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Creating your own workflows with Visio

From: SharePoint 2010 Essential Training

Video: Creating your own workflows with Visio

If you have Microsoft Visio 2010 Premium Edition, you will find there is another thing you can do with workflow in SharePoint. In fact, in the flowchart section, you actually have a type of Visio diagram you can create which is a Microsoft SharePoint workflow and this is not just for looking at it. It's actually useful for creating it. If I create that kind of drawing, I will find the options available to me are the Workflow Actions and Workflow Conditions, the same things I could get in SharePoint Designer.

Creating your own workflows with Visio

If you have Microsoft Visio 2010 Premium Edition, you will find there is another thing you can do with workflow in SharePoint. In fact, in the flowchart section, you actually have a type of Visio diagram you can create which is a Microsoft SharePoint workflow and this is not just for looking at it. It's actually useful for creating it. If I create that kind of drawing, I will find the options available to me are the Workflow Actions and Workflow Conditions, the same things I could get in SharePoint Designer.

So I could start to actually set out a workflow by starting off with the start process, then I could ask a condition such as checking if a file was a certain file size, and performing certain actions such as sending an email, and then starting to connect those together. Now, it's not as fully featured as in SharePoint Designer but there is a lot of use to it, particularly if you are trying to communicate complex workflows to people.

However, there is a great thing that you can do that kind of ties in the SharePoint Designer and Visio side of things. I am going to go back over into SharePoint Designer where I had my workflow here called Check for Policies. What I am going to do is export to Visio. I would export to something called a Visio Workflow Interchange File or VWI, click Save, and I am just going to close down SharePoint Designer right now. It's quite tempting to think that what we could do is go and find that VWI document and double-click it, but it won't automatically open.

What I have to do is go into Visio and go into the Process section where we have an open diagram and click Import. Find that VWI and click Open, and this is the workflow that we designed in SharePoint Designer. It begins with start, asks the condition about the name of it, then copies the list item, deletes the original item, sends an email, logs it to the history list. Now, you could start to even manipulate this. Let's say I am going to get rid of that Delete Item.

Just select it and hit the Delete key, and perhaps in its place I want to do something else here. I am going to, instead of deleting the original document, I am going to set a field in the current item. I am going to change its name. This is just to show you how we can start to manipulate this. Now again, if we are communicating this structure to people because we are going to be printing it out or showing it to folks, this is about as deep as we need to get. What I am going to do after I have created this is export it. I am going to export it out as Check v2, click Save, close down Visio, I don't need to save anything here, go back into SharePoint Designer.

I do need to obviously go back into the site that I was editing, go into my Workflows section, and I have got the Import from Visio. I will go ahead and browse out to that second version that I had, click Open, click Next. It's telling me that a version of the workflow already exists on the site. Yes, I know. And click Finish to replace it. It looks good. Now, what I am actually seeing here is that the part that I had changed, this line here which originally said Delete current item, is now changed to the Set field to value.

It doesn't know what value I want to set it to and what I am interested in doing here is setting the name to whatever it was before, but with the words Moved to HR policies as a comment at the start of it. So I am going to say set the field, the field I am looking for is Name, to a value, and really I need to build this out. So I am going to click the ellipsis button here. So the comment that I want to put in, I will just put-in square brackets Moved. The square brackets aren't meaningful.

They are doing nothing special. They are just going to be injected into the name of this document. But I want to add the original name of the document. So I will hit the Add or Change Lookup, Current Item, Name, click OK, click OK, check it for errors, contains no errors, and I will republish it back. Now I can close this down, and going back to my Shared Documents library, this is where the workflow is applied. I am going to upload another document that I shouldn't be uploading here.

Go and find another policy document, let's have the Travel Policy, click Open, click OK. We have that uploaded and what I am interested in doing is seeing did they get moved to the HR Policies location? Yes, it certainly did. If I go back to my Shared Documents, we can see it's now been renamed to MOVED TO HR POLICIES LIB Travel Policy but because it's still around here, I could look at my Workflow History and see exactly what I have put in here. The little comment that I added. The document was moved to the HR Policies document library.

So in a lot of cases you are not going to be using either SharePoint Designer or Microsoft Visio, but you might be using a combination of both. I believe that Visio is very, very useful if you have got complex workflows that you want to communicate to people in a visual fashion, not necessarily always for editing in, because you will be able to do more in SharePoint Designer. that's what it's really designed for, but certainly very useful thing to have in your toolkit.

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This video is part of

Image for SharePoint 2010 Essential Training
SharePoint 2010 Essential Training

70 video lessons · 50681 viewers

Simon Allardice
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 16s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
  2. 16m 34s
    1. What is SharePoint?
      8m 9s
    2. SharePoint roles
      2m 5s
    3. Accessing SharePoint
      4m 48s
    4. The SharePoint product line
      1m 32s
  3. 44m 55s
    1. What is a team site?
      2m 43s
    2. Navigating a team site
      9m 41s
    3. Using team site lists and libraries
      11m 38s
    4. Editing the home page
      9m 31s
    5. Adding a Web Part
      6m 19s
    6. Deleting a Web Part
      5m 3s
  4. 10m 53s
    1. What is a Document Workspace?
      4m 2s
    2. Creating a Document Workspace
      4m 3s
    3. Deleting a Document Workspace
      2m 48s
  5. 6m 3s
    1. What is a Meeting Workspace?
      2m 7s
    2. Creating a Meeting Workspace
      2m 40s
    3. Deleting a Meeting Workspace
      1m 16s
  6. 36m 3s
    1. Exploring the available lists
      5m 30s
    2. Creating a custom list
      8m 44s
    3. Creating a custom view
      6m 43s
    4. Working with libraries
      6m 18s
    5. Using versioning and Check In/Check Out
      8m 48s
  7. 45m 55s
    1. SharePoint and Word
      6m 6s
    2. SharePoint and Outlook
      7m 38s
    3. SharePoint and Excel
      3m 54s
    4. SharePoint and Access
      2m 58s
    5. SharePoint and InfoPath
      11m 42s
    6. SharePoint and PowerPoint
      3m 46s
    7. SharePoint and Visio
      6m 20s
    8. Using SharePoint Workspace
      3m 31s
  8. 32m 8s
    1. What is a site collection?
      3m 56s
    2. Creating a site collection
      6m 35s
    3. Creating a new site
      6m 29s
    4. Customizing a site
      7m 47s
    5. Creating a site template
      7m 21s
  9. 13m 53s
    1. Understanding permissions
      3m 33s
    2. Adding a user to a site
      5m 14s
    3. Deleting a user from a site
      1m 39s
    4. Creating a new security group
      3m 27s
  10. 31m 54s
    1. Using out-of-the-box workflows
      11m 1s
    2. Creating your own workflows with SharePoint Designer
      15m 20s
    3. Creating your own workflows with Visio
      5m 33s
  11. 40m 36s
    1. Using site templates
      5m 49s
    2. Using the web content management features
      10m 40s
    3. Using master pages
      3m 37s
    4. Creating an Enterprise Wiki
      7m 14s
    5. Sharing an Access database with Access Services
      7m 19s
    6. Working with rich media
      5m 57s
  12. 53m 9s
    1. Managing documents and records
      3m 0s
    2. What are content types?
      4m 22s
    3. Creating a content type
      11m 30s
    4. What are document sets?
      2m 12s
    5. Creating document sets
      7m 49s
    6. Creating a Document Center
      4m 37s
    7. Creating a Record Center
      8m 25s
    8. Defining information management policy
      11m 14s
  13. 15m 42s
    1. Using personal and social features
      7m 28s
    2. Creating a SharePoint blog
      2m 48s
    3. Personalizing SharePoint with tags and notes
      5m 26s
  14. 21m 22s
    1. Searching in SharePoint
      4m 26s
    2. Creating a Search Center
      8m 4s
    3. Customizing Search with keywords
      3m 30s
    4. Customizing Search with scopes
      5m 22s
  15. 47m 18s
    1. Using Excel Services
      10m 12s
    2. Creating a Business Intelligence Center
      3m 5s
    3. Using PerformancePoint Services
      12m 3s
    4. Using status indicators
      8m 10s
    5. Using the Chart Web Parts
      6m 33s
    6. Using Business Connectivity Services (BCS)
      7m 15s
  16. 1m 3s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 3s

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