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SharePoint Three State Workflow

Other descriptions:

Here is a simple description of »Three state« workflow how it works.

  1. Create a new »Issue« (before doing this assign »Three State Workflows« to »Issue tracking« list)
  2. Edit and save the item. When the item is saved, the first workflow is generated.
  3. A new item appears in the »Issue tracking« list.
  4. User receives an e-mail with instructions what to do:
  5. A new generated workflow appears in the »Tasks« list.
  6. In order to finish the task, open the task in edit mode.
  7. Set the status filed to »Completed«. The task is complete now and will made a change on the »Issue tracking« item. This item will go to the middle state and the second workflow will be generated.
  8. On the task list you can see that the first task is completed and the new one is here.
  9. At the same time the item on the »Issue tracking« list is now in the »Resolved« state. At the beginning it was in »Active state«.
  10. Let us complete the second task now.
  11. Both tasks are now completed.
  12. On the »Issue tracking« list an item is now in the final state »Closed«. The case is finished.
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SharePoint Workflow, Failed to start

My worflow failed to start. In the ULS logs I got the following message:

Category: Workflow Infrastructure
Message: System.ArguementException: Item does not exist. It may have been deleted by another user. 

According to the discussion in this thread I concluded that the »Workflow source files« (.XSN, .XOML) were Checked Out. I checked in these files and it started to work.

Final explanation on this thread was:

Basically the problem was in fact related with the versioning state of the SPD workflow files. The files in the workflow publishing process were not checked in and so no other user could access them, which lead to the errors described in the post above. And the reason for the fail in the check-in was because the list that has the workflow files has a Title field that was set to required and not Optional as it should be.

This was due to the fact that the Title field is being inherited from somewhere at the sitecollection level where it is being “Required”. We suspect that this is happening at the “Document” parent level (by default the Title for the “Document” content type is “optional”). That needs to be changed.

Solution: One needs to go to the Document content type and verify if the “Title” field is set to “Required”. If it is, click on “Title” and then change it to “Optional” and save the change (this might return an error stating it can’t propagate the change to some content types, but it propagated to the workflow lists).

Take the following steps:

  1. In SPD in the »Site Objects« pane select »All files« and then »Workflows«.
  2. Find your workflow and select it
  3. You can see that some files are checked out (green tick marks)
  4. Check In all these files
  5. My workflow started to work after taking these steps.
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Send e-mail in a workflow – SharePoint Designer – Microsoft Office

Send e-mail in a workflow – SharePoint Designer – Microsoft Office.

SharePoint 2010, Site Workflow

Site workflow is connected to the site and we can use it to perform actions on different lists, libraries and items. In this short description I provide information how to create a new item on a list by using “Site Workflow”.

At first we create a custom list with the desired columns, which we will use in this example. Let say we have a list of ideas, that are submited by employees.

Now start editing the site in designer (SiteActions/Eidt in SharePoint Designer).

Create a new site workflow (Workflows/Site Workflow icon on ribbon). With this workflow we will “Create item” on the “Idea” list.

We will create a new item on one of the lists on our site. In our example it is “Ideas” list. We have to provide the user a special form to fill in the data, because our workflow is not connected to the list of ideas. If we would use a new command directly on the list, the new item form od that list is displayed. But in this case we have to use “Initiation Form Parameters” command. When the dialog opens, we have to add all the fields that we need from the user to fill in in order to create a new item on the “Idea” list.

Now select the desired list and connect parameters with the “Idea” list columns. In this example I connected only one filed (only Description filed; other columns take default values or are calculated).

When the workflow is finished, save it and publish.

To find the site workflows, follow the next pictures:

When you start the workflow, the following form opens. Fill it out and finish the form.

The result is a new item on the “Idea” list.

You can redesign form by using InfoPath Designer tool. Open the form from the SharePoint Designer.

Edit the form (e.g. insert text, format fonst, insert pictures etc.). When you finish editing, publish the form back to the workflow. How to do this properly you can see on the second picture.

Now invoke the site workflow once again. You will get the new form:

Of course, you won’t use “Site Workflow” just to add new items to the lists. It is just an example, how we can use workflows that are not connected to listst or content types and do actions on items in different places around one site.

There is one other important thing and that is how to simply invoke the workflow from anywhere on the site, by clicking on the link. Simply, copy the current explorer address when the site workflow initation form is opened and use it on menu or quick launch.

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Overview: Creating Workflows with SharePoint Designer 2010, InfoPath 2010 and Visio 2010 | Matthijs Hoekstra | Channel 9

Overview: Creating Workflows with SharePoint Designer 2010, InfoPath 2010 and Visio 2010 | Matthijs Hoekstra | Channel 9.

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Building SharePoint Workflows with SharePoint Designer and Visio

SharePoint Workflow Authoring in Visio Premium 2010 (Part 1) – Visio Insights – Site Home – MSDN Blogs.

SharePoint Workflow Authoring in Visio Premium 2010 (Part 2) – Visio Insights – Site Home – MSDN Blogs.

Transfer workflows between SharePoint Designer and Visio – SharePoint Designer – Microsoft Office.

SharePoint 2010 and InfoPath forms

Here are some basic facts about InfoPath. InfoPath is a versatile data-collection tool designed to make the creation of forms within SharePoint extremely easy, efficient, and connected to out-of-the-box or custom workflows.

InfoPath 2010 is available with Office Professional Plus 2010

You can use InfoPath 2010 to customize list forms on SharePoint. Here is an example how to do this How to start customize list form (New/Edit/View) using InfoPath Designer 2010.

More interesting is how we can use InfoPath in business solutions and workflows. Here are a few examples of the types of business solutions and applications that use InfoPath forms:

  • Form-driven applications start with a form that is used to gather data and add in other SharePoint functionality to process and report on the data including workflows, reporting, custom Web Pages, and external lists. Examples include a help desk Web site, a procurement center, or an employee hiring center for a human resources department.
  • Document workflow applications automate document-based business processes. Adding InfoPath forms to workflows lets you gather information from the users at predefined times in the life of the workflow and let users interact with the tasks for that workflow. Examples include contract approval, technical specification review, or processing for legal documents.
  • Business data applications start with data in an external system that is made available in SharePoint Server through Business Connectivity Services. Data in the external systems is accessible in SharePoint Server through external lists and can be added, viewed, updated, and deleted by using InfoPath forms. Examples include customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning.
  • Ad hoc business processes can be managed by using SharePoint lists. The forms used for creating, reading, and updating items in these lists can be customized by using InfoPath 2010. Examples include simple issue tracking or tasks lists.
  • Document information panels use InfoPath forms to display document metadata within the Microsoft Office system client application.

InfoPath consists of the following main components:

  • InfoPath 2010 is the Office system client application that has the following two modes:
    • Microsoft InfoPath Designer 2010 is used to create form templates. Form templates define the data structure, appearance, and behavior of a form. After the design process has been completed, form designers publish the form template to SharePoint Server so that users can start filling out forms based on that template.
    • Microsoft InfoPath Filler 2010 is used to fill out forms that are based on form templates created in InfoPath Designer.
  • InfoPath Forms Services in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 enables forms to be rendered in the Web browser. It is available as an Enterprise feature of SharePoint Server 2010. Farm administrators configure settings for InfoPath Forms Services on the SharePoint Central Administration Web site.

There are two main form-filling environments, the Web browser and InfoPath Filler. Any form can be filled out in InfoPath Filler. Only browser-enabled forms can be filled out in a Web browser. SharePoint list forms can be filled out offline by using SharePoint Workspace. Form library forms can be filled out offline by using InfoPath Filler.

SharePoint list form templates cannot contain managed code or repeating or nested data. If the overall solution requires managed code or complex data structures in forms, you must use a form library. Form designers can add managed code to their forms by using Visual Studio Tools for Applications (VSTA). VSTA is an optional installation component available in Setup for InfoPath 2010.

A form library is a SharePoint document library that uses an InfoPath form as its default content type. Forms that are filled out by users are stored as XML files in the library. Form library forms should be used if your solution requires any of the following features:

  • Repeating or nested data
  • Digital signatures
  • Managed code
  • Form data stored as XML

Form designers publish form templates by using InfoPath Designer.

Here is a nice description, how to design the InfoPath form and how to use it with the workflow: InfoPath 2010 with SharePoint 2010: A Walkthrough.

Here are some other useful links on InfoPath:

SharePoint 2010 Workflow problem, The form cannot be rendered.

I received the following error message when I was trying to start the workflow in SharePoint 2010.

You need to install the ‘State Service’ via the Configuration wizard in Central Administration.

Here is the procedure step by step:

  1. Go to Central Administration and select Configuration Wizard

  1. On the next screen launch the Wizard.

  1. On the next screen Start the Wizard.

  1. On the list of many services you will find »State service«. In my case it was already selected on the form, but evidently not activated yet.

  1. Finish the form and wait until the »processing« stops. When the »processing« finisehed, I was offered the following form to create a new top-level Web Site. You can freely skip this step. What we needed was already done.

  2. Refresh your site and you won’t receive the error message again. Workflow finally starts working.