Wednesday, February 19, 2014

SharePoint Workflows–first steps

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This is the next in my series about SharePoint Workflows. Make sure you read my previous post before proceeding:

What are SharePoint Workflows?

I am going to use a test SharePoint site on my Office 365, as shown above, to demonstrate you how to use SharePoint Designer to connect up and start creating Workflows.

The articles after that will focus on how actually create a workflow.

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You will firstly need to install and run the free SharePoint Designer 2013.

When you have done that select Open Site from the button on the left.

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You’ll now need to enter the URL of the SharePoint site you wish to connect to as shown above and press the Open button.

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If you see the above warning message about the server version being more recent firstly make sure you are using the right version of SharePoint Designer for the SharePoint you are accessing. Then make sure that all the patches and updates have been applied to SharePoint Designer on the desktop. See this knowledge base article for more information:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2767858

Failing that try using the Click to run version of SharePoint Designer that is provided with Office 365.

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When you have opened you site you should see something like that shown above which displays the structure of your SharePoint site.

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The third item on the menu on the left should be Workflows. Select this and the display will change to that shown above. Typically you will find no Workflows.

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As I mentioned before, Workflows are normally attached to a SharePoint element, such as a Document Library. To view this option select the Lists and Libraries from the menu on the left (normally the item just above Workflows).

Now on the right you should see a complete list of every List or Library on your site. In this case select Documents under Document Libraries on the right.

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You should now see a lot more detail about that particular Document Library on the right hand side.

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If you scroll down the window on the right hand side you should find an area that says Workflows as shown above.

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Pressing the Create button in the top right of this area will allow to create a Workflow attached to this SharePoint item (in this case a Document Library called Documents).

In the next post I’ll show you how to create a very basic workflow and what options are available. From there we’ll look at creating something a bit more involved as mentioned in my first post.