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spd workflows and forms in forms library RRS feed

  • Question

  • I actually find this tool, not well documented and a hostile interface... Anyway What would be the workflow to do the following.
    New item submitted to forms library for initiation of workflow. Is there a way to create an email with the contents to the newly created form?
    Is there a way to automatically export the newly created form into an excel spreadsheet and email that?

    Or is the SPD only good for notifcation that a new form has arrived?

    So help with the bigger picture here would be appreciated.

    Thanks
    • Edited by Mike Walsh FIN Sunday, January 3, 2010 5:51 AM " and forms in forms library" added to original very generic Title. I still think this is more wf than infopath
    Sunday, January 3, 2010 3:07 AM

Answers

  • I tire of your criticism of these tools.  If you don't like them, then don't use them.

    All I will say is the workflow doesn't email a file, but rather it can email a notification with a link to the file, or it can include metadata from the file in its body as long as those fields are promoted, but it won't be an email that looks like the InfoPath form.  InfoPath has its own Submit To Email option that allows you to email the whole form either in the body of an email (requires Outlook), or as an attachment to an email along with the template (XSN) so that the user can open it locally (requires InfoPath).

    Automatically exporting a form's content to Excel and emailing the Excel file would require custom code.  I don't think it's the right idea to email files anyway - you should be linking people TO the files in SharePoint.  Sending file attachments is old school and inefficient.
    SharePoint Architect || My Blog
    • Marked as answer by Paul Galvin Sunday, January 3, 2010 10:35 PM
    Sunday, January 3, 2010 4:45 PM
  • SPD has some limitations when it comes to WF with InfoPath, it's the price you pay for allowing power users to create their own WFs.

    If this is not sufficient you can either create custom actions and use them in SPD (this is the kind of thing where you use custom code to add a command to SPD to use when creating a WF).
    Or
    Create a Visual Studio WF where you can write custom code to do absoluetly anything you want.

    As Clayton Cobb specified, you can include form data in an email notification through SPD if these properties are promoted from InfoPath to the Form's Library.

    Maybe to acheive the desired effect you can submit the form twice, once using email (thus sending the form to a user) and another time to the form's library to start the WF.


    Hazem Elshabini OMS (Online Modern Solutions) Software Developer http://infopointblog.com
    • Marked as answer by Paul Galvin Sunday, January 3, 2010 10:35 PM
    Sunday, January 3, 2010 9:09 PM

All replies

  • I tire of your criticism of these tools.  If you don't like them, then don't use them.

    All I will say is the workflow doesn't email a file, but rather it can email a notification with a link to the file, or it can include metadata from the file in its body as long as those fields are promoted, but it won't be an email that looks like the InfoPath form.  InfoPath has its own Submit To Email option that allows you to email the whole form either in the body of an email (requires Outlook), or as an attachment to an email along with the template (XSN) so that the user can open it locally (requires InfoPath).

    Automatically exporting a form's content to Excel and emailing the Excel file would require custom code.  I don't think it's the right idea to email files anyway - you should be linking people TO the files in SharePoint.  Sending file attachments is old school and inefficient.
    SharePoint Architect || My Blog
    • Marked as answer by Paul Galvin Sunday, January 3, 2010 10:35 PM
    Sunday, January 3, 2010 4:45 PM
  • SPD has some limitations when it comes to WF with InfoPath, it's the price you pay for allowing power users to create their own WFs.

    If this is not sufficient you can either create custom actions and use them in SPD (this is the kind of thing where you use custom code to add a command to SPD to use when creating a WF).
    Or
    Create a Visual Studio WF where you can write custom code to do absoluetly anything you want.

    As Clayton Cobb specified, you can include form data in an email notification through SPD if these properties are promoted from InfoPath to the Form's Library.

    Maybe to acheive the desired effect you can submit the form twice, once using email (thus sending the form to a user) and another time to the form's library to start the WF.


    Hazem Elshabini OMS (Online Modern Solutions) Software Developer http://infopointblog.com
    • Marked as answer by Paul Galvin Sunday, January 3, 2010 10:35 PM
    Sunday, January 3, 2010 9:09 PM
  • Clayton,
    Not to get personal in such a public forum, but everything about my project and objectives you have told me could not be done and SharePoint. Or how SharePoint was the wrong tool. Or that I needed to hire a designer much like yourself. Well, I tire of your can do attitude and lack of constructive solutions. First and foremost I don't need to hire a designer like yourself that lives in a box and has a can't do attitude. I live outside of the box and see wide open territory. You should get out more.  Secondly SharePoint, InfoPath, and spd are poorly documented tools thus half baked in design, doc,and rollout. My suggestion for you is as a "subsidized" member of this forum you should try and offer constructive solutions by example and not type endlessly to hear yourself talk. Old school as it might be Access and Excel still offer capabilities that SharePoint can't. As no code solutions go, Sharepoint is not that complex of a tool to learn, yet the documentation is poor and the UI is weak and cumbersome. Infopath as a tool is pretty good, although the publishing side is to constricted and needs to be opened up. SPD, is awful, a good example of a lab tool that was never polished, yet still released to the public. There is a reason its free. IMHO

    Tuesday, January 5, 2010 2:32 PM
  • All,

    I've actually never posted/responsed to any dicussions before but felt compelled to in this case.

    I would consider myself a super, super, power user of SharePoint and SharePoint Designer.  I began creating workflows in designer about a year and half ago and have launched two major applications to capture/approve/report on Conference/Training Registration and Time-Off Requests (the latter just launched on Monday). 

    Though SPD does have it's limitations, I have been able, with no programming skills, to create dynamic systems to facilitate these processes.  I have not formal SPD training but relied on posts and videos found online.  We do have in house developers that have created more sophisticated "state-machine" workflow using Visual Studio so I do see the value and reasoning for the different approaches/methods.  Wel also purchased Workflow Essential from SharePoint Solutions which provide custom actions that we can use in SPD (basically provides what Hazim mentioned above).

    In the Time-Off Manager system, I am using a InfoPath form published to a Forms Library.  The form is filled out usings Forms Services.  I promoted the fields on the form to the library and in my SPD Workflow, I create and distribute custom emails to the requestor and the approver which include all the information entered on the form plus other information from another list.  The workflow then waits for the manager's approval to complete distribute confirmation emails with the same information.

    I have been with my company for 5 years and SharePoint has been center stage in most of our major applications.  We do have a lot of custom work which we are fortunate enough to internal developers but there is also a lot of OOB features which myself and one other person create and support.  We are also supporting our foreign counterparts for certain collaboration efforts as our their branches don't have the SharePoint expertise.

    I am not a subsidized member but I am a big fan and supportor of SharePoint.

    Wednesday, January 6, 2010 12:58 PM
  • Clayton,
    Not to get personal in such a public forum, but everything about my project and objectives you have told me could not be done and SharePoint. Or how SharePoint was the wrong tool. Or that I needed to hire a designer much like yourself. Well, I tire of your can do attitude and lack of constructive solutions. First and foremost I don't need to hire a designer like yourself that lives in a box and has a can't do attitude. I live outside of the box and see wide open territory. You should get out more.  Secondly SharePoint, InfoPath, and spd are poorly documented tools thus half baked in design, doc,and rollout. My suggestion for you is as a "subsidized" member of this forum you should try and offer constructive solutions by example and not type endlessly to hear yourself talk. Old school as it might be Access and Excel still offer capabilities that SharePoint can't. As no code solutions go, Sharepoint is not that complex of a tool to learn, yet the documentation is poor and the UI is weak and cumbersome. Infopath as a tool is pretty good, although the publishing side is to constricted and needs to be opened up. SPD, is awful, a good example of a lab tool that was never polished, yet still released to the public. There is a reason its free. IMHO


    You tire of _my_ attitude?  I've tried to help you as much as possible, but you are a newbie trying to do complex applications with tools you've never learned while asking us to do it for you on a free forum.  If my 2600 posts and 650+ marked answers don't prove my desire to help, then I dont know what does.  You have had the attitude the whole time, not me.  I just got tired of you talking ____ about the products that the rest of us love to use and USE WITH GREAT EFFECTIVENESS on a daily basis.  Just because you aren't trained on them, it doesn't mean they suck.  Like I said, if you don't like them, aren't willing to get a true expert who does know them, and won't spend the time to truly learn them BEFORE talking smack, then go use something else.

    I live in a box and have a can't do attitude?  That's truly unreal...wow.  What the heck is a subsidized member, too?  I do all of this on my free time and am not even an MVP.  Everything you've written in this reply is a complete farce.
    SharePoint Architect || My Blog
    Wednesday, January 6, 2010 2:56 PM