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Synopsis

K2 blackpearl and the K2 platform is a large, powerful, "game-changing" application platform built on Microsoft technologies. Understanding it from top to bottom would be a great task for a single person, which is why we have gathered more than a dozen authors to supply you with the information to successfully transform your company into a process-oriented, efficient business that can grow with the K2 platform.

Since this is the first book on K2 blackpearl, you will find a broad range of topics in this book, from the market in which K2 blackpearl is aimed to the architecture of the platform, from how to approach process design to developing your own custom user manager.

The first part of the book is meant for everyone and provides an understanding of K2 blackpearl and where it fits in the marketplace. It is included to provide a framework for thinking about various aspects of process-driven applications, including how they differ from business process management techniques; identifying processes in your company to automate, the different pieces that make up a process; measuring the success of your efforts; and finally shifting your company's culture in the direction of process efficiency. This section may be the only section you need to read if you are sponsoring a process improvement effort in your company. If you are responsible for leading the effort, make sure to read Chapters 3 and 4.

The other parts are meant to provide details on how to effectively deploy and use K2 blackpearl and include a broad range of topics. Read what you are most interested in, but also make sure to read Chapter 8, which will give you a great foundation to start designing processes with K2 blackpearl. Chapter 14 is also recommended for everyone because it provides an overview of the available K2 Designers and how you can share projects among them.

K2 blackpearl is the main subject of this book, although we devote an entire chapter, Chapter 23, to the add-on product K2 connect to give you an understanding of how to bring SAP data into your processes. We also talk a bit about K2 blackpoint, particularly in the SharePoint chapters. Since K2 blackpoint is built on the K2 blackpearl foundation, many of the same concepts apply to that product as well, but we do not point out the differences between K2 blackpearl and K2 blackpoint. For that information browse to www.k2.com.

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