We are proud to announce the release of Vinna 3.0, our open 4th generation Document Processing Platform. After 18 months of concentrated and intensive development time we are very happy that we now can provide even more value to our customers. We invested a lot to take our customers feedback back to our engineers and create a totally new and modern UI – with an improved backend to support enterprise performance, scalability and security requirements. Process Editor and Process Monitor are completely redesigned and both are now available in English, as well as in German language. To avoid any pain for our many existing customers, special effort has been spent on compatibility with Vinna 2.4 so all projects can be smoothly upgraded. You can either manage a 2.4. runtime from 3.0 design time to achieve a step-by-step upgrade without disrupting production, but also the transfer of old process versions into 3.0 has been very thoroughly tested.
New Process Editor UI
The new design makes creating processes with no coding – no scripting – no configuration file editing as easy as it should be. Vinna 3.0 comes with the new BPMN process editor, with improved speed and usability. Now in Angular 10, all functions are componentized and can be integrated separately.
Plenty of new features improve the design and runtime management of processes. Cooperate better with your team members, as you write comments directly to activity instances. Work together designing the process. All activities can be configured through the UI – either through standard dialog or individual extended dialogs of activities, which can even bring up their own web UI. When a process is locked, you can now immediately see by whom. Besides many graphical changes, e.g. in the view of processes, document types and variables, it is now also possible to switch all views to lists and search in all trees and lists. You can see all environments where a process(-version) has been published to and we allow deletion only when no published version exists.
Process Version Management
If you ever were in charge to manage a production system you know how important staging and versioning is. “Never touch a running system” is common but in the end leads to legacy problems as nothing can be updated any more. Key to any enterprise-critical production system is version management that allows full control over what is changed – of course with thorough testing in staging steps. Therefore, version management and staging is a central part of Vinna architecture from the start and has been further improved in version 3.0. You can now create major and minor versions (1.0, 1.1, 2.0, …) of processes. The latest version you edit is always marked as a draft version – you can’t break anything! Deploying a process happens for a certain selected version. So it is easy to work on major changes of a process and already test it but at the same time create hot fixes (patches) for existing production processes if necessary. And you can even change variables in each of your runtime environments separately for each version.
Environment ist the runtime system where a process is published to. Many environments – on premise, private cloud, public cloud – can be managed from the same Designer. The environment is executing the process by hosting and running the activities as necessary in as many Activity Servers as needed. In Vinna 3.0 we now have “transient” Activity Servers that auto-start with a VM or in a Docker, do their work and shut down again when not needed. Together with the separation of Activity Server configuration from the instance, you can easily assign arbitrary resources to a project to scale up dynamically in peak hours, or reduce hardware cost by using just as many servers as you need. An overview over all assigned activities and activity servers across an environment fulfills a long-requested requirement.
The 3.0 runtime backend is fully compatible and introduces a lot of invisible changes related to scaling, performance and security. Process Monitor is the GUI to monitor the runtime and also has been completely redesigned. It comes with a lot of improvements and usability enhancements. Many visual usability enhancements were made with the new controls like grouping, filtering and customization of the UI for business operators. There is now a new tab for directly previewing documents in a work item with all their data. Licenses can now be reviewed and managed either in runtime or in design time with a common license view including status and report for click rates.
Vinna is an open and process-oriented platform, that allows users to define a process in exactly the way as it is optimally operated in a company. The design allows full flexibility in the data model with a hierarchical document model supporting batches, folders, documents and pages. The documents are processed as work-items in the flow and passed through activities. The activities are either standard tasks like OCR or Classification, or custom tasks as integrations into the platform. Any number of activities can be defined in the process as micro services, including arbitrary routing decisions based on intermediate results. The architecture of Vinna is service oriented (SOA) and the runtime is easily deployed either in the cloud (Microsoft Azure, AWS or private cloud), on premise or in mixed environments where the data storage is kept in house and processing happens outside.
All communication between services and databases is transaction based, securely encrypted and uses standard REST protocols over HTTP and HTTPS. Three powerful HTML based graphical user interfaces are provided for defining, managing and monitoring processes. Vinna is available for small projects but also incorporates all enterprise features need for large production systems. The biggest Vinna customer now processes 100M documents p.a. in one system, which is 400.000 documents per day.
Whitepaper and data sheets are available if you are interested in further details, please contact us through info(at)skilja.com to obtain your copy.