SharePoint workflow tools—InfoPath, SharePoint Designer, PowerApps, and Flow—are used to automate business processes. Experience a bird's eye view of these tools in this tutorial.
- [Narrator] This is a really interesting time to be creating workflows and forms for SharePoint because we have a number of tools that have been available and then we have some new tools. Let's take a look at the world of development tools for Microsoft SharePoint. First we have the Legacy tools that have been with us for a while. For forms, we have InfoPath Designer 2013, and for workflows, SharePoint Designer 2013. Both of these tools provide a really rich environment for creating Enterprise solutions.
Notice though that we're looking at InfoPath 2013 and SharePoint Designer 2013. These are the current versions of these products. There will be no InfoPath 2016 or 2018. Microsoft has stopped development on these tools. The good news is that both InfoPath and SharePoint Designer will be supported until 2026, another decade, and there are still lots of uses for SharePoint Designer and for InfoPath if you're working with Enterprise Content Management or XML or if you have solutions that you've already created using these tools.
The next possibility is use code. Create custom .NET solutions, and for many organizations this is one way to be able to create, particularly forms, but also to work with workflows in SharePoint. And we can't disregard the role of third party tools for SharePoint. Some of them are forms tools and some are workflow tools. However, there are third party tools like K2 and Nintex that are both form and workflow tools, and if you're creating Enterprise solutions this is another possible path.
But if you're goal is to be able to easily and quickly create solutions that address common business problems, if you like your business users to be able to create business solutions, then the next set of tools, the newer tools for SharePoint are really exciting. First we have a forms application that's called PowerApps. This is a development environment, and a management and sharing environment for applications you create and want to use in your organization. And for workflows, we have a new tool simply called Flow.
We use Flow to automate processes, and part of what's exciting about Flow is it comes with lots of templates to address common business scenarios and it connects with a lot of services not just SharePoint, but as of today 83 different services that are available to connect with Flow. There are pros and cons to these new tools, particularly in relationship to some of the tools that we've used previously. These tools will be extended to work with document libraries but currently only lists, including custom lists, and only the basic field types, which will get us most of the way.
But if you want to use some of the more advanced field types they are not as fully supported in Flow and PowerApps. However, this is a really quick way to create what are called mobile first apps, because that's what PowerApps is designed to do, to create apps that will run in a wide range of mobile environments, and also on the web. Both Flow and PowerApps work with data sources beyond SharePoint. Therefore when you are learning new tools, it's nice when they have a really wide application.
You're not learning something like SharePoint Designer that's specific to SharePoint, you're learning tools that will work with a wide range of services. And the biggest pro of all, fast and accessible no code development. In a modern list, like this one, notice that Flow and PowerApps are included on the menu, at the top of the list, and creating a flow or creating an app are just a click away. In this course, we're going to focus on these new tools, PowerApps and Flow, but if you're interested in creating Enterprise applications using Legacy tools, I'd like to refer you to two courses in the online training library, SharePoint Designer 2013: Custom Workflows, and InfoPath 2013 Essential Training, will give you what you need to know to be able to create workflows and forms that will work for the next decade with SharePoint online and with SharePoint 2016.
Now, let's plunge boldly forward with PowerApps and Flow.
- Signing up for PowerApps and Microsoft Flow
- Importing a custom list from Excel
- Creating and managing a PowerApp from SharePoint
- Formatting text, modifying settings, and branding your app
- Updating app forms and the data source for an app
- Applying conditional formatting to a control
- Creating a flow for a SharePoint list
- Adding data using a mobile app
- Viewing results in Flow