Sharepoint 2010 : Making Business Processes Work - Using the Provided Workflows (part 3) - Checking the Workflow Status

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4. Checking the Workflow Status

Once again, we open up the item workflow page. This time we see our workflow listed under Running workflows. Clicking the workflow title will open the information for this workflow instance. Figure 8 shows the information page where we can see general status information at the top as well as tasks that have been assigned and a running workflow history.

Figure 8. The workflow instance information page displays status information as well as task assignments and a running workflow history

It’s not very practical for the user to have to check the workflow information page to see what tasks have been assigned to them, and they don’t. Typically, when tasks are assigned through workflow, the assignee is notified via e-mail. Figure 19 shows the e-mail our assignee received in Outlook. The e-mail contains a link directly to the document for review and also includes a button in the ribbon to open the task where they can (in this case) approve or reject the document.

Figure 9. The assignee is notified when a task has been assigned to him or her. From the e-mail, he or she can access the item or document directly as well as the assigned task.

As well as sending the e-mail, Office 2010 provides a handy notification bar at the top of the document that also allows the user to open the task directly (Figure 10). If he accidently closes the information bar, there is also a link to the task from the Info page under the File tab.

Figure 10. Office 2010 notifies the user that a workflow task has been assigned to him or her for this document

The task form allows the assignee to fill in feedback and to action the task by approving, rejecting, and so on (Figure 11). For our approval workflow, the user can also request a change or even reassign the task.

Figure 11. The workflow task form allows the reviewer to provide comments and to approve or deny the document

The workflow templates that SharePoint Server 2010 provides have plenty of functionality that will suit the majority of simple approval workflows. However, the user is not limited to these workflows alone. The next section discusses using SharePoint Designer to take workflows to the next level.

  •  Sharepoint 2010 : Making Business Processes Work - Getting Started with Workflow, Workflow Terminology
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