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SPCA2013 - Using SharePoint Designer 2013 to create Workflows Present and Future
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SPCA2013 - Using SharePoint Designer 2013 to create Workflows Present and Future


Using SharePoint Designer 2013 to create Workflows Present and Future

Using SharePoint Designer 2013 to create Workflows Present and Future

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  • Day 1: 16:20 – 17:30 pmIn SharePoint 2010, using SharePoint Designer 2010 you could not create loops or create a state workflow. Using a workflow developed for one of her clients concerning a Change Request process, Penny will look at using advance task actions and a secondary workflow to overcome this limitation. She will then look at how she would do this differently with SharePoint 2013. Level 200/300
  • You can use these three identifiers in a variety of ways, including:Deciding which items to act upon The secondary workflow can begin by checking one or more of these fields for each new task item, and then using that information to decide whether to end immediately or to continue to run. For example, the secondary workflow can take further action only on tasks that were created by one or more specified primary workflows.Inserting information in an e-mail message Using these fields, the secondary workflow can send an e-mail message that includes the identity of the original item, the list where that original item resides, or the workflow that created the current task item.Workflow Item ID In the browser, view the list where the item is located. If necessary, modify the view to include the ID column. Note that once the ID of an item is assigned, it is permanent and does not change, regardless of how many other items are added, changed, and deleted in that list.Workflow Name For each workflow, this value is identical to the name specified for that workflow in the Workflow Designer. Note that because no two workflows in any site can have the same name, this value is always unique within the current site.Workflow List ID To find this value for any list, view the list in the browser, and then, on the Settings menu, click either List Settings or Document Library Settings. The Workflow List ID appears in the query string of the URL and follows the "List=" text.Why you need a secondary workflow for managing task due datesThe primary workflow that creates a task item pauses as soon as the task item has been created and assigned.While the primary workflow is paused, it cannot set the Due Date value of the task item, check the completion status of the task when the due date arrives, or take appropriate action for task items that are not complete by their due dates.A secondary workflow running on the Tasks list, however, can perform all of these functions while the primary workflow is still paused.
  • State machines have been around in computer science for a long time. You'll find they are especially popular in reactive systems, like the software for video games and robotics. Designers use state machines to model a system using states, events, and transitions. A state represents a situation or circumstance. In the diagram below, we have a state machine with two states: a "power on" state and a "power off" state. The machine will always be in one of these two states. An event is some outside stimulus. In figure 1, we only have one type of event - a button click event. The state machine will respond to this event in either the "power on" or the "power off" state. Not all states have to respond to the same events. A transition moves the state machine into a new state. A transition can only occur in response to an event. Transitions don't have to move the state machine to a new state - a transition could loop back to the same state. When the machine receives a button click event in the "power off" state, it transitions to the "power on" state. Conversely, if the machine is in the "power on" state and receives a button click event, it moves to the power off state. Implied in the concept of a state transition is that some action will take place before or after the transition. A state machine doesn’t merely store state - it also executes code when events arrive. In our diagram the state machine would be controlling the flow of electricity by opening or closing a circuit when it arrives in a new state.“On the other hand, the steps in your solution may be random in nature and never really have a clear ending. For example, the participants in an HR workflow might move an employment resume from state to state. The resume might be in a state of being considered, interviewing, or archiving for future. The resume might be re-activated or updated at any time. Because there is no linear path of steps for the resume, it would be excessively hard to produce conditional rules to capture all possible paths. In these situations, you would want to manage your workflow as a series of states and transitions. Use the state machine workflow template to get started there.”


  • 1. Using SharePoint Designer 2013 to create Workflows: Present & Future Penelope Coventry
  • 2. 2
  • 3. Speaker Bio • • • • • • • • PPP Consulting Ltd Microsoft MVP SharePoint Server MCSE: SharePoint Independent Consultant Author/Co-author of 10+ SharePoint Books Trainer Worked with SharePoint since 2001 Based in UK, work in Europe & US • Blogs/Web Site • http://www.sharepointdesignerstepbystep.com/ Twitter: @pjcov
  • 4. Agenda Change Request Process Advance Task Actions Loops SharePoint 2013 Solution
  • 5. Change Management Process: How You Think It Works 1.IT Support Raises Change Request 2.Change Request Approved by Technical Reviewer (TR) 3.Change Request Approved by Change Control Board (CCB) 4.Change Completed 5
  • 6. Change Management Process: What Really Happens • • • • • • • • • IT Support raises change request Technical Reviewer wants more information IT Support provides information Technical Reviewer approves change request Change Control Board rejects change request IT Support amends change request Technical Reviewer rejects change request IT Support who is dealing with the change is on leave and change request passed to another IT Support Person And so on… 6
  • 7. Demo: Change Management • • • • Change Request Technical Review Change Control Board Research Needed
  • 8. Change Request Solution: Walkthrough SHAREPOINT 2010 WORKFLOW
  • 9. Agenda Change Request Process Advance Task Actions Loops SharePoint 2013 Solution
  • 10. Key Component: Advanced Task Actions • • Not available in SharePoint Foundation Deprecated in 2013 but still present in 2010-style workflows • Based on in-the-box approval workflows    • • • Start Approval Process Start Feedback Process Start Custom Task Process (build your own) Can modify in SharePoint Designer Included as Sub Process within your Workflow Your Workflow pauses until Task Action Completes 10
  • 11. Start Task Action Behaviour • • Behaves like Built-in Workflow, e.g., Approval – SharePoint 2010 Includes o o • Basic Workflow Conditions/Actions New category of task actions Needs to be Configured o o o Reviewers Serial (Default) or Parallel Dates for Task Completion 11
  • 12. Task Process Model 12
  • 13. Three Levels Of Customization • Behaviour of Over All Task Process o o • • o o • • When the Task Process Starts When the Task Process is Running When Item is Deleted When Item is Changed When the Task Process is Cancelled When the Task Process Completes Behaviour of Single Task o o o o o Before a Task is Assigned When A Task is Pending When A Task Expires When A Task is Deleted When A Task Completes Completion Conditions for Task Process o Run every time an individual Task item is completed. 13
  • 14. Task Behaviour Actions • • • • • • End Task Process Set Content Approval Status (as author) Wait for Change in Task Process Item Wait for Deletion in Task Process Item Set Task Field Rescind Task • • • • • • • • Append Task Delegate Task Escalate Task Forward Task Insert Task Reassign Task Request a Change Send Task Email 14
  • 15. Customizing the Start Approval Process SHAREPOINT 2010 WORKFLOW
  • 16. Agenda Change Request Process Advance Task Actions Loops SharePoint 2013 Solution
  • 17. Looping • • Needed: Variable Loop Switch o o o No While / For / Until Yes Steps: o o o o • • • Set Variable to Initial State Immediately Before Loop Put a Switch inside Loop Switch Evaluates Variable and Branches Accordingly When you need to Change State, Change the Value of Variable Wait for looping to occur Make Sure at Least One of the States Causes Loop to End
  • 18. Can You Do This In SharePoint 2010 Workflows? • • One Column to Store Current State One Startup workflow, One Workflow for each State o o o • • (except the workflow that caused the change to take place, of course) Each Workflow First checks State Column • Workflow Instance Terminated if Not Target State This isn’t practical, though o • Last Step of Each Workflow sets Column Value All State Workflows Started by Modifying an Item o It effectively Starts all State workflows (other than the current one) with Every Change Complicated to Provide an Audit Trail Look to Use Advance Task Actions and One to Two associated (Secondary) Workflows
  • 19. What is A Secondary Workflow? • When a Workflow (Primary) o o • Adds New List Item Changes the metadata of a List Item Second Workflow is Triggered by: o o Addition Change 19
  • 20. Using a Secondary Workflow Primary Secondary New CR or CR Status Changed to CR Pending Technical Review Needed, Primary Workflow Sets CR Status Primary Workflow Stops • Task Item Fields useful in a Secondary Workflow Secondary Workflow, sends email to Change Requester & waits o Task Completed o o Workflow Item ID Workflow List ID Workflow Name Secondary Workflow Stops 20
  • 21. Reusable Workflows • • • • • Greatest Improvement incorporated into SPD Workflow Templates Created against a content type Associated to a list or library o o Needs more thought than when creating a list workflow o o • Uses that content type Available only within site where reusable workflow created Associated columns Association form as well as possibly initiation and task forms Basis for Global reusable workflows 21
  • 22. Master & Secondary Workflows Working Together SHAREPOINT 2010 WORKFLOW
  • 23. Agenda Change Request Process Advance Task Actions Loops SharePoint 2013 Solution
  • 24. How to Redesign the Solution • Benefits o o • Reduce complexity Eliminate need to end workflow and ask user to restart Technique o o o Remove task processes Replace with stages and Start Task actions Establish transitions between stages
  • 25. Start Task Action
  • 26. What is a Stage? State Power On Transistion • • Button Clicked Event Power Off Button Clicked Stages (States) o Logical set of a tightly-coupled group of activities Transitions o Conditions that move the workflow to the beginning of another stage 26
  • 27. Benefits of Stages • • • Fits both short and long process flows Users can validate their role in a stage Easy to add stages without major rework
  • 28. Sequential v Stage Workflows • Sequential • Predictable • Wait, then proceed • Author controls process • Decisions happen within workflow • Workflow directs actions • Stage • Event-Driven • Stay at one stage until it changes • Participants control process • Decisions happen outside the workflow • Workflow governs actions 28
  • 29. Benefits of Stages • You can avoid: o o o o • A lot of If-Then-Else conditions A lot of looping Very confusing diagrams “GoTo” statements The “current stage” is useful for live status updates
  • 30. SharePoint 2013 CR Workflow Initialise variables Technical Review Process If any value equals value Yes If any value equals value CCB Review Process CR Approved Workflow Completed No No If any value equals value Yes Yes CR Denied Yes If any value equals value No Yes Research Needed No If any value equals value No 30
  • 31. Redesign Change Request Solution SHAREPOINT 2013 WORKFLOW
  • 32. Questions 32
  • 33. Useful Links • • Workflows in SharePoint 2013 o o SharePoint 2013 workflows in Visio o • http://blogs.office.com/b/visio/archive/2012/11/12/sharepoint-2013-workflowsin-visio.aspx How to create a SharePoint Designer 2013 workflow with app step o • http://blogs.msdn.com/b/sharepointdesigner/archive/2012/11/22/exampleworkflow-with-app-step-usage.aspx Demand Management, Now with SharePoint Designer o • • http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/jj556245.aspx http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj163986.aspx http://blogs.office.com/b/project/archive/2012/09/18/demand-managementsharepoint-designer-project-server.aspx What’s new in Microsoft Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2012, from a workflow development perspective o http://www.sharepoint-reference.com/Blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=28 Getting started developing Project Server 2013 workflows o http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/ee767694.aspx
  • 34. Please rate this session! Fill out the survey and get a chance to win a Surface