Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Email in Workflow is super flexible!

The workflow designer that is shipped as part of frontpage looks great. It reminds me in part of the rule wizard in infopath - I wonder if there is a connection?

Anyway - there is one thing that I was worried about, but it turns out microsoft were way ahead of me. The emailing feature in the workflow designer is sooooo flexible its almost perfect (in computers nothing is ever perfect. ask six developers to write the perfect "hello world" application and you will get at least 6 different applications, each developer defending his solution to the death)

What do I like about it?

Well, for example - you can specify a rule to send an email when something happens in the workflow.

Well, obviously! it wouldnt be a workflow if you cant do that! What is really nice is that you can set formulas to any of the email fields - the "to", "cc", "subject" and body (where is the bcc you ask? I told you nothing is perfect!).

Examples of such a formula -

  1. Workflow lookup - send to an email that is in the meta data of the item in the workflow. This is great for task lists - if the "assigned to" field changed you can make a workflow rule to sent email to the person it was changed to!
  2. User who created current item - this is preety obvious. I guess that user will want to be in the CC of any email generated by the process...Another good idea for this is for discussion boards - I have to try getting the workflow to send a user who asked a question (started a thread) an email about every answer.

If you think about it, the workflow designer actually replaces most of our needs for event handlers. It is so simple to develop, and with actions such as "send email", "set field in current item" and "create list item" and so on, its going to be very usefull for deploying smart solutions fast.

Thanks for that MS!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Another good idea for this is for discussion boards - I have to try getting the workflow to send a user who asked a question (started a thread) an email about every answer"
Is this possible. Can we fire an event in a discussion board. I know we can do this in a document library.
Thanks,
Josh

Ishai Sagi said...

Josh,
Please note that I am talking about sharepoint 2007 and not 2003.
In sharepoint 2007 event handlers are only possible for document libraries. in 2007 every list can have an event handler.
Read in my previous posts about this - I was preety excited when I discovered that.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ishai,

Thanks for getting back with me. Nice to know that in 2007 every list can have an event handler. I have a requirement to let a group of users know when a new discussion item is added to the discussion board.
Please guide me how to approach on this.
Also I have book-marked your blog.

Thanks again,
Josh

Troy said...

another thing that would be great is the ability to view and edit the email before it is sent. A client has asked for this functionality in the workflows I'm creating and so far I have not found a solution. If anyone knows a way of doing this, Please let me know.