AuraPortal: A quiet but comprehensive process application platform contender
Process Application Platform vendor AuraPortal may not have the market presence of many of its competitors, but it has a significant customer base, particularly in Latin America. Its technology offers organisations with Microsoft-centric environments a very high degree of configurability, over a very broad range of functionality.
Under the radar, but an established platform
AuraPortal may not have the market visibility of many of its process application platform competitors, but a 15+ year heritage and around 300 active customers means it knows how to deliver sustainable customer value.
Configuration over coding – to the max
AuraPortal’s platform is uncommon in the degree to which you use metadata- and wizard-driven configuration to specify applications. Even sophisticated, dynamic application behaviours can be implemented without resorting to scripting or coding.
Even when taking advantage of the optional add-on modules available – which extend the core platform to provide business rules, deeper analytics and more – you’ll use the same integrated Dictionary metadata-driven approach to design your applications.
To embrace AuraPortal you’ll need to be comfortable with a .NET environment and AuraPortal’s architecture, which uses relational databases to store application specifications as well as runtime application state.
AuraPortal was founded in 2001 in Valencia, Spain. The company has around 300 active customers in 40 countries, and has around 200 staff working in offices in the USA, Colombia, Spain, the UK and Dubai. It’s a private company, but does claim to be consistently profitable. It claims to have around 3.5 million users of its platform worldwide.
AuraPortal has been most successful to date selling its product across Latin American countries, in a variety of sectors – seeing particular success in financial services, retail and government sectors. It also has some customer clusters across Spain and other parts of Europe (including UK).
AuraPortal’s product is the AuraPortal Platform – a comprehensive application platform based around a core of BPM functionality. The company’s business model is focused primarily on selling licenses to the AuraPortal Platform; it works primarily through a network of partners to implement the platform for customers. The current version, AuraPortal Helium, was released in 2014. As well as its broad platform, the company also offers a free BPMN modelling tool, AuraPortal Modeler, on PC and Mac platforms.
There’s a lot of flexibility in the available AuraPortal Platform licensing options. There are named-user and concurrent-user licensing schemes; a choice of perpetual licensing or annual renewable rental; and a number of cloud options. AuraPortal is offered as a hosted, managed service on both AWS and Microsoft Azure, with each customer receiving their own private instance; or customers can use existing product licenses to run AuraPortal in the cloud, if they have them – the company estimates that around 50% of its customers use AuraPortal technology hosted on a cloud platform.
Inside the AuraPortal offering
The AuraPortal platform brings together a very broad range of functionality to help organisations co-ordinate their work and share their knowledge. ‘Classic’ BPM platform functionality is a big part of what the platform offers – namely graphical process design and related modelling tools, a process runtime engine, a set of integration connectors, a process portal used by process participants and administrators within which to manage work, and a performance reporting and analytics environment.
What sets AuraPortal apart is the degree to which your process applications are created through configuration, not coding – almost every functional aspect of the platform is enlisted through the use of wizards and configuration tables and forms. Moreover, AuraPortal also offers a number of complementary capabilities that you can license alongside the core platform if you want – and these extensions are also highly configuration-driven, built off the same metadata repository.
Core BPM modules
Looking a bit more deeply, the ‘Core BPM’ version of the AuraPortal platform, which is built using Microsoft’s .NET platform technologies, has nine main modules that you use to build, deploy and manage your process applications:
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