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Creating “smart” applications

One of the most powerful features of the WEM Modeler is the ability to create interactive applications where the interface, behavior and flow depends on the user, data or any other variable.

WEM provides several structures to enable this application behavior in different parts of your model:

  • In your flowcharts, a core WEM element that defines the flow of your process, you have “decision nodes” where based on conditions ranging from very simple true/false checks to complex logic routines your process flow can be modeled.
  • In the interaction with your users, the screens or “interaction nodes” as they are called in the WEM modeler we recognize “conditional elements” parts of the interaction that are only shown once certain conditions are met.
  • Conditional fields in forms, that appear when conditions are met, for example when more detailed questions are required as a result of answers to earlier questions.
  • Menu items can be shown on condition of user rights, or data elements or even the location of the user, the possibilities are limitless.

All these conditional elements and many more are based on WEM Expressions, a powerful logic engine that is very similar to the formulas in your favorite office productivity spreadsheet application.

The ability to create interactive applications is so strong that providing a simple example is almost impossible but we’ll give it a try.

You can create an application that provides the user with a simple decision support environment, depending on answers to prior questions new questions and possibilities are presented, maybe we find out that the current user responds better to graphical interaction, so we display sliders or star ratings instead of numeric entry field. Based on the current users location, equipment used and network we decide to show (or not) certain sensitive information.

Now apply these options to the example from our previous blog entry about debt-relief services, where users are often highly stressed and the information entered is very sensitive and sometimes legally restricted. Using the conditional elements described here we can offer the customer an application that only shows those questions that are important for them, in a way that is most comfortable for them to answer, improving the quality of the answers and reducing the stress on the customer. The debt-relief professional is offered a different screen, with certain sensitive information shown only when accessing the application from a company provided device connected to the company network.

The use of WEM Expressions for creating highly interactive applications at various levels allows you to create professional applications that work for your users and with your users, and all these features work on all devices and all browsers right out of the box, no additional work required to enable phones, tablets or any other device.