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Creating Custom Workflows with SharePoint Designer 2010 (part 3) - Testing Our Workflow

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6. Testing Our Workflow

From the Site Actions menu in your site, select the Site Workflows icon. This brings up a page that shows all the site workflows (see Figure 12), where we can start a new workflow or check the status of running or complete workflows.

Figure 12. The Site Workflows page allows you to start a new site workflow or to track running or complete workflows

Clicking the Request Elevated Permissions icon will kick off the new workflow. Figure 13 shows the user being prompted for the access level she is requesting. You can see how our simple workflow variable gets converted into a user-friendly choice field. Once the user selects a value, all she has to do is click the Start button to get the workflow started.

Figure 13. The workflow variable you created in SharePoint designer gets converted into a drop-down list allowing the user to select the permission level he or she is requesting

If you remember from our steps, clicking Start will send an e-mail to the administrator, create a task for the administrator, and log the activity to the workflow history log. So let’s take a look at all of these. If we return to our Site Workflows page, we now see our workflow in the Running workflows section. Clicking this workflow brings us to the information page for this workflow instance. Figure 14 shows our workflow information page where we can see status, the assigned task, and the workflow history entry.

Figure 14. The information page for the workflow shows the current status, any assigned tasks, and the workflow history

If you switch to Outlook, you see the e-mail that our workflow sent (see Figure 15). The e-mail body contains the requested user’s name, the requested permission, and a link to the site.

Figure 15. The e-mail sent by the workflow contains information about the user, requested access, and the site in question

While this workflow is pretty simple with only three steps, you can see the value in using SharePoint Designer for workflow development without having to get the IT department or developers involved. SharePoint Designer gives the end user many options for developing workflows by providing conditions and several actions. It does not, however, help in visualizing the workflow process itself, as the steps in Designer are linear. The next section shows how Microsoft Visio 2010 can be used to design the workflow, and how Visio Services is used to provide the user a visual representation of the workflow process.

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