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Further on SharePoint Designer 2013 Workflow Enhancements

As we quoted from Microsoft’s Technet web site in a post published last week to this blog, SharePoint Designer 2013 is Still the Best Way to Build Workflows for SharePoint 2013, three new “building blocks” have been added to SharePoint 2013’s workflow platform:

  • Stage
  • Loop
  • and App Step

In a video titled SharePoint Designer 2013 Workflow Enhancements, Asif Rehmani, SharePoint MVP and MCT demonstrates how the Stage building block can be implemented in an approval workflow example. A subscription to SharePoint-Videos.com is required to view this video. You can use a link on our web site to visit SharePoint-Videos.com where you can opt to place your order for an annual unlimited individual subscription.

In this 7.5 minute video which depicts how to build a list workflow with SharePoint Designer 2013, the viewer is presented with this new Stage feature. As Asif Rehmani demonstrates, in order to exploit the added functions provided by the Stage building block, it is necessary to configure a workflow as a SharePoint 2013 Workflow. Once again, in a post published last week to this blog we described how SharePoint 2013 provides users with 3 different options as to the type of workflow to be developed:

  • SharePoint 2010 Workflow (legacy)
  • SharePoint 2013 Workflow
  • or SharePoint 2013 Project Server Workflow

As this video depicts, the type of workflow is selected with SharePoint Designer 2013 coincidental with naming the workflow. Once the type of workflow has been selected, and a name assigned to it, then the next step is to define the first Stage. Asif Rehmani recommends picking a specific name for this Stage. For this example he names the first Stage “Starting”. Once the Stage has been named, the viewer is shown how the Stage feature permits the assignment of specific actions, already configured and available for insertion via SharePoint Designer 2013.

The first “go-to action” that is inserted into our example is “Setting the Workflow Status”, which is used to set up the information in the SharePoint 2013 List or Library as a column. It is worth noting that Asif Rehmani demonstrates how to start logging to the history of the workflow with this very first Stage. Of course, logging provides valuable information for any debugging procedure that may be required should errors arise.

The “Starting” Stage is also used for another “go-to action”, this one named “Assign a Task”. The user to whom the task will be assigned is selected by running a look up (presumably with Active Directory).

In the next post to this blog we will look further at the added out of the box features included with the “go-to actions” demonstrated in this video.

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