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An Optimum Method for Tying LOB Processes to Automated Procedures Starts with a Web Form

This is the third in a series of posts to our blog on using a combination of InfoPath 2010, Visio 2010 and SharePoint 2010 to articulate line of business (LOB) operations in automated procedures run over SharePoint 2010. Rehmani Consulting, Inc. offers specialized training content for InfoPath 2010 and SharePoint Designer 2010. These specialized training sets can be used, successfully, to design, produce, implement and manage automated procedures on SharePoint for LOB processes. Our help system for SharePoint 2010, VisualSP can be used to provide direct, in-context access to our specialized training content on these topics. We think our content, together with our help system, provides support and/or development teams with the content they require, where they require it, to successfully deliver on their objectives.

In a training video on the topic of how to use InfoPath 2010, Visio 2010, and SharePoint 2010 to design automated procedures for LOB processes on SharePoint, Asif Rehmani, SharePoint MVP demonstrates why the best approach is to begin with a design for a web form with InfoPath 2010. As we noted in the last post to this blog, the process of designing a web form affords business analysts from LOB organizations an excellent means of ensuring that basic, foundation-level portions of a governance plan are actually incorporated within online computing features — in this case, web forms.

The components of web forms can also be used to established columns in SharePoint. Of course, columns are very important structural components in SharePoint 2010; in fact, these structural components provide more than simply a method of sorting information into visually attractive, table-like layouts on web pages. Specifically, SharePoint columns can be used to uniformly present discrete sets of site terms. As noted on the Microsoft Technet web site, SharePoint users “. . . can specify that a Microsoft SharePoint Server column must contain a term from a specific term set.” (quoted from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee424402.aspx).

Once the form has been designed, built and stored in a SharePoint Form Library with InfoPath 2010, a workflow can be designed to further articulate LOB process governance within the automated system. For Business Analysts who may be familiar with Visio 2010, but neither familiar with InfoPath 2010, nor with SharePoint Designer 2010, it makes sense to design workflows with Visio 2010, Premium edition. In fact, this software product ships with a “SharePoint Workflow” set of special symbols that can be used, with success, to accelerate the workflow design process. Finally, workflows produced in Visio 2010, Premium Edition can be understood by SharePoint Designer 2010.

In the next post in this series we will look at the important information — required to manage LOB processes within a SharePoint workspace — to be recorded in the workflow with Visio 2010.

If you share our enthusiasm for building governance into automated procedures to be run over SharePoint, please do not hesitate to contact us. You may either telephone us at +1 630-786-7026, or send us a message. We will be sure to reach you promptly.

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