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Using Visio and SharePoint Designer 2010 to Build Workflows

Visio plays an important role in the recommend process for building workflows in SharePoint 2013. It makes sense for SharePoint 2010 Administrators, developers and even business analysts from Line of Business (LoB) units to build up a familiarity with the best practices associated with using Visio and SharePoint Designer 2010 to build workflows. In a video tutorial titled Create Workflows in Visio then transfer to SharePoint Designer, Asif Rehmani, SharePoint MVP and MCT demonstrates how to successfully use Visio Premium 2010 and SharePoint Designer 2010 to produce workflows.

In this video, the workflow is first modeled in Visio Premium 2010. A “SharePoint Workflow Template” is included with this version of Visio to accomplish this step. The SharePoint Workflow Template can be found by clicking on the “Flowchart” from the “Template Categories” options in Visio. Using the “Quick Shapes” menu within the SharePoint Workflow Template, Asif quickly produces a simple workflow, validates it, and then saves it.

The actual export function (which must be used to export the workflow for further processing with SharePoint Designer 2010) is accessed with a click on the process tab. The next step is to use Visio to validate the workflow. In our example, Asif demonstrates a simple mistake, which results in a failed attempt to validate the workflow, and the corrective steps required to fix the problem.

Once the mistake has been fixed, Visio validates the workflow and adds a .vwi filetype extension (for Visio Workflow Interchange) and exports the file.

From SharePoint Designer 2010, a site needs to be opened to important the exported Visio workflow. Once the site has been opened, click on “Workflows” and the “Import from Visio” button to import the workflow. We briefly explain the two options for importing the workflow built in Visio, either as a “List Workflow” or as a
“Reusable Workflow”. In this example we select “List Workflow” and connect the workflow to an “Announcements List”.

The next step is to configure the rules for the workflow, which we will cover in the next post to this blog.

Ira Michael Blonder

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