SharePoint Designer 2013 can be used to create all types of workflows. This video is an example of how to automate business card ordering.
The next few movies are going to use a workflow called, order business cards. And it's a great workflow. We're actually starting this workflow by looking at the outcome that the business wants, and that's a great way to do this. They want to be able to have people enter their orders for business cards. Right now what happens is, somebody wants a new business card, they pick up the phone and they call HR or they send an email to somebody. And then there's the follow-up calls, when will I get my cards? And it's a perfect self-service type of workflow.
Self-service meaning that the person that wants to place an order can do it themselves. So, after the business cards have been ordered, the email that goes back to the person who ordered them should look like this. And I've created this email and highlighted the fields that are variables or pieces of information that the user has entered when they filled out the list. It says, your order for 500 business cards for this particular person has been received.
The cards will be shipped to the office that was chosen, on the ship date that was calculated, using UPS two day shipping. Your expense budget will be charged an amount we calculated based on the order size at that time. So this is what the email looks like. Getting to this email then, is what the process looks like. So, we need to create a list. And I've already done that. I've also saved an Excel version of the list with some notes to make it relatively easy for you to create the list if you wish to do so.
So I'm going to switch over to Excel right now. And you will find this particular file called Order Business Cards in the exercise files for Chapter nine, it has your columns across the top and a table with one record. The record of my ordering business cards, which was what we saw that email from a moment ago and then down below, whether or not it's required, what type of data, single line of text choice and in this case, these are where the choices are. Here we're going to do a lookup to a departments list.
If you haven't created one of those already, you might want to create one for this workflow. And then we have a choice list here that is simply being entered in the form for right now. So, you can use this to be able to publish the table, if you're not familiar with this in Excel, it's really pretty easy. You say you'd like to export this to a SharePoint list. And then you'll be prompted about where you would like to put that. And it will give you a list, and it'll have one record in it, and that's just great. Let's take a look at what the list looks like then, that I created.
So let's switch over to SharePoint. Here's our list, which you just saw a moment ago. But it's easier to see when we open up a new form where a user would be entering their information. There are a lot of required fields here. You'll notice that they have asterisks. So we're getting the email address of the person who is placing this order. Remembering that, that many people might have somebody in their department order cards for everybody. An administrative assistant or somebody who's in charge of making sure that all of the appropriate business cards have been ordered.
The person chooses a quantity and there's the full name that they would like to have appear on the card and that might include things like, you know, a degree, and MBA, a doctorate. Whatever we want to put under full name. Job title as it will appear on the card. A department, an email address, a main phone, an office phone, a mobile phone, a location, and we will get the mailing address then for that location when we print the cards. And then, optionally, we're allowing users to be able to put their LinkedIn or Twitter names here on their business card.
That's what this looks like. So, in order to be able to generate the email that we saw earlier, we're going to need to be able to calculate how long it would take to be able to print the cards, so that we can tell them when we're going to be sending them, and what the charge-back amount is for the budget. So we will need then, to be able to store two pieces of information. A charge-back amount, and the date on which this order would be completed and ready for shipping. Perfect reason to use local variables, and we're going to create those ourselves so that we can name them with names that we want to use in the workflow.
Let's create those variables then, in the next movie.
- 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.