What sort of SharePoint Designer workflow are you looking to build? This movie explains simple and complex workflows you can learn by watching this course.
In this course, we're going to create a number of different workflows. Some of them are workflows that will solve relatively complex business problems, or workflows that may run for a series of days or weeks or even months. And then we'll create some smaller workflows that run quickly, that maybe take us only a few minutes to create, and a few more minutes to test. And then of course, a few more minutes to document. And so, we're going to create a number of different workflows. Some fast and easy, some more complex.
Some that we will complete, some that we'll leave half finished, because we'll have learned what we need to learn out of the first five minutes with the workflow. And we'll use different tools to creat them. And so I'd like to describe the geography and the tools for our time together. Major workflows. First, employee onboarding. Any organization that hires new employees has to have a series of practices that they put in place to make sure that they're getting all of the forms filled out for the employee. But also to make sure that we've given that employee appropriate access to computer systems.
An e-mail account perhaps an office maybe some technology whatever the process is. It's probably a process that in the early days of the business was fairly informal and as your business grows needs to be more and more formalized so we make sure that we. Cross all the Ts and dot all the Is. So this is the sequential series of actions that are related to new employees, employee onboarding. In the same way we used to order business cards by picking up the phone. Calling down to the HR department or the print shop and saying, hey, it's Joe.
I need more cards. When there are only 25 employees, that's not a bad thing. But when there are 2,500 or 25,000, you need process in place. And so this is the formalization of a process that allows an employee to order their own business cards. What's called employee self service. In our organization when we need a new position, we have to go through an approval process for that. A manager or a supervisor or even a vice president or CEO will make requests.
And then the person in charge of that department, whether that's a director or a vice president, has to approve it, but we also need approval from the chief financial officer. And the director of the HR area. So, this is an Approval Workflow that goes through multiple steps. In terms of our Minor Workflows, we're going to create a Workflow that simply confirms to someone who submitted a document, or a list item that, it was submitted. So we're going to e-mail em back and say, we've got it, we're working with it. We might also do a calculation, if that's appropriate, and send them a date that we would have something finished on.
It doesn't matter. The whole idea here is, send an e-mail. We're going to create an announcement from an item that was added to the calendar. And we won't do this automatically. Whenever a user enters something on the HR calendar. Will give them the ability to say yeah, I'd like that event put in the announcements list as well so creating a list item from another list. Back in the day, we had filenames in Windows and before that in DOS where the disk operating system that were constrained to eight characters followed by a period and three more characters hard to believe when we're creating filenames today like my beautiful report I created on a Winter day.
But we used to have to just be able to describe in eight characters that same idea. And because of that, many organizations created maps for how they were using filenames. If you were saving a group of policies, for example, the first two digits might have been the policy's prefix. The next two might have been the policy area or department. When we only had eight characters to use, we were making sure that every one of them had meaning. Because, that's how we were storing our metadata.
We still have file names like that. Even when users were told that they could use 256 characters in a file name, there were still lots of reasons to say, actually, we want to constrain that filename. Because we still had no place to put metadata, so we were still mapping. If you have a library full of policies, documents, time sheets, whatever they are where you've used that kind of practice. We can extract meta data from those file names and put them into columns, which is the appropriate thing to do in SharePoint. We're going to create a minor work flow that allows us to process credit card transactions.
This will pop up a couple of times in the course. We'll look at it early. And a little later on in another version and we really wouldn't be creating this kind of a workflow. This is the kind of thing that you have to buy insurance and fill out many, many forms to prove that you are appropriately protecting each and every transaction. And so today, most folks who want to process transactions aren't going to create their own workflow. They're going to purchase some kind of a service that is going to do this. Even if it's just a square that you plug into your iPhone.
But it makes a great practice for us to learn something about how we work with choices. We're going to create a workflow that's a site workflow available throughout the site, not tied to any list or library, to be able to quickly grab suggestions and feedback from users. And we're going to create a workflow that authorizes a payroll that includes hours that are greater than 40 for an employee. Those are our major and minor workflows, and a few others along the way that don't merit discussion or conversation here.
What tools will we use? Well, the first tool we'll use, and we'll use it only briefly, is Internet Explorer, to be able to create a workflow using the built in workflows in SharePoint. We don't even need SharePoint Designer to create workflows like the three state workflow. It, we'll see shortly. But we're going to download and install SharePoint Designer 2013. This is the SharePoint designer central training course. And this is our workhorse. SharePoint designer has two different interfaces or two different designers built in. SharePoint designers is a free tool.
And, the text based designer inside of it, is the free version of SharePoint Designer. Is one way to thing about it. Because, all you need is your SharePoint site and SharePoint Designer. And, you'd need a browser to be able to check things out. So, this is our development environment for most of this course. However, there's also a visual designer that's available in SharePoint Designer 2013. The reason that this isn't what we spend most of the course working with is it's only enabled if you have Visio Professional installed on the same machine that you have SharePoint Designer installed on. Share point designer is free.
Visual professional I promises is not. And so for many of us if we want to be able to quickly jump in and start learning hot to start creating workflows. Saying pleas send hundreds of dollars and buy me one more piece of software so I can do this visually is a pretty high bar in many of our organization. But if you have Visio Professional not only can you use the visual designer and share point designer but you can also create workflows right in Visio. You can't really finalize them there Visio does not have a way to publish these back to your share point site.
And they're many settings and specific options in command. That Visio cannot provide. However we can begin creating our work flow in Visio Professional. And then we can open it up in SharePoint designer. And further customize it using the text based designer. Or obviously the visual designer. Because if we have Visio on our machine. Then we must be able to use the visual designer. It's possible though, that you have someone in your organization. A business analyst for example, who can use Visio to create the workflow that you need, to work with.
You don't have Visio, but you can still open it and use it in the text-based designer. So these are our workflow development tools that we will be using in this course. And the minor and major workflows that we will be creating together. I'm looking forward to our time together. Let's get started. We have a lot of things to design.
- Automating workflows
- Documenting workflows with Sticky Notes, Excel, and Visio
- Driving workflow interactions with forms
- Using workflow actions
- Making choices and controlling flow with conditions
- Creating a simple form
- Using email notifications
- Pausing and stopping workflows with core actions
- Building a dictionary
- Creating a site workflow
- Deploying workflows
- Creating workflows visually
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: In the video "Creating a workflow with conditions," the email workflow generates the email and successfully changes the value in AreaCalc but the workflow does not complete, and raises no errors. How can I fix this?
Q: Where do I get InfoPath Designer 2013 (mentioned in the "What you need to know" video)?
- If you have Office 2013 Pro, you may already have InfoPath Designer 2013, but it may not have been installed. Try reinstalling Office and choose to install InfoPath Designer.
- Sign up for a free 30-day trial of one of the Office 365 plans that include InfoPath Designer—for example, Office 365 Enterprise (E3) Edition, which also includes SharePoint, or Office 365 ProPlus, which does not include SharePoint. After the 30-day trial you will need to pay a monthly fee for Office 365.