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SharePoint Designer and InfoPath

Posted on 2011-02-14
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello All,

I created a workflow in SPD that works fine so far.
Now I want the user to fill out an InfoPath form based on a variable in the SPD workflow.
Is this possible?

If so, how can this be done?
If not, what's an alternative?

Question by:Isaac
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 34892349
What version of SharePoint?

Author Comment

ID: 34893970
MOSS 2007
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 34895229
Hi there - does this article describe what you're trying to achieve?


Hope it helps!
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Author Comment

ID: 34906573
No, that does not help.

I want the infopath form to come up during the process of the workflow.
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 34906841
I think you need to elaborate.  Can you provide a description of your workflow and exactly what you want to achieve?

Author Comment

ID: 34907292
Sorry about that.  I should have explained what I had so far and where I'm trying to get to.

This workflow is what investigators will use to get legitamate documents to build up a case folder.

I currently have 3 document libraries. (SPOTLINE, REROUTE AND PRIORITY).
The SPOTLINE document library currently has an email address and the other 2 do not.
Emails(with attachments) that are sent to SPOTLINE need to be filtered and sent to one of the other 2 libraries.
I was able to implement a workflow in SharePoint designer to accomplish the above (unfortunately, I could not do it to an email and it's attached documents as one. I had to apply the workflow to each email and each attached document).

Here's where I'm stuck:
In the PRIORITY document library, when an investigator starts a workflow,
if any of the documents reference a previous issue, the user needs to fill out a FORM 4(built in infopath).    I'm not sure how to render a infopath form during a workflow process.
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 34908443
Thanks for the explanation.

I think the simple answer to how to render an infopath form during a workflow created with SharePoint Designer is that you can't.  At best, I think you could email the user a link to the form that they need to fill out, and you could set a hidden value against the document item to record that you are awaiting the form being completed, and have code behind the InfoPath form reset the value afterwards - but I doubt that would meet your needs.

I think you'll need to bite the bullet and design your workflow in Visual Studio.

A good article about the limitations of SPD and when to use it and when to use VS can be found at http://blogs.mosshosting.com/archive/2009/01/09/workflow-sharepoint-designer-or-visual-studio.aspx

One of the benefits of the Visual Studio approach is that you should be able to create a workflow task that moves both the email and its attachments in the same step.  You can also have a more elaborate/powerful set of rules determining whether they need to fill out FORM 4 or not.

That may not be the answer you were hoping for, but I suspect you were already coming to the conclusion that SPD didn't have the capabilities that you needed...

Author Comment

ID: 34908724
You're right...that's the road I did not want to go down.  It seems painful.  Oh well!  No pain, no gain.
I did not want to go the VS way b/c of the timeline of the project and my lack of knowledge in VS workflows, but I guess I will be doing some late nights.

Anyway, if you don't mind, could you give me a headstart on how to do the first part of what I've done in SharePoint designer into Visual Studio.

In SharePoint designer, as I'm sure you already know, there are Conditions and Actions that define the steps of a workflow.  How do I represent conditions and actions in VS?  Just trying to figure out how to do the filtering of emails and documents part.

Thanks for any help you can provide.
LVL 12

Accepted Solution

Hairbrush earned 2000 total points
ID: 34909331
When you create a new workflow in Visual Studio you get a workflow designer surface where you can drag and drop activities from the tool pane, and then you can connect them up to create the flow of logic.  Each activity in SPD should have an equivalent in VS.  Each activity that you drag onto the design surface has a set of properties - some mandatory and some optional.  You'll need to set these accordingly.  You can also double-click on the activity to create code that will run as part of that activity.

With VS you will need to choose between a sequential and a state machine workflow.  The article I put a link to in my previous comment has a good description of the differences.  I am not sure which will suit your needs best.

You'll need to install your finished workflow by deploying it as a feature.  When you create the feature definition (an xml file) you'll specify the various elements that will be included in the feature, and you should include a reference to the InfoPath form(s) that you've created.

I would recommend a book "Workflow in the 2007 Microsoft Office System" which is the only one I've found that covers both workflow and InfoPath. Amazon have a Kindle version, if you don't want to wait for it to arrive in the mail.

Author Comment

ID: 34909591
Thanks Hairbrush!

Your help is much appreciated.
I'm sure I'll be back on EE seeking more help.

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