SharePoint Workflow Whitepaper

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Transcript of SharePoint Workflow Whitepaper

This whitepaper gives an overview of how Microsoft Visio Premium 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010 together enable easier workflow authoring and tracking. It also includes detailed tips for working successfully between Visio and SharePoint Designer.

SharePoint Workflow Authoring in Visio Premium 2010

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Table of ContentsTopics covered in this whitepaper include: y SharePoint workflow authoring experience in Visio Premium 2010 y Visualization of SharePoint Designer 2010 workflows y Workflow visualization in SharePoint with Visio Services

Contents Cover Sheet ................................................................................................................................................................................................ 2 Introduction ........................................................................................................................................................................................... 2 Table of Contents ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 1 SharePoint Workflow Authoring in Visio Premium 2010 .......................................................................................................... 2 Workflow Validation ........................................................................................................................................................................... 5 Exporting Workflow to SharePoint Designer 2010 ............................................................................................................... 11 Visualization of SharePoint Designer 2010 Workflows ............................................................................................................ 12 Export a workflow from SharePoint Designer 2010 into Visio Premium 2010........................................................... 12 Collaborating on Workflow Design through Round-tripping .......................................................................................... 14 Workflow Visualization in SharePoint with Visio Services ................................................................................................. 14 Level of Workflow Support ............................................................................................................................................................ 16

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SharePoint Workflow Authoring in Visio Premium 2010Introduction Microsoft Visio has long been the tool of choice for documenting processes. Ever since the introduction of workflow support in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, we have been hearing from customers, wouldnt it be great to visualize SharePoint workflows in Visio like flowcharts? Wouldnt it also be great to go from Visio business process diagrams to executable workflows on SharePoint? Since then, the Visio team and the Microsoft SharePoint Designer team have partnered to enhance the workflow authoring experience. In Visio Premium 2010, SharePoint workflows can be authored as a flowchart and exported to SharePoint Designer 2010. For business analysts who are used to defining business processes in Visio, it means there is now an easy way to translate business logic in Visio to workflow rules in SharePoint Designer.

Workflows authored in SharePoint Designer 2010 can also be imported into Visio Premium 2010. For IT professionals who have been implementing SharePoint workflows in SharePoint Designer, it means there is now an alternative way to present these workflows in a visual representation for documentation and for sharing with a broader audience.

Vi i Web

This whitepaper gives an overview of how Visio Premium 2010 and SharePoint Designer 2010 together enable easier workflow authoring and tracking. It also includes detailed tips for working successfully between Visio and SharePoint Designer.

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SharePoint Workflow Authoring in Visio Premium 2010With Visio Premium 2010, we allow Business Analysts and Process Analysts who are already familiar with flowcharting in Visio to continue to author their business logic in Visio, but we also allow them to go further by exporting that business flowto SharePoint Designer 2010 such that the workflow can be automated in SharePoint. In Visio Premium 2010, we are introducing a brand new drawing template for authoring SharePoint workflows. When you launch Visio, you can click on Newunder the File tab, click on the Flowchart Template Category, then click on Microsoft SharePoint Workflow to start authoring a SharePoint workflow.

Note that SharePoint Workflows should only be created from the SharePoint Workflow template, not other Flowchart templates.Visio does not recognize basic flowcharts or any other non-SharePoint Workflow shapes as SharePoint workflows.

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Upon opening the drawing, three stencils are available: SharePoint Workflow Actions, SharePoint Workflow Conditions, and SharePoint Workflow Terminators.

All shapes in the SharePoint Workflow stencils directly correlate to workflow activities provided out-of-box in SharePoint. A workflow action is a task or a step in the workflow. Send an Email is an example of a SharePoint workflow action. A workflow condition is similar to a decision shape in a flowchart, where a flowchart path is dependent on some parameter or logic. An example of a SharePoint workflow condition is Created By, where the next workflow activities to execute depends on who created the item in the workflow.Finally, a workflow terminator is used to signify the start or the end of a workflow. To start authoring a SharePoint workflow, you candrop shapes to the drawing canvas, just like creating any flowchart in Visio. All workflows should start with the Start shape, and end with the Terminate shape. For connectors following a condition shape, you can right-click on the connector, and click on Yes, No, or (Blank) to add a label to the connector.

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You can also modify the original shape text and replace it with text more relevant to your business process. This shape text is shown in SharePoint Designer after the workflow is exported from Visio. This can help the SharePoint Designer user better understand the purpose of the workflow activity.

Workflow Validation To successfully export a workflow to SharePoint Designer 2010, the workflow must first be valid. To validate a workflow, users can click on the Process tab, and click on theCheck Diagram button.

In the event that your workflow has issues, an Issues window will pop up, and the shape having the issue will be highlighted.

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While some issues are more common than others, here is a complete tableof possible issues as you validate your diagram. This table also includes sample diagrams for each issue, and suggestions on how to fix the diagram. All workflowsto be exported to SharePoint Designer must be sequential workflows. State machine workflows and workflows with loops are not supported by SharePoint Designer, and Visio will raise validation issues for such workflows. In addition, Visio does not supportthe exporting of workflows to Microsoft Visual Studio . Rule Description A Custom action cannot be added to a workflow diagram. The Custom action can only be generated when importing workflow from SharePoint Designer. A Custom condition cannot be added to a workflow diagram. The custom condition can only be generated when importing workflow from SharePoint Designer. A Compound condition cannot be manually added to a workflow diagram. The compound condition can only be generated when importing workflow from SharePoint Designer. Sample Diagram with Issue Suggestions To signify an activity that does not yet exist, the Add a Comment action should be used. Users should not create a new Custom action from an existing one through copy and paste.

To signify an activity that does not yet exist, the Add a Comment action should be used. Users should not create a new Custom condition from an existing one through copy and paste.

To signify a condition that does not yet exist, the Add a Comment action should be used. Users should not create a new Compound condition from an existing one through copy and paste.

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Duplicate connections exist between workflow shapes.

Remove excess connector by selecting connector and delete.

Loop back to parent shape is not allowed.

Neither Visio nor SharePoint Designer support workflows with loops. Check for loops and delete the looping connections.

Parallel activities that are also sequential are not allowed.

Avoid parallel activities that are also sequential by adjusting the flow logic such that the activities are only parallel or only sequential.

Avoid connectors pointing to the same activity from multiple paths by duplicating the activity:

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If dealing with parallel blocks that are one after another (usually workflows constructed from SharePoint Designer), use the Add a Comment shape between the two parallel blocks such that the blocks are separated cleanly:Send a n e ail Crea te list ite

Add a co

e nt

Assig n a to

Do calculation

The condition shape does not have connections labeled with Yes or No.

Right-click on the connector to assign label Yes or No.

The condition shape must have at least one outgoing connection with label Yes or No.

Ensure condition shape has an outgoing connector connected to another workflow shape.

The connector is not a SharePoint Workflow connector.