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SharePoint Designer 2013 Includes an Enhanced Copy Feature Accessible from the Ribbon

We demonstrate how to build a follow-on Stage with SharePoint Designer 2013 in our video SharePoint Designer 2013 Workflow Enhancements.

Once Asif Rehmani has finished configuring the last step of the Assign a Task go-to action for the “Starting” first stage of the example approval workflow demonstrated in this video, he shows us how to build the next stage of the workflow, which he names “Approving Announcement”. The initial step is simply to copy steps in the workflow for the first Stage, and then simply paste them into this second step.

It is important to note a new flexibility that Microsoft has provided for this copy and paste procedure. First, the room for error has been reduced by allowing the user to simply select precisely the syntactically correct prior steps from drop down menus (Asif actually demonstrates how to select two of these steps by holding down the shift key while clicking with the mouse). In fact, as we demonstrate in this video, entire stages can be copied and pasted via the new copy feature included in the ribbon, which should make the process of building workflows more efficient.

Next, with SharePoint Designer 2013 the user now has the option of modifying steps copied from other stages in the workflow. Asif Rehmani demonstrates this new capability by showing the viewer how the copied step is served up with all of its native options. Specifically, the Workflow Status is changed to “Approved” and the the text string entry to the log is set as “workflow is approved.”

Once the stage has been defined as per above, the “Transition to Stage” feature is set to the end of the workflow. We demonstrate how to use the syntax “go to” in the form box for “Transition to Stage” to call an out of the box designation of “End of Workflow” which, once again, certainly keeps the potential for error to a minimum.

Asif Rehmani demonstrates how to use the copy capability for a complete stage, as we mentioned above, to create a new conditional stage, “Workflow is Rejected”. With a couple of clicks of the mouse and a bit of text a conditional stage is configured for this workflow example. The “Workflow is Rejected” stage will be initiated if the participant who is assigned the approval task opts to reject the request. The last step in configuring this conditional stage is to instruct the workflow to proceed to its end as the necessary outcome, which, of course, remains the same as should the conditional result of assigning the task end up with an approval.

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