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Configuring Workflows for Automatic Initiation is Easier with SharePoint Designer 2013

Of course one application of workflows with substantial promise for Line of Business (LOB) groups that are limited with regards to development capabilities, but long on need for governance, is the production of workflows which will seamlessly commence based upon conditions. As Asif Rehmani demonstrates in the video that we have explored over the last several posts to this blog, SharePoint Designer 2013 Workflow Enhancements, via no more effort than a series of mouse clicks it is possible to configure a workflow to run automatically based upon a condition.

Certainly, configuring a workflow to automatically run based upon an event is not a new feature with SharePoint Designer 2013, but the ease with which this activity can be configured does represent an important enhancement of the performance of this tool. It is possible to configure a workflow to commence based on either a manual event, or automatically, which, in the case of our video demonstration, occurs when a new announcement is created for the announcement list that our hypothetical cafeteria menu has been changed to an “all veggie” set of options.

The new announcement is created with the browser, with the form provided on the announcement web site. As we demonstrate, merely an attempt to add the announcement to the list initiates the workflow, which works perfectly, announcing the request to the participant designated to either approve or reject the announcement. Once the hypothetical participant included in our example receive notice via email that a request has been made to add an announcement to the list, he can opt to edit the task and opt to either approve, or reject the request.

We further demonstrate how the logging feature, which we enabled and exercised throughout the creation of the workflow, provides a full history of the workflow. Certainly LOB managers can benefit from an opportunity to access workflow history, which will include a listing of participants by go-to action. If a process defined by a workflow requires a remedy, then it should certainly be helpful to have some sense as to where the process is breaking down as well as the responsible participant.

To reiterate, an ability to configure an automatic initiation of a workflow is not a new capability of SharePoint Designer 2013, but it looks to be considerably easier with this latest release of the tool. Certainly, ease of use is an important consideration for LOBs contemplating no-code production of processes within a SharePoint 2013 working environment.

In the final post to this series we will look at the new graphical view of workflow that is provided with SharePoint Designer 2013.

© Rehmani Consulting, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved