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Planning Automated Systems for LOB Processes with InfoPath Forms, Visio 2010 Workflows and SharePoint Designer 2010

Rehmani Consulting, Inc. offers comprehensive, specialized training sets on InfoPath 2010 Workflows for either individual or corporate use. We have planned our training content to support organizations of users who are committed to establishing and maintaining interdependence between line of business (LOB) objectives and procedures and automated operations.

In the first post to this series on using a combination of InfoPath 2010 forms, together with workflows designed by business analysts with Visio 2010, and, subsequently implemented and managed with SharePoint Designer, 2010, we focused on why business users should care about SharePoint 2010 workflows. In this post we are going to introduce how three software tools:

  • InfoPath 2010
  • Visio 2010
  • and SharePoint Designer 2010

can be used to design, implement, operate, and even manage computer operations built on LOB processes.

As Asif Rehmani, SharePoint MVP points out within the first 35 seconds of a 25min video training course on [a]n end to end process using InfoPath 2010 for forms and Visio 2010 and SharePoint Designer 2010 for Workflows The SharePoint 2010 form library plays an important role as a repository for any/all web forms submitted across SharePoint 2010 sites and, as well, as a managed resource within an approval workflow to ensure that requested services (such as a training reques as illustrated in the example covered in Asif Rehmani’s video) are properly authorized as per organizational governance policies.

Asif notes that business analysts can opt to design workflows with Visio 2010, rather than SharePoint 2010. In fact, workflows can be imported into SharePoint from Visio and vice versa. Further, we would like to note that Visio 2010 provides some unique capabilities, with particular regard to preserving each step in the creation of a workflow, and, thereby, should definitely be considered for a role as primary workflow design engine for any/all organizations that absolutely require a trail by which workflows can be reconstructed should crashes and/or other anomalies occur.

Of course, organizational-specific governance policies can, and should be incorporated in workflows and the forms implemented to process them. For example, simple steps like creating name fields that must be completed (“cannot be blank”), and/or prepopulating options boxes with specific departments, or even specific team members with requisite approval authority should be included specifically as they are called for by a governance plan.

The governance plan behind important workflows should also specify the specific LOB organizations to be served. This portion of the governance plan can be articulated in the workflow by specifying specific SharePoint sites for respective LOBs, to which InfoPath 2010 forms are to be published.

In the next post to this series we will look further into how InfoPath 2010, Visio 2010 and SharePoint 2010 can be used, together, in the creation of workflows that articulate LOB governance in automated procedures.

We actively pursue opportunities to engage with organizations looking to articulate governance through automated procedures with SharePoint. Please 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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