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SharePoint 2013 Workflows Simplify Calls to Web Services for Developers

A familiar challenge facing lots of large organizations is how best to integrate custom software for Line of Business (LoB) requirements with enterprise applications, including SharePoint. With SharePoint 2013 workflow, no code developers can call web services. Better yet, LoB application developers needn’t know anything about SharePoint, they can also just simply call a web service.

Chris Beckett, one of the authors of “Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Plain and Simple”, and the author of our video tutorial set, SharePoint 2013: Workflow presents the new web services features in the fifth video in the set, titled “Call HTTP web service action and managing workflow settings”.

These web services controls can be used to deliver two capabilities to SharePoint 2013 stakeholders, which may amount to substantial benefit:

  1. As the result of SharePoint 2013 “extensibility” features, the need for specialized application developers to play a central role as custom LoB applications are brought into the SharePoint 2013 computing environment is diminished.
  2. The potential of SharePoint 2013 workflows to be useful outside of the SharePoint computing realm is enhanced. Web services from Intranet, Extranet, and even Internet domains can be called with simple point and click methods.

Beckett cites opportunities for SharePoint workflows to integrate with social media systems, partner applications, and even eBay®

The actual value of the new web services features set will vary from organization to organization. Nevertheless, most larger organizations support a network of internal and external web sites. These services can be successfully used to integrate all of an organization’s online presence, which, in all likelihood, will deliver a lower operating cost for these systems. Simply consider the streamlined flow between an internal web site and a public-facing web site on the Internet (which need no longer be, itself, a SharePoint site), as the result of a Marketing Communications team availing of a SharePoint 2013 workflow to design, develop, and publish product promotional materials.

Of course, SharePoint Designer, 2013, a free-of-charge tool, is an additional benefit for organizations opting to implement workflow, no code development for custom requirements.

Ira Michael Blonder

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