Join Gini von Courter for an in-depth discussion in this video Running the Three-state workflow, part of SharePoint Designer 2010: Building Custom Workflows.
I have a SharePoint issue list, and I've added the three-state workflow to be able to automate my issue tracking. This is what this workflow looks like. A user adds request to the Issues list in SharePoint. There's an email to someone to resolve the request. They then update the Issues list with their resolution. The original requester, then, is prompted to decide whether or not that's resolved the issue. If it has, they mark it as complete and the issue is closed. If not they should add some more comments, mark it as Active, and it will be returned again to the start of the list.
So here we have an active phase, resolved phase, and a closed phase. Let's see how this works when a user actually goes in and adds a new issue to the list. Here we are in the Two Trees Olive Oil Issues list. I'm going to add a new item, and I'd like someone to modify InfoPath form - NPJ, and to add a Department dropdown list, and I'm going to ask Olivia to do this. She's the only Olivia in our office, so no exact match was found, but I right-click on her name, and we can resolve it here.
And the issue is going to be active, I don't want to change this. And I could make it a higher or low priority. Actually, every issue of mine has a high priority. So we'll just go ahead and modify that. Now I can add some more comments or description, for example. This request comes from the September steering committee meeting. Please contact John Ferris for details. Now if there were other issues that this depended on, I could go ahead and link them up, but this is the very first issue on my list. There's nothing more to add.
This Comment section is used later by the person who's going to do the work, and let's say that there's a due date on this of October 10th. I'm going to go ahead and Save this. Now the first thing you may notice is that there's a new column here in my view that was never there before. It's called Issue Tracking. That's the name of the workflow, and it shows that it was in progress. This was added to my default view simply because I created the workflow. You'll notice that there is an issue assigned to Olivia, marked as Active, High priority.
Now let's go and see what the email looks like that Olivia received. So here we are in my inbox, Workflow initiated: Modify InfoPath form, and I get a copy of this because I'm the requester, but Olivia also gets this. Notice here's the link, so Olivia's getting an email that says there's a workflow initiated to modify InfoPath form to add the Department dropdown list. Notice that it's important what I provide is the subject for my email, because the workflow is picking it up. When I added this in my issue log, it's being used, and it makes sense then to Olivia once she sees it.
She can click on the link, it will take her right back here into SharePoint, and it says here's the item. So now Olivia can turn around and go modify that info path form and make some changes to it. When she's all done she can edit the item and say, okay, I think this is done. She would go to the Comment section and she would add, "I've added the dropdown; this is ready for testing." Then she'll change this from Active to Resolved, because she believes that she has resolved this, and she will save it.
Notice that the issue now shows as Resolved in the Issue Status field. This would be my clue to be able to go work on it, and sure enough, here comes my email that says it's time to review the work on Modify InfoPath form at dropdown list. So I say, okay, Olivia, you've got the work done. I click on this, I go and take a look at it. Okay, it looks like she says it was all done, it's ready for testing. I would now go over, open up that form, make sure it met all my needs, and say yep, it's all done. Now I have one more thing I need to do.
I need to say thank you Olivia. It's all done. This item is closed. I could even add a note, and I could say, "Looks great! Thanks, Olivia!" and Save this. Notice now that the issue shows as Closed. So there are my three states, active, resolved, and closed. And right now the Issue Tracking workflow shows that it's still In Progress, but in a few moments--or perhaps even right now, if I refresh--it's marked as Complete. So that workflow has run all the way through to conclusion.
That's how easy it is to run a workflow once we've created it on the list in SharePoint 2010.
- Understanding workflows
- Documenting workflows with Excel, Visio, and the Office Drawing Tools
- Running the built-in workflows in SharePoint
- Understanding actions and conditions
- Working with if-then and if-then-else conditions
- Managing workflow messages with Outlook rules
- Pausing and stopping workflows with core actions
- Maintaining workflows with email aliases, workflow logs, and error traps
- Creating custom content types
- Creating a site workflow
- Exporting and publishing workflows