Tuesday, March 7, 2017

How to create SharePoint 2013 reusable workflow on the example of SharePoint email notification workflow

In this article, we will discuss the difference between SharePoint workflow types and create a SharePoint 2013 reusable workflow.

There are 3 types of workflows that you can create in SharePoint Designer.
  • List Workflow
  • Reusable Workflow
  • Site Workflow
sharepoint 2013 reusable workflow

How to create SharePoint Designer 2013 workflow. SharePoint Designer workflow tutorial.

SharePoint Designer workflows are a great way to automate once-manual business processes.

For example, document approval process can involve physical movements of papers from department to department to validate the document with feedback, notes, and revisions. But this time-wasting manual process can be replaced with the SharePoint approval workflow. You have no need even to get up out of your chair!

In the previous article I described how to create SharePoint workflow, provided few examples of SharePoint workflows and highlighted the aspects of their usage. In this post I will demonstrate how to create a simple SharePoint Designer 2013 workflow, if you are new to this topic and want to understand the basics. Actually, this article is a short SharePoint Designer workflow tutorial with the focus on SharePoint approval workflow creation.
SharePoint Designer workflow tutorial 5
Before you begin, you must obviously have the installed SharePoint Designer connected to your SharePoint site. Then you should select or create a SharePoint list. I have created a custom list for the following use case:
  • Step 1: Requester creates a proposal for changes in the company policy and enters it in the SharePoint list.
  • Step 2: His request goes to CEO for approval as an email.
  • Step 3. CEO approves or rejects the request.
  • Step 4: Requester is noticed with email about the result. End of workflow.

SharePoint workflow basics

What is a workflow in SharePoint? How you can apply it to optimize your work processes? How to create workflow in SharePoint? Which SharePoint workflow tools can be used? 

This overview of SharePoint workflow basics highlights the key aspects of workflow usage and the ways to integrate workflows even if you are completely out of coding.

What is a workflow in SharePoint?

SharePoint workflows are intended for business processes automation and reduce manual operations.

Actually, SharePoint workflows are a structured collection of activities, which can be compounded into several SharePoint workflow steps. Each activity represents a functional component of a mapped work process.

You can see on the picture below a sample of a vacations approval workflow. This operation can be easy automated with default SharePoint approval workflow.

SharePoint workflow basics

Monday, February 6, 2017

SharePoint Workflow Scheduler saves logs and does not disable SharePoint workflows with errors

SharePoint Workflow Scheduler by Virto with the newest update was released.

SharePoint Workflow Scheduler is a tool for SharePoint 2016, 2013, 2010, and 2007, that allows users to run any SharePoint workflow within a site collection on a specific date and time. The schedule of a SharePoint workflow includes hourly and recurrent options. Virto SharePoint Workflow Scheduler can be installed on a SharePoint site and does not require Visual Studio or SharePoint Designer to schedule your SharePoint workflows.

With the newest release, we have added two features related to SharePoint workflows with errors. Now, a SharePoint workflow is not stopped if an error occurs.

SharePoint workflow scheduler
Also, you can view SharePoint workflow logs if you click on the SharePoint workflow name. You will be redirected to a folder where you can examine all details of this SharePoint workflow.

SharePoint workflow

You can download the newest version of Virto SharePoint Workflow Scheduler or try its 30-days free trial.
You can also use with this product the 270+ custom SharePoint workflow actions from Virto SharePoint Workflow Activities Extensions Kit.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Office 365 workflow actions update

Office 365 workflow activities range by Virto has been expanded with additional custom actions. We have added actions for List, Permissions and Active Directory processing, and other custom Office 365 workflow activities for SharePoint Designer.

Office 365 workflow

Now you expand the range of ootb actions with more than 70 custom Office 365 workflow activities by Virto and automate your business processes without coding.

The following Office 365 workflow actions have been added:

Thursday, February 2, 2017

How to set up alerts in SharePoint

SharePoint alerts can be configured to send an email or SMS when any documents or items on a SharePoint site have been changed.

There are many use cases and business scenarios where you can use SharePoint alerts. You can configure instant notifications for changes and updates made to an item, list or library to improve the collaboration of a team working on a specific project. SharePoint alerts can be created to track newly added items or accidentally deleted files in a library. You have a variety of options to apply SharePoint alerts in your business processes, but it is a question of limited flexibility of default SharePoint alert triggers that may not always meet specific requirements.

SharePoint alerts

In this article, we will describe how to set up alerts in SharePoint, overview the case how to create SharePoint alerts for other users, and highlight the most wanted functionality that default SharePoint alerts are not capable, but Virto SharePoint Alerts add-in can do.

SharePoint reminder email without any issues

A powerful business platform such as SharePoint has potentially a wide range of possible use cases for SharePoint reminder usage.

  • Create a SharePoint reminder for events from team or personal calendar;
  • Send a SharePoint reminder for recurrent events such as weekly meeting or monthly report;
  • Receive SharePoint reminder email about list items (for example, tasks) in 2 days before they are overdue;
  • Send reminders for users about upcoming tasks assigned to them;
  • Send a SharePoint reminder about contracts or policy expiration.
SharePoint reminder 1

Needless to say, you can't set up any of this features in your default SharePoint environment without third-party solutions.

The SharePoint alerts mechanism allows you to receive a SharePoint alert email based on an action applied to a chosen item or library (new items were created, edited or deleted). But you can't adjust a SharePoint alert based on a date trigger. In other words, you can't create an out-of-the-box SharePoint reminder.

Friday, January 20, 2017

How to create a form in SharePoint. InfoPath replacement.

Regardless of the future of still dying InfoPath with its pro and cons there are many other options to create a form in SharePoint with other solutions. Everyone using InfoPath is concerned about finding mobile friendly and simple-to-use alternatives to InfoPath. Which solution you choose will depend on your business needs, company budget, technical skills and other specific factors. In this article, we will highlight the most obvious ways to create a form in SharePoint, using alternatives to InfoPath.

alternatives to InfoPath 1

We have following criteria to be considered:
  • even a non-power user must be capable to create a form in SharePoint
  • the solution must be price-effective
  • the solution involves an easy SharePoint implementation along with a strict compliance of security policies
  • average time to create a form in SharePoint must be optimized

Let`s explore which alternatives to InfoPath you can use.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

SharePoint Kanban web part was redesigned and comes with charts, task watchers, email notifications, and other features.

SharePoint Kanban has the major 3.0.1 update and you can enjoy the new design and a whole bunch of new abilities that equate the SharePoint Kanban on premise and the powerful Virto Office 365 Kanban. The web part is available for SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint 2013.

SharePoint Kanban web part

1. Design.

The design of SharePoint Kanban was changed to a modern one.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Office 365 Alerts has the Reminders feature

Office 365 Alerts add-in by VirtoSoftware was renamed to Office 365 Alerts and Reminders add-in. As you might expect, we added the new functionality to our alerting solution and now you can send alerts and notifications about upcoming events as well.

You can use email reminders for meetings, appointments, project deadlines, events, and any other dates that you want to keep track of.

Whenever you schedule a reminder, each user assigned to this reminder will receive email with notification, which can include the details that need his attention.

Office 365 Alerts and Reminders 1