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By Dayna Charlton, Account Executive 

That’s right – Workplace XT has been unsupported since April of 2019. Even though IBM has recently announced the continuation of extended support for Workplace XT, the interface’s Java certificates will expire in June of 2020 and will not be renewed. This means you should consider this the new deadline of extended support for Workplace XT.  

Intentionally structured to be a basic, out-of-the-box user interface for FileNet P8, Workplace XT was a web-based UI that allowed limited customization and used Java Applets, which in itself is no longer supported in modern browsers. Businesses have used Workplace XT for a long time to create process workflows, interact with content and define custom searches, so many have been hesitant to upgrade to Content Navigator due to the stress it could cause end-users. Worst of all, there has been no clearly defined path to migrate from Workplace XT to Content Navigator.  

We get it– no one likes conversions, migrations or upgrades. They can be a real headacheBut we also have good news for you if you’re a FileNet customer still operating on Workplace XT: the conversion to IBM Content Navigator allows users to keep existing workflows and doesn’t require much customization. If your business uses Workplace XT but not workflow, the transition is even simpler.    

If you don’t currently have workflows…  

…you’re one of the thousands of storage and retrieval users that use P8 as their content management system. In this case, the transition is even easier– all you have to do is install Content Navigator and with minimal configuration and testing, you can be up and running very quickly. We can help you with gap analysis, training and adjustments needed to make the transition from XT to Navigator as comfortable as possible for your users.  

If you are using workflows…  

…replicating your existing environment with a custom application would be costly, lack certainty and would not be guaranteed to work with new FileNet releases. So, with all this being said, the conversion from Workplace XT to Content Navigator is inevitable– the time has come! Here are a few reasons why you can actually get excited about this upgrade. 

1. Replicate and expand your existing functionality with out-of-the-box configuration. 

Content Navigator and Case Manager are highly configurable out-of-the-box, but also offer the option to customize if needed. Case Management functions (within Business Automation Workflow) allow for the configuration of the step processor within a Properties Layout EditorThis provides most of the functions currently provided by eForms, meaning it will remain a supported technology.  

2. Leverage your existing licensing and IBM Case Management components. 

Your current licensing includes the Case Foundationwhich entitles you to limited use of additional IBM Software, including Case Manager. That means you can export your workflows, import them into Case Manager and use Content Navigator’s builtin functionalities to organize the layout. Being able to reuse your existing workflows and saved searches will keep your end-user experience similar to what it was before the conversion.   

3. Expect increased agility and compatibility in the future.   

Content Navigator is the platform that will be used moving forward for IBM’s entire Digital Business Automation platform. This means that it will be around for a long time, so you won’t need to think about another conversion for a while. Additionally, you can expect regular and ongoing development to Content Navigator, giving you peace of mind that you’re getting the best and latest features and functions.  

4. View documents across repositories.  

With Workplace XT, users could only view documents stored in FileNet. With Content Navigator, you now have a single interface for FileNet, Datacap, Case Manager, etc. Not only does this make it easier to manage since you only need one interface for the entire platform, but it also gives operations more options as to what could aid in business processes since more IBM technologies will be supported by Content Navigator.  

5. Extend the interface to all the company’s lines of business.  

Become a more unified enterprise with all users—business and IT—operating on a single platform and interface. This convergence will provide access to all of the IBM automation tools in a single application interface.

6. Use this opportunity to clean up your existing workflows.  

You can easily export and import your existing workflows, but why not do a little audit while you’re at it? Reduce your workflows’ overall number of unique steps for simpler, more efficient workflows. This can be done by working with a partner or workflow experts in your organization to find improvements that can be applied to the workflow. 

See? It’s not that bad! If you heed our advice on this upgrade to Content Navigator, you’ll end up with added features and functions, cleaner workflowsincreased business agility and more options for technical implementations in the future. We understand that migrations and conversions aren’t typically the most anticipated projects, but hopefully you can see that this isn’t a huge undertaking. We recommend that you look at it as an opportunity to improve business processes and equip your employees to work more efficiently.   

Once you’ve upgraded to Content Navigator, you’re perfectly set up for IBM’s Digital Business Automation Platform. Check out our blog to see how to make the most of that upgrade and all the benefits that come with it.


Dayna Charlton

Dayna Charlton

Account Executive

About the Author: When Dayna isn’t helping organizations solve challenges with content services technologies, she loves traveling and exploring other countries, cooking new recipes and playing on her volleyball team.