13: Workflow in .NET

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13: Workflow
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data for which they are responsible Employees can ll out their status reports, salespersons can enter sales data, team managers can generate the aggregate status report for the team, and sales managers can generate the weekly sales data report for upper management By using Button controls with conditional formatting and user roles, we ve created a way to prevent users from seeing those views that don t pertain to their role In addition to this scenario that we ve built, you can easily imagine how to build different types of work ows by using buttons, rules, and user roles We re sure you can think of endless ideas for building work ows with roles in InfoPath form templates
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Workflow with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007
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As we mentioned, with user roles, you can control who can view speci c data and views in a form However, the work ow still depends on knowing who needs to do what at each step of the way For example, if you have a travel request form that needs to be approved by your manager, your manager still needs to know that something must be done After you ll out the travel request form, you ll most likely need to send an e-mail to your manager to tell him or her that you have submitted a request Then, your manager will need to know what needs to be done to approve the request and whether or not multiple approvals are needed By using InfoPath 2007 with MOSS 2007 (which is built on Windows SharePoint Services [WSS] 30), you can make this process much easier Using these two Microsoft products, you can easily establish different types of work ow processes, as we ll show you in this section But rst, let s talk brie y about exactly what a work ow is A work ow is, basically, just a set of one or more activities that, together, represent some process A work ow models a set of activities to be performed from start to nish A work ow design usually consists of a model that groups a set of activities This model contains not only the activities that pertain to the work ow but also the transitions between activities and the conditions (if any) that may determine which activity is next in the ow Work ows can contain either human or system processes There are two types of work ow: sequential and state machine A sequential work ow is
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ideal for operations that include a series of steps executed one after another until all the activities are completed A state machine work ow consists of a set of states, transitions, and actions In this type of work ow, there is a start state and, usually, an end state, with transitions in between In addition, actions can be performed at each state in the work ow Using the Microsoft Windows Work ow Foundation, which includes a Visual Studio 2005 extension, you can create your own work ows by using a graphical designer In addition, you can use Microsoft Of ce SharePoint Designer 2007 to create work ows However, unlike Visual Studio, you cannot easily integrate InfoPath forms into the work ow when using SharePoint Designer MOSS 2007 includes a set of default work ows you can use right out of the box, as listed in Table 131 (Additional work ows available with
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Table 131: Workflows Included with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Workflow Name Description
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Approval Collect Feedback
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Routes the form for approval to the people you specify Allows you to collect feedback from various people The form will be routed to those people you specify so they can review the form The review feedback is compiled and sent to the owner of the form when the workflow is complete Routes the form to various people in order to collect signatures This workflow allows you to obtain multiple signatures for a form or other document Allows participants to maintain documents By using this workflow you can determine whether to retain or delete documents that are expired Functions similarly to the Approval workflow However, this workflow, which is available only in East Asian versions of MOSS 2007, allows users to use a stamp control as opposed to a signature Helps you manage the translation of documents from one language to another This workflow is available only for a Translation Management Library
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