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Workflow implementation

Posted on 2010-11-30
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I have been reading all over the web that folders are very, very bad to use in SharePoint.
With that said, here's a problem I'm having.

We have a hotline request system that I want to implement using a workflow in SharePoint.  It's used by investigators.  Here's how the system works:
The requests come in through phone call, via email or mail.

If it's through the phone, it gets recorded into a document so there can be an electronic copy of it and then it's placed in a folder.  If the request gets mailed in with associated documents (could be from 3 to 15+ documents), each document that was mailed gets scanned and put in a folder.  If it's through email, the email including all attachments gets put in a folder.  
When each folder is created with it's associated documents, a unique number is assigned to it so it can be referenced by an investigator working the case.  At any time, more documents can be sent and added to the folder.

Well, this brings me back to folders.  In my workflow, I want the folders to be created automatically and based on the documents, stored in it's appropriate folder.

Is this possible? If so, could you please point me in the right direction of how to go about doing this.  Also, could folders be avoided in this situation? If so , how?  Thanks.
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Question by:Isaac
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Expert Comment

by:GreatGerm
ID: 34241242
Folders aren't bad, but the aren't good either and don't really fit in the way SharePoint works.  You would be best having a column for the reference number and setting all documents to that reference number as they are added or via a workflow.
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by:Isaac
ID: 34242007
>> setting all documents to that reference number as they are added or via a workflow. <<
How would I do this?  How would I do this for an email?  In one day, we could get hundreds of documents.  How would I cipher through each document and assign it the appropriate reference number?  Also, some of the emails could be spam.

Any suggestions on doing this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:GreatGerm
ID: 34242101
Wow, input via possibly non-conforming email.  This is going to be fun.

Is there a reason that documents can't be added using a web interface that you control rather than via email?
If these have to come in via email, how is the reference number communicated by the sender?
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LVL 5

Author Comment

by:Isaac
ID: 34243245
That's a very good question.  This is how it's been done (via email)for years before I arrived.

Can I add documents to SharePoint via a web based interface?  Wouldn't there be a upload limit issue?
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Author Comment

by:Isaac
ID: 34243257
>>If these have to come in via email, how is the reference number communicated by the sender?
<<
Also, a reference number is not assigned until after the documents have been reviewed and validated as a new case.
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Accepted Solution

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GreatGerm earned 2000 total points
ID: 34243442
You can definitely use a web based interface (even the default document library one).  There's really not a limit aside from size (default 50MB) and storage space.  

In the way that it is done now, how are the documents handled before they are given a new reference number?  Can you just have a reference id of something like "pending" until they are evaluated?
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Author Comment

by:Isaac
ID: 34276064
Sorry for the late response.

Once all the documents have been reviewed and identified as a valid case then they are given a new reference number.

>>Can you just have a reference id of something like "pending" until they are evaluated? <<
That's definately an idea to consider.
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