Custom approval workflow

by Mark Deraeve 22. May 2008 03:19

I've created a workflow for document approval in a large firm. There are 4 states in the workflow that a document can have: Draft, Reviewed, Approved, Published.

At first the document is uploaded and recieves the status Draft. The workflow kicks in here! A task is created for all users who are in the sharepoint group 'Reviewers'. They recieve a mail that referres to the task that is created for them. One of the reviewers needs to complete the task in order to activate the workflow to the next fase.

The status of the document is set to Reviewed. When a task is created the user will be informed of it by email to. The email holds the link to the item, in this case the document and it has a link to the task. Here is the content of an email that was send after creating the review task when a author uploaded a document.

So the user has 2 options, read the document via the link, and set the task to complete when he approves with the content. Whe he disapproves, he has to start a manual workflow to inform the reviewer about the corrections that need to be done.

When the last approvers give green light, the document will be published, first the 2nd approvers are asked to give the users who need to be informed about the new document and then it will be copied to an document library that has read permissions for these users. The email that informs the uses holds a link to a webpart page. This page has a webpart that contains a link to the document and a button for read confirmation. The complete workflow can be visualized like this:

This is how it looks like in Sharepoint Designer:

There are still some things that can be improved, but we decided to implement the workflow now because the time it will save. At this moment they manage using outlook only.


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7/31/2008 5:13:24 PM #

I made some big changes to this workflow.
Now it passed complete testing and is ready for validation.

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About the author

I started as a VB6 developer, programming all kinds of applications. I also got involved in the development of a e-market in ASP.

When .Net was introduced, I had the privilege to start in a team of professionals and develop a framework. I learned a lot and started to work as a c#.Net consultant from then on.

After 2 years I also got the chance to work for several months with SharePoint. SharePoint kept chasing me all the years after and when the product got more and more mature I started to love it. Then SharePoint was a daily occupation for me. I implemented a large quality document management system at PMRL being the only developer/technical analyst. Working close together with the QA department we succeeded in making and improving a very good Quality document management system. Its used up until this day.

I worked for 6 years as a .Net consultant for 2 of the largest consultancy companies in Belgium. One of my last projects with the consultancy was creating a custom LIMS system in c#.Net. This was a success and the customer asked me to stay and help to expand and maintain this LIMS. I had great years in this company. There was a focus on innovation and a lot of opportunities for improving and developing new IS systems. Apart from several small projects I further more improved the custom LIMS system, created a SOP library based on SharePoint and a web based Skill matrix system to handle the skills of the employees in the company. 

Then I was involved in transferring the LIMS to a new lab in Singapore. This was done in a short time frame. The deployment was again a success and it passed the GLP inspection tests. I learned a lot from the Quality engineers about validation of computerized systems.

At my current job I have a wide range of challenges. Mainly I'm still working with .Net (VB.net and C#.Net). But outside of the Microsoft world I also do some ABAB programming in our SAP system. Like developing Adobe Forms and the program behind it. Or making small changes to customized code.

I'm working for 2 years with objective C now. Creating apps for factories across Europe. People in the factory are working with IPad to take pictures and upload them to orders and more. Already more and more projects are coming my way. The iOS apps are supported by a home made .Net architecture that exposes WCF services. Its working great. My second app is almost ready for deployment in factories. Now I started an App for the management team so they can manage projects on their IPAD and IPHONE. Next generation apps are build with a .Net Web API background combined with EF 6.0.

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