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Entries for the 'Workflow' Category

SharePoint 2016 Forgets Where It’s Installed After Update
Peter Rijks

SharePoint 2016 Forgets Where It’s Installed After Update

Sometimes, when things seem to be going catastrophically wrong, the root cause can be simple. You just have to find it. After a recent batch of updates were applied to a SharePoint 2016 farm, a large number of items quit working on the application server. Outgoing emails stopped sending, workflows stopped working, and scheduled tasks that used the server object model stopped working.  It was a mess. Worse yet, troubleshooting this proved to be a challenge because the SharePoint tracin...

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Persistent Variables in SharePoint Designer Workflows
Michael Dannemiller

Persistent Variables in SharePoint Designer Workflows

Often times when implementing a workflow, we as designers run into a situation where we need a variable to persist between each workflow. Sometimes it’s to determine if a specific process has been completed previously or to count how many times the workflow has run. When we run into these situations, using a workflow variable won’t do since the workflow variables are instantiated anew each time the workflow executes. To solve this we have to serialize the variable in the only way ...

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Automated Contract Generation using Document Metadata In SharePoint 2013
Michael Dannemiller

Automated Contract Generation using Document Metadata In SharePoint 2013

One problem we run across on a fairly regular basis is the process of creating a single document which differs only slightly. Often times, this is a contract for a business that has standardized services. They want to generate a contract with the contact information of a new client, but all of the rest of the content is identical between contracts. One fantastic way to accomplish this is by using list metadata to populate fields in a document with Microsoft Word's Quick Parts. Step one is...

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Building Content Expiration Reminders in SharePoint 2013
Michael Dannemiller

Building Content Expiration Reminders in SharePoint 2013

When you have time-sensitive tasks or documents that require renewal or can expire, SharePoint can be the perfect tool to help you and your company remember to address these upcoming concerns. Using SharePoint Designer workflows, we can set automated reminders to send notifications to assigned parties in order to prevent critical information from becoming overdue. The first thing we have to do is create the key fields in the list for which we want to set reminders. I’m going to assume t...

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Always Open SharePoint 2013 Tasks in Edit Mode
David Ufford

Always Open SharePoint 2013 Tasks in Edit Mode

SyntaxHighlighter.all(); One of the little annoyances with SharePoint workflows is that tasks often open in a display-only mode by default, especially when you are following an email link. The extra click needed to place the task in "Edit" mode causes confusion and wastes time. In SharePoint 2007 and 2010, you could get around this by customizing the task URL in a notification email, or by having users use the "Open this Task" feature of the Outlook client. Unfortunately ...

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Create Site From Template using SharePoint 2013 Workflow
David Ufford

Create Site From Template using SharePoint 2013 Workflow

SharePoint sites are often created for new customers, projects, and events. While it is possible to create each new site manually, having an automated process greatly reduces user training and effort. In previous versions of SharePoint, creating sites from a workflow required deploying custom actions. However, with the new Call HTTP Web Service action in SharePoint 2013 it is possible to apply some tricks and achieve the same result using only SharePoint Designer. Creating a new site using...

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Building Workflows with New Features of SharePoint 2013
David Ufford

Building Workflows with New Features of SharePoint 2013

What is different between the SharePoint 2010 and 2013 workflow engines?  Here are a few new features we find most relevant to our clients.  With the 2013 designer, we can now:  Query almost anything:   The addition of Call HTTP web service as a designer action extends the reach of workflows without resorting to custom code.  Within SharePoint, an HTTP call can query or change list data even on other sites.  Externally, we can interface with other...

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Onboarding Employees using SharePoint Workflow
David Ufford

Onboarding Employees using SharePoint Workflow

Here at DMC, we take great pride in our onboarding process for new employees. We love that all new DMC'ers feel welcome and hit the ground running their first week. Have you ever arrived at a job and spent the first few days waiting for system access? Or for a manager to figure out what to do with you? That doesn't happen here. But as our company continues to expand the process is becoming difficult to manage. With each new employee, there are large numbers of tasks to be completed by...

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Copying and Moving SharePoint 2010 Designer Workflows
Jordan Harris

Copying and Moving SharePoint 2010 Designer Workflows

Anyone that has worked with SharePoint 2010 workflows knows what a valuable tool they can be for a variety of tasks. However, list workflows in particular suffer from a reusability problem. While site and reusable workflows are by design (and definition) reusable, list workflows are tied to a specific list. That does not mean that there are cases when copying or moving the workflow to a different site is a desired action. I recently ran into an issue when I wanted to ...

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Automatically Create a Site Using SharePoint Designer Workflow
Anjali Bharadwa

Automatically Create a Site Using SharePoint Designer Workflow

In the event that a site needs to be created when an item is added to a list, users are able to manually create the site from the out-of-the-box templates or even a customized template if one has been created.  To avoid users having to perform these manual steps and chance them creating the site incorrectly, the custom "Create a Site" action from ILoveSharePoint which can be downloaded free is the perfect tool. This action, along with other custom actions that are included in t...

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SharePoint Designer Workflow Mysteries: Why Your Changes Won't Take Effect
Anjali Bharadwa

SharePoint Designer Workflow Mysteries: Why Your Changes Won't Take Effect

I recently encountered an error in SharePoint Designer without much documented information available and wanted to share my workaround with others who may be experiencing it. The bug occurs when attempting a specific action in SharePoint Designer 2007 and 2010, known as “collect data from user.” In SharePoint Designer 2007 the options you choose will not be marked as complete when you click “Finish.” The solution is to click through t...

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Manage your Sales Process using SharePoint Workflows
Anjali Bharadwa

Manage your Sales Process using SharePoint Workflows

Imagine you are a business that has leads coming in, but you don't have any processes defined to track these opportunities. Tasks may fall off the radar and become missed opportunities which means a loss of revenue and profit for your business. SharePoint Workflow is a cost effective solution that can bring in an immediate and hefty return on investment. In this example we are demonstrating an Internet company that sells custom t-shirts and other novelties. &...

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Microsoft SharePoint Vs. Google Docs/Sites
Rick Rietz

Microsoft SharePoint Vs. Google Docs/Sites

I recently fielded a question from a potential client who wanted to know if Microsoft SharePoint or Google Docs with Google Sites was a better fit for their organization's document management and collaboration needs. Although this question is pretty straight-forward, the explanation can get a bit complicated. The short answer is Google Docs/Sites is great tool if you do not have an enterprise collaboration platform at your disposal, and you need to to get a document sharing site up quickl...

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Choosing the Right SharePoint Development Environment
Benjamin Zeinz

Choosing the Right SharePoint Development Environment

When developing a SharePoint solution, there are many choices of development environments to get the job done, but they are not all equal. Once you’ve figured out the purpose of the page, how many web-parts are required for that purpose, and what the inputs for each web-part are, only then can you consider which development environment is appropriate according. Imagine the following options as a kind of inverted Maslow’s hierarchy SharePoint development: Native SharePoin...

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