If you need to manage or monitor a business process that involves multiple steps and several people, design a SharePoint workflow in Microsoft Visio Premium 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010 to guarantee consistency across the steps in the process. The SharePoint workflow helps the process by implementing and enforcing business logic within the actions and events of a SharePoint list or library. Specific human tasks are completed in a specific order and alerts are sent out to process shareholders as necessary.
Visio Premium 2010 includes a SharePoint Workflow template with flowchart shapes that correspond to SharePoint workflow conditions and actions. The Visio diagram can then be exported to SharePoint Designer 2010 so that the specific actions and conditions of the workflow can be customized to apply to the data source or sources on the SharePoint site. Once the workflow is completed in SharePoint Designer, it can be published directly to the SharePoint site.
This is ideal for creating and streamlining common business processes, such as project approval or document review. For more information about how to create workflows in SharePoint Designer 2010, see Introduction to designing and customizing workflows.
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Workflows are a feature of SharePoint Server 2010. SharePoint Designer 2010 is required to customize and publish the workflow to the SharePoint site.
In addition, you must have Microsoft Visio Premium 2010 to use the SharePoint Workflow template. Other shapes, such as connectors from other stencils, are not recognized by SharePoint Designer as valid SharePoint workflow actions or conditions.
Step 1: Create the workflow in Visio Premium 2010
To start creating a SharePoint workflow in Visio Premium 2010, you must create a new diagram using the Microsoft SharePoint Workflow template. To create the template, go to File > New > Flowchart > Microsoft SharePoint Workflow.
With the template open, drag shapes onto the drawing page, starting with a Start shape and ending with an End shape from the SharePoint Workflow Terminators stencil. Add text to the shapes to explain the business process that the shape represents. Once you have finished creating the workflow, validate the diagram and then export it as a Visio Workflow Interchange (*.vwi) file.
Before you export the workflow, the diagram must be validated. For a list of validation issues and how to resolve them, see SharePoint Workflow validation issues in Visio.
For more details about how to create a SharePoint Workflow diagram, see Create, import, and export SharePoint workflows in Visio.
For more information about how SharePoint Designer 2010 interprets Visio shapes from the SharePoint Workflow template, see SharePoint Workflow template shapes guide.
Step 2: Modify and publish the workflow from SharePoint Designer 2010
When you import the Visio Workflow Interchange (*.vwi) file into SharePoint Designer 2010, the workflow opens in the workflow editor. Each of the conditions and actions from the Visio diagram are shown with placeholder conditions and variables. Shape text is shown as gray comments above the corresponding conditions and actions from the diagram.
Customize the conditions and actions in the workflow by clicking the default variables and specifying fields in the SharePoint data source (list or document library). Once the workflow is complete, validate the workflow, save it, and then publish it to the SharePoint site.
For more information about how to modify a workflow in SharePoint Designer 2010, see Introduction to designing and customizing workflows.
For more information about what workflow actions or conditions to use for a workflow, see Workflow actions in SharePoint Designer 2010: A quick reference guide or Workflow conditions in SharePoint Designer 2010: A quick reference guide.