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Aderant releases 'Golden Gate'

Aderant has just announced its Aderant Expert “Golden Gate” Release. This next-generation version of Expert includes a new service-oriented architecture and advanced functionality that leverages Microsoft’s workflow technology platform, Windows Workflow Foundation. The release helps firms create consistency, improve efficiency, and streamline as well as automate critical business processes. At the core of Golden Gate is a powerful enterprise-capable workflow engine that is embedded in the application suite’s new underlying technology framework. This engine is used to workflow-enable a new file opening application, Expert File Opening. Aderant Expert Golden Gate Release also includes an innovative new application navigation metaphor, Expert Assistant, as well as a new intuitive time capture capability.
“As an early adopter of their new Expert File Opening workflow application, we are very excited about how Aderant is leveraging advanced Microsoft technologies to streamline and improve this essential business process,” said Mary Ann Hallemann, Chief Financial Officer for Thompson Coburn LLP.
“Golden Gate represents a critical milestone in the evolution of Aderant Expert into a truly next-generation solution for law firms,” said Michael Kohlsdorf, President & CEO of ADERANT. “By embedding Microsoft’s powerful workflow technology into the core of our application suite, a first for the legal industry, we are able help our clients streamline critical business processes, improve management oversight, and minimise their exposure to risk.”
• Next-Generation Technology Platform
Aderant Expert Golden Gate Release is built on a new next-generation technology platform that leverages a Domain Specific Language (DSL), an advanced fourth-generation programming language. Aderant Expert’s new service-oriented architecture (SOA) improves application extensibility and integration and ensures longevity. DSL enables code and customisations to be generated more quickly while improving quality, reliability, and reusability.
• Leverages Windows Workflow Foundation
Aderant Expert Golden Gate Release leverages Microsoft’s Windows Workflow Foundation. Introduced in 2005 as an essential part of the .NET Framework, it is Microsoft’s architecture for building workflow-enabled applications. Aderant has incorporated Windows Workflow Foundation into the underlying technology platform of Aderant Expert, workflow enabling any application built on that infrastructure.
“Aderant is taking advantage of Windows Workflow Foundation and other Microsoft .NET Framework technologies in the Golden Gate release, which can deliver strong business solutions to Microsoft customers around the world,” said Paul Andrew, Senior Product Manager for Microsoft. “We are confident that Aderant’s incorporation of Microsoft .NET technologies can provide organisations with even more cutting-edge functionality and capabilities while potentially lowering their costs.”
“Windows Workflow Foundation allows our development team to stay focused on creating value-adding functionality and delivering it rapidly to law firms,” continued Kohlsdorf. “Instead of dedicating resources to maintain and enhance our underlying workflow engine, we are building on the efforts of Microsoft’s unrivalled development organisation. This allows us to concentrate our efforts on building workflow capabilities that meet the unique needs of law firms without diluting our resources on underlying technology infrastructure.”
• Delivers Powerful Capabilities
Aderant Expert Golden Gate Release delivers powerful capabilities to law firms, including Expert File Opening, Expert Assistant, and Timer:
– Expert File Opening is a new workflow-enabled application that helps law firms automate their client and matter intake business processes. Firms can easily customise their file opening workflows using an intuitive workflow designer and a library of pre-defined workflow tasks and activities. The application includes accompanying services to better support the file opening workflow processes and allow for flexibility and customisation.
– Expert Assistant will provide users with a new navigation metaphor for accessing Aderant Expert data and applications. Users can contextually access all Aderant Expert applications from their system trays, see what tasks and activities they have to complete with a workflow inbox, search for clients, matters, employees, and other information, and collaborate.
– Golden Gate also includes a new intuitive time entry component that allows users to capture time even when they are disconnected from their firms’ networks or offline.
Aderant Expert Golden Gate Release is generally available now.

6 replies on “Aderant releases 'Golden Gate'”

Golden Gate… a famous bridge that needs alot of maintenance to keep painting over the cracks…
Isn't this still CMS under the covers? Or can Aderant categorically state that they have completely re-written the applications?
If so, why do they still need FWBS to deliver a true fee earner environment?
Maybe their CEO should be careful about unsubtle competitive commentary about not having to maintain the underlying workflow engine – a stab at Elite 3e. Elite 3e clients (as with SAP) will have a truly process-driven solution compared to this seeming attempt by Aderant to bolt workflow onto ageing applications. That will remain the case until they do a complete re-write as Elite did with 3e.

The other thing about 'Golden Gate' is that many of it's users start the journey across but choose not to finish, preferring instead to jump off the side.

This is the evolution versus revolution question. The majority of application providers end up going down the gradual evolution route by building new layers on top of the old, by replacing component by component and by asking (expecting!) the customer to live with the occasional incongruity between old and the new. SAP are a perfect case in point here by the way.
In this case Aderant have started, and continue, to rewrite aspects into Expert but it will be an evolving process I assume and who can tell when, if ever, it will end. Isn't continual change an analogy for the technology industry though? The alternative – the complete re-write – is less common, more brave and not without risk (to supplier and customer).
I'm looking forward to seeing the 'truly process driven solution' when it arrives but equally there is space and a strong market potential for open workflow technology such as MS WWF that has the prospect of integrating processes not just in specific solutions such as your PMS but also beyond into other parts of the business.

Well, remove the hype and at least it works (probably…). Aderant have generally mangaged to deliver working systems (though not without some pain) and of course we still await news of the 3e sites. FWBS was built for small firms wasn't it? I doubt Aderant needs FWBS at the high-end as those firms already have DM etc…

Yes, this is still CMS at it's core, a product released in the mid 90's, however the raft of more recent 3rd party bolt ons have allowed Aderant to exend the life of the product for those that don't expect significant enhancements to come down the track on this interface. New matter workflow? This has been available in a number of other solutions for years. Great as long as you work exactly the way the workflow does, but given each third party application that makes up the Aderant suite needs it's own specific integration, changing anything here involves significant effort despite the 'industry standard' WF programming language that has been employed.
I agree – the marketing spin here is both interesting and in some parts outright incorrect. “Embedding workflow at it's core”? Check the dictionary Mike, the deployment of workflow here is by definition “at the perimeter”. Regardless, the language is interesting and if nothing else Elite should be pleased. The obvious use of words like “embedded”, “next generation technology platform”, “service oriented architecture”, “collaborate” etc made me check the branding on the press release to confirm I was reading about Golden Gate rather than 3e. Imitation is the best form of flattery they say, but Aderant do need to be careful that they don't shoot themselves in the foot. I'm not criticising Aderant's solution per se, there are many firms out there happy on the solution but anyone going through a thorough due diligence process for their PMS purchase should realise that the marketing spin doesn't hold up and IMHO Aderant are bringing the nasty odour of 'used car salesman' to what should be an honest, transparent process that assists those in legal management to make informed decisions. Rant over.

It's interesting to note that the most accurate, obviously well informed posting on this thread is from someone who knows and understands ADERANTS product strategy, as well as the market in general, and who is prepared to put their name to what they are saying.
Nice one Alex.

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