were correct. We had some challenges in this area due to our government environment.
  • Getting setup to where you're actually start using the product can be quiet complex and the instructions are not quiet clear; partially due to our own environment.
  • Having greater understanding of the various services and what their requirements are and what they do and what level of privilege they need should be made clearer
Key questions that we asked were the hows and how well:
  • User friendly
  • Reporting capability
  • Auditing capability
  • Workflow and business process management
  • Line of Business Data integration
Read Aria Mansuri's full review
Mark Johnston profile photo
February 06, 2015

Review: "K2 blackpearl - steep up-front commitment that can pay off big time"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
K2 was being deployed to support processes throughout the company. Initial efforts were focused on integration with SharePoint and SAP, but later integrations to Salesforce were planned.

We identified candidate processes for K2 blackpearl based on their maturity, stability, frequency, and impact on Company operations, giving priority to processes that were relatively mature and stable, that were used often, and that had the potential for greatest benefit if they were automated with K2 blackpearl.

We ended up working first on processes related to sales forecasting and factory capacity planning.
  • Incredible flexibility: K2 blackpearl has so-called "smart objects" that serve to encapsulate properties of data from a wide variety of sources and platforms, and to re-use those objects in various processes.
  • Good tools for representing processes visually and developing the K2 blackpearl assets needed to represent real-world process flows.
  • Support for delivery of data to process approvers and other stakeholders that includes the information they need to perform their role in the process in a friendly format. Ability to show them the data they need to make a decision on a variety of devices, and to record their decisions.
  • Good tools for monitoring and reporting process performance and identify delays.
  • Ability to handle role delegation, parallel and serial approvals, and other non-standard process scenarios.
  • K2 blackpearl has a pretty steep learning curve. It may be quite difficult for people who do not have a technical or programming background to understand.
  • K2 provides various training options, and their trainers are very knowledgable and competent, but their training courses use canned environments and examples that provide limited opportunities for students to understand how K2 blackpearl can be applied to processes within their company.
  • Sometimes [users] don't have sufficient experience with other platforms to which K2 is being integrated. Even though the software has hooks into other platforms such as SAP and Salesforce, K2 has very limited resources for assisting in end-to-end implementations. And third-party consultants that have good K2 expertise are a bit hard to find.
There need to be IT resources that can bridge the gap between understanding how the K2 blackpearl platform works and how end users need to interact with it. There are significant up-front deployment and development steps required to apply K2 black pearl's significant power.

And there needs to be a reasonable level of maturity in the business processes that K2 blackpearl will be deployed to support. This maturity implies that processes are stable, well-documented, and that there are established roles in the process that are understood and supported by the process participants.

If the above criteria are met, K2 blackpearl has the power and flexibility to bring some real discipline to key business process, and the tools to monitor, measure, and improve those processes.
Read Mark Johnston's full review
Prashant Bhoyar profile photo
July 12, 2014

"K2 BlackPearl review by a SharePoint Consultant"

Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
The initial roll out started with IT department and later on upon its successful implementation, we rolled it out to other departments. We used it to create workflows which integrates with SharePoint 2010 and SQL reporting services.
  • It has excellent workflow engine.
  • The reporting is excellent.
  • Integrates well with Microsoft Products (SharePoint, CRM, SQL Server).
  • Power users can create workflows without writing code.
  • This product has steep learning curve. There are not many samples available online. The only way to learn is self learning and attending the K2 training events. The nature of the product is such that its very hard to remember the steps unless you do it more than 2 times. So if K2 can publish more how to videos on youtube or other media sharing platforms that will be nice.
The key questions are following.
1) Budget
2) In house expertise (K2 BlackPearl resources are rare commodity)
3) Does it need to integrate with other Microsoft Products?
4) What will be duration of the workflows ( 1 month, 1-2 years)?
5) How many workflows requests/second are you anticipating?
Read Prashant Bhoyar's full review
Chris McGuire profile photo
July 13, 2014

Review: "K2 blackpearl Business Process Management"

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We currently use K2 Blackpearl to build and manage workflows for the following business processes: Invoice Routing, Processing, and Approval and New Business Intake. It is used by our Finance and Conflicts departments currently. It helps us to streamline the approval process through multiple levels of approvers.
  • Workflow Management with visual interface to diagnose workflow issues
  • K2 Smart Objects make Database Object Integration easy
  • RESTful and SOAP based APIs to write custom .Net applications using K2 for workflow
  • Implementing solutions can sometimes be overly complex
  • Low level support personnel are not that knowledgeable
  • It can take time to get to the right person to help with a support issue
K2 blackpearl can be indispensable if you are managing a large, complex, or multi level workflow and approval process.
Read Chris McGuire's full review
David Rager profile photo
July 08, 2014

User Review: "K2 Blackpearl - Personal Experience"

Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
K2 blackpearl was the standard tool used by ITT Exelis for any automation of workflow type projects. Our largest project utilizing K2 was for an IT Exception Request system. This system facilitated workflow automation for doing things like requesting a firewall modifications, obtaining a mobile device that had not been approved, and numerous other types of requests that were "exceptions" to our IT standards.
  • K2 blackpearl excels at letting you visually lay out your workflows
  • Makes it very easy to build simple workflow without having to do any coding
  • The biggest complaint I have with K2 blackpearl is that is does not do html emails well. There are bugs in the email editor that make sending nicely formatted emails out very painful.
  • There is a lot of redundancy in the K2 blackpearl API which makes it very confusing to use at times.
K2 blackpearl is probably the best workflow engine available for the .NET platform right now. If you do not want to custom build your workflow logic I would suggest K2 blackpearl.
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July 23, 2014

K2 Review: "Lightweight BPM"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
It's not used in production yet. Just at the proof of concept level.
  • Very simple integration with all the enterprise grade softwares like SharePoint, active directory, exchange.
  • Very easy to create simple automated processes for reuse.
  • Very matured partner network and customer support
  • Runs in the background, without forcing another UI for the business users
  • Easy code portability from server to server
  • Remove any dependency with infopath
  • Service bus triggers so that outside events can be captured to kick start workflows
How much is the organization dependent on email notifications and process handover delays? It's very useful when there is a need to perform tasks based on dashboards.
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July 10, 2014

K2 Review: "Business process automation and integration, with a varying level of complexity"

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use K2 blackpearl with our clients based on their needs. At times clients may already have an instance of K2 blackpearl that we extend, while in other situations we may recommend K2 blackpearl based on specific criteria. Our organization does not use K2 blackpearl directly. Business problems we have addressed with our clients include information routing, system integration, and workflow customization.
  • K2 blackpearl easily connects different business applications. The concept of SmartObjects helps K2 stand out from other products. For example, you can define a Customer with information from SAP, Salesforce, and Exchange without having to develop connections between the systems.
  • K2 blackpearl enables workflow creation without coding. Common business processes can easily be modeled with drag-and-drop configurations using K2's suite of editors.
  • The configuration Wizards for workflow development are not always straightforward. For example, you may need to configure an Event with an advanced option, but you cannot get to the advanced screen unless you navigate backwards from the configuration Wizard's starting point.
  • Versions needs to be improved. The only way to recover the previous version of an object is to go into the K2 database and directly execute a stored procedure. They mention version control is a benefit of their tools, but it is not something a normal user would know how to do with ease. In addition, only pieces of a solution can be versioned (objects, processes, forms) as opposed to a complete solution that represents an end-to-end business process across K2's offerings.
  • K2 blackpearl is still being developed, so the rare critical bug may be found. For example, we discovered that the use of an ampersand in the name of a workflow activity destroyed one of our custom K2 SmartForms.
  • K2 blackpearl adds complexity with features. K2 recommends training because their feature-rich tools can be complicated to use. Formal training requires additional time and money, and while their products afford rapid development you must have a firm understanding of how to accomplish tasks in K2 before you can get things done.
Selecting K2 Blackpearl and its supporting tools should be done carefully. Key factors include:
  • The amount of users and processes to be supported (costs can vary by user and process count)
  • The features needed (K2 is feature-rich, if complex)
  • How many systems will be integrated (generally the more the better for K2)
  • Initial time to go-live (K2 requires time for installation, configuration, and training)
  • Cost (K2 is probably not the cheapest solution, so establishing needs outside of cost is key)
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Feature Scorecard Summary

Dashboards (6)
7.9
Standard reports (6)
8.4
Custom reports (6)
9.3
Process designer (8)
8.2
Process simulation (6)
8.0
Business rules engine (8)
5.0
SOA support (7)
8.9
Process player (4)
8.9
Support for modeling languages (5)
5.1
Form builder (7)
8.5
Model execution (7)
8.6
Social collaboration tools (3)
7.8
Content management (5)
8.8

About K2

K2 blackpearl is a business process application enabling people to build and run business applications, including forms, workflow, data and reports.

K2 Technical Details

Operating Systems: Unspecified
Mobile Application:No