SharePoint Workflows Tweet Jam Topics and Guidelines

On Thursday, Oct. 3rd from 9– 10 am PDT / 12– 1 pm EDT, we will host a tweet jam to discuss trending issues and questions regarding SharePoint Workflows. In attendance will be Chris Beckett – certified SharePoint expert, author, trainer, and consultant. Chris has over a decade of experience building workflow solutions with SharePoint and will be there to contribute to discussions, provide answers to your questions and share some helpful tips!

What Exactly Is a Tweet Jam? 

A tweet jam is a one-hour discussion hosted on Twitter. The purpose of a tweet jam is to share knowledge and answer questions on an issue relevant to a specific group (in this case SharePoint users building workflows). Each tweet jam is led by a moderator (SharePoint-Videos.com) and a dedicated group of experts  to keep the discussion flowing. The public (or anyone using Twitter interested in the topic) is encouraged to join the discussion.

In attendance will be:

  1. @sharepointbits – Chris Becket, Microsoft Specialist, Trainer, and Author on SharePoint Workflows
  2. @asifrehmani – Asif Rehmani, SharePoint Server MVP, Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT), and Author
All experience levels are welcome to join in, just tweet all questions and/or responses throughout the Tweet Jam by using the #SPWorkflow hashtag, messages will automatically become part of the discussion.

 

Participation Guidelines: 

Whether you’re new to Twitter or an avid Twitter user, please follow these guidelines to keep the discussion useful to all.

  • Have your first #SPWorkflow tweet be an introduction: name, occupation.
  • Subsequent tweets should start with the question number being responded to and the #spworkflow hashtag. For example, “@sharepointbits Q2 -what new features are available in SP Designer 2013? #spworkflow”
  • Do not use the tweet jam session for product or service promotional announcements. The goal of the session is to exchange knowledge and stimulate discussion on the topic.
  • Keep the discussion professional, but informal
  • A tweet jam is an open public forum – please be focused and thoughtful in your postings.

 

Discussion Topics

Planned discussion points include anything relevant to “workflows” in SharePoint with a few hot topics such as:

  • How do you upgrade SharePoint 2010 workflows to 2013?
  • Will SharePoint 2010 workflows run on SharePoint 2013?
  • What is Workflow Manager? Is it included with SharePoint 2013?
  • What are the Top X considerations for preparing to deploy SharePoint 2013 workflows?
  • What is the Workflow Interop Bridge? Why would I use it?
  • What are the Top X new features that I should be excited about with SharePoint 2013 workflow?
  • Can you still write custom workflow extensions for SharePoint 2013 workflows?

We’ll have plenty of power users, developers, content managers and experts in attendance to respond to your questions, provide useful tips and we look forward to hearing your input as well!

If you have any questions prior to the event or would like to join as a participant, please direct them to Kari Bennett: kari(at)sharepointElearning(dot)com. We anticipate a productive and informative chat and hope many of you will be able to join the discussion!

If you do miss the tweetjam, please feel free to join Chris in his online SharePoint Designer 2013 No-Code Workflow training class on October 10th from 11 am – 3 pm EDT.

SharePoint Workflows Online Class

 

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Interview with SharePoint Pro blog

I recently got a chance to touch base with Caroline Marwitz of SharePoint Pro magazine. Caroline provided a few very though provoking questions in an interview format that was then posted to SharePoint Pro Mag here:

http://www.sharepointpromag.com/blog/sharepoint-pro-by-admins-devs-industry-observers-23/sharepoint-2013/sharepoint-designer—144254

It covers some of my thoughts on the current and future versions of SharePoint Designer. Check it out and provide some comments and your own thoughts if you have a few minutes.

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Project Management in SharePoint without Project Server – video tutorial

SharePoint Foundation 2010 by itself is a great platform upon which a project manager can manage the projects. SharePoint offers several list types that, on their own are simple, powerful ways to track information and when you connect these lists together, you can product a project management hub. All you need to do this are the two free products: SharePoint Foundation 2010 and SharePoint Designer 2010.

Complete Project Management course available here

Check it out here:

Project Management in SharePoint
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Change where Edit Control Button (ECB) appears in a list or library

The Edit Control Button (ECB) aka the context drop-down menu that appears for lists and libraries, as shown in the image below, is the way you can execute built in and custom actions on list and library items.

image

A question that many people wonder about is: how can I move this menu so it appears on a different field instead of the default one?

Well, wonder no more! Watch the video below to see how it’s done. One catch though: you will need SharePoint Designer 2010 (available for free) to make the change.

Enabling and Disabling ECB menu on list/library items
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SharePoint Designer 2013 Design View is Gone! – effects Data View web part and List View web part

The Design View no longer exists in SharePoint Designer 2013. This changes the way we work with (or used to work with) all sorts of visual elements in SharePoint.

I have been meaning to write this post for a very long time, but there is so much I want to say, I couldn’t find the time until now to hunker down and say it all (or at least most of it). So here we go.

Note:  I have always been a visual kind of guy and I like to show things instead of just describing them. This post will be no different. Below, I have provided visuals that will be helpful for the reader to understand the impact of Design View removal from SharePoint Designer.

What exactly has changed?

image

SharePoint Designer 2010 with Design View

 

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SharePoint Designer 2013 without Design View

 

What the above images mean is that you can only see Code View for any and all pages now in SharePoint Designer 2013. No more Design View (or Split View for that matter) and no more WYSIWYG functionality on any of the following types of pages:

  • Site Pages (Wiki Pages)
  • List View pages / Library View pages
  • Web Part Pages

The Impact

Now that you know what has changed, let’s look at the type of functionality that is going to be missing in SharePoint Designer 2013.

List View / List Form web parts and Data View / Data Form web parts are inserted and modified in SharePoint Designer 2010 to show data from all sorts of sources including the following:

  • Lists
  • Libraries
  • Databases
  • Web Services (both SOAP and REST)

If you have time, check out the video below to see a sample of the type of coolness you can produce using these web parts with SharePoint Designer 2010. This video shows creating and modifying a SharePoint List Form in Design View:

Here is a link to this same video on SharePoint-Videos.com:
https://www.visualsp.com/sp10create-custom-list-form-pages-using-sharepoint-designer/

SharePoint Designer 2013 still has the implementations of these web parts, however, there is no way to visually modify them the way it is shown in the video. You would have to jump into Code View to manipulate the XSLT and XML manually to produce the same results.

Conditional Formatting is one of the most Awesome features in SharePoint Designer 2010. You can use it to conditionally format and/or display data and images on any SharePoint page as shown in image below.

image

With the absence of Design View, there is no visual way to configure the web parts (List View and Data View) to conditionally format text and other objects in SharePoint Designer 2013.

There is a very easy way in SharePoint Designer 2010 to connect web parts together using web part connections on the same page or even across pages. These connections can pass field values which can then be used to filter data and more.

image

No way to make the web part connections in SharePoint Designer 2013. You can still, however, make web part connections on the same page using the web browser.

The Formula window (also referred to as the XPath Expression builder) lets us present incoming data using all types of different formulae such as concat, average, count, substring, formatDate and dozens more like them.

image

In SharePoint Designer 2013, you can still insert the formulae, but it would have to be done directly in Code View since the Design View is required for the Insert Formula window to be presented.

In SharePoint Designer 2010, there are small tweaks that we can perform for web parts that we take for granted currently such as adjusting width of columns, modifying column headings, adding/removing columns etc. This is all accomplished in the Design View of course.

image

Can’t do any of that stuff in SharePoint Designer 2013 due to the lack of Design View (sorry to sound like a broken record now).

All of the modifications listed above are supposed to migrate seamlessly to SharePoint 2013. However, after the migration, the maintenance of these solutions would have to be a manual code based process.

I’m sure there is stuff that I forgot to mention. I’ll update the post as I think of more things to draw a more complete picture for the readers of this post.

Justification for removing Design View

In Microsoft’s own words:

http://designshare.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/spd_designview.png

No comment from me.

Related Post

My MVP buddies have already started a good discussion thread out on the forums regarding this subject:

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/sharepointitpropreview/thread/8f8e2cb3-a90f-4653-9d22-050f9f0d8612/

The thread contains comments, thoughts and opinions from many highly regarded folks in the industry such as Marc Anderson, Laura Rogers, Jennifer Mason, John White, Tom Resing, Paul Stork, Christina Wheeler, Stephen Cawood, Mike Walsh and more (sorry if I missed you). I would recommend joining the discussion and voicing your opinion on how this change can affect your environment and company.

What should You do?

If you are a Power User who loves working with and creating no-code solutions on SharePoint, you are the one most affected by this change. There is no replacement for the functionality lost in any other product that I know of so far. SharePoint Designer was it and now there is none! In SharePoint 2013, there will be no other built in functionality that will let you manage these no-code solutions visually. If you know of something I don’t, I would love for you to comment about it below.

This decision has created a huge ‘Vendor Opportunity’. I do foresee  a vendor creating a solution for this in the future so when someone asks me what they should do now, I can at least say ‘There is an App for that’!

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MSDN article on SharePoint Online and SharePoint Designer 2010

MSDN article on Customizing SharePoint Online using SharePoint Designer 2010:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh428136.aspx

Why use SharePoint Designer to customize SharePoint Online? In a nutshell, you only have 3 choices:

  • Browser – limited amount of solutions can be created directly through the browser (can’t do things such as powerful workflows, BCS, data views to database data etc.)
  • Visual Studio – within the enterprise, this is a very powerful tool for developers. However, in SharePoint online space, you can only use VS to create sandbox solutions or use the client object model. No farm based solutions
  • SharePoint Designer – This is where the story is Amazing! Almost everything you can do with SharePoint Designer within the enterprise, you can do at SharePoint Online. Powerful workflows, data connections to external systems, management of forms and views for lists and libraries, content types and site columns management… all covered and more. Read the article to see all that can be accomplished with using this product and SharePoint Online
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