Webinar on SharePoint Designer 2010 Workflows integration with InfoPath and Visio

Our next webinar is set to be held on Thursday, July 29th 3-4pm Eastern. Hope you can join us. Registration link: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/737138753

Creating Workflows with SharePoint Designer 2010, InfoPath and Visio
Skill Level – 200 (Intermediate)

Forms and Workflows are important for automating business processes. Companies usually rely on programmers to create the forms and workflows using code. Not anymore! With InfoPath 2010 and SharePoint Designer 2010, you can create powerful data driven form composite solutions on your SharePoint sites. InfoPath gives you the ability to pull data from databases and lists, and create forms with data validation and conditional formatting. SharePoint Designer’s workflows let you then design powerful multi-step workflows centered around the form collected data, building upon the out-of-the-box reusable workflows and even import workflow designs from Visio!  In this presentation, you will see how these tools come together to design workflows and route forms across your organization for task assignment and approval.

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Making InfoPath work for You – without the code but just as powerful!

I have always been a big fan of InfoPath and all the possibilities that it offers. We already have a bunch of videos demonstrating some very cool functionality within InfoPath here: https://www.visualsp.com/infopath/. A ton more videos will be created in the future for InfoPath 2010 to show you all that it can do.

Aside from all that InfoPath can do, you can of course put code behind the forms to extend it a lot further. However, my recommendation to my clients and students has always been to look at all of the other possibilities first before jumping into code because once you do go that route, there is no turning back. Also, the management of code requires a developer and most times that means that it creates a bottleneck for fixing any current bugs and implementing new features. If the original form designer, hopefully the business analyst with the business knowledge, can take ownership of fixing the issues and extending the functionality as needed, the process is usually a whole lot smoother and faster.

To that end, I would like to introduce you to Qdabra qRules. Think of this as packaged features that you can just turn ON in your forms – plug and play! Qdabra qRules lets you use rules in place of code to quickly add common features to your InfoPath forms. qRules 2.1 (the most recent release) contains 25 of the most commonly requested functions accessible via rules—even things that aren’t available in InfoPath today like encrypting fields.

Functions in Qdabra qRules include:

  • Password Protect – Hide sensitive data using client-side encryption
  • Format Date – Format your dates from SharePoint or SQL and show just the year, month, or day
  • Get Week Day – Get the date value for a day of the week and improve your forms’ usefulness. Use Get Week Day in an open rule to quickly calculate the date for a weekday and populate your form based on it
  • Input Parameters View Switching – copy Input Parameters to your main data source on load and use to switch views (codeless!)
  • Submit To SharePoint List – Submit your XML form to a SharePoint list—now browser compatible
  • Copy Table – from secondary source of main data source
  • Set Value – filter target value
  • Generate GUID, Sort Table, Save To SharePoint, and more

 

Here is some additional information about qRules:

 

If you are an avid user and a fan of InfoPath, IMHO you would be doing a disservice to yourself and your company by not checking out this product since it can make your current processes much much easier!

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My MSDN article on using SharePoint Designer and InfoPath to Automate Business Processes

A few months back, I had written an article on using SharePoint Designer 2007 and InfoPath 2007 to automate business processes. The solution uses InfoPath to create a powerful electronic form, publishes it to a SharePoint form library, then routes that form through a workflow process using a workflow created in SharePoint Designer. Creating your business scenarios in this fashion will let you design true end to end solutions, without using any code, that will save you Tons of time!

This article has finally made it onto MSDN. Check it out here in its entirety: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff355359.aspx. You can also check out the video/screencast for this whole process here: https://www.visualsp.com/automate-business-processes-using-infopath-forms-and-sharepoint-designer-workflows/

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Free Webinars on InfoPath /SharePoint Designer Workflows and Reporting through SharePoint

My colleague at Captare Training, Coskun Cavusoglu, and I are presenting two free Webinars. Details are below. Hope to see you (virtually) there:

Yes You Can! Powerful Forms Creation

InfoPath Forms with Integrated SharePoint Designer Workflows – Live Webinar

Date: Wednesday, May 27th

Time: 2 to 3 pm Eastern (1 to 2 pm Central/11 to Noon Pacific)

Forms and workflows are essential to business processes. Companies usually rely on programmers to create the forms and workflows using code. NOT ANYMORE!

SharePoint MVP Asif Rehmani delivers this powerful webinar! If you have access to Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer you can create powerful data driven form solutions on your SharePoint sites. InfoPath gives you the ability to pull data from databases and lists, and create forms with data validation and conditional formatting. SharePoint Designer’s workflows let you then design multi-step workflows centered around the form collected data. In this presentation you’ll see how to design a robust form using InfoPath and then design a workflow using SharePoint Designer to route it appropriately.

You can register here for this webinar.

 

Put the Pedal to the Metal – Encore Presentation

Reporting through SharePoint – Live Webinar

Date: Thursday, May 21st

Time: 2 to 3 pm Eastern (1 to 2 pm Central/11 to Noon Pacific)

SharePoint guru Coskun “Cujo” Cavusoglu will be your driver and discuss how Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services has two gears: Native and SharePoint Integrated. Native mode is like driving on a highway (smooth and fast) but there is a speed limit. Incorporating Reporting Services into MOSS via SharePoint Integrated mode enables users to put the pedal to the metal and speed through tasks.

We will explore how the integration works and how to get the most out of your investment if you set up Reporting Services in SharePoint Integrated mode. You will learn the functionalities that didn’t make it to the integrated mode, or unsupported scenarios, that you should be fully aware of before putting the foot to the floor. Both pros and cons will be discussed.

You can register here for this webinar.

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InfoPath Pattern matching – “Email” field

While teaching the InfoPath/Workflow class last week, I had the need to restrict a textbox control in an InfoPath form to only contain emails. If an invalid email is inserted, it should throw a validation error. Out of the box, the patterns provided by InfoPath are very limited. It only provides patterns for Phone Number, SSN, and Zip code:

I thought surely somewhere out on the web I would find the pattern needed for this, but to my surprise, I couldn’t find “a working one” (doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist, but I just couldn’t find one after an extensive search). Here are the ones I did find and either they just didn’t work or were limiting in nature:

So I ended up creating a simple pattern myself:

.+@.+\..+

This might not catch All types of invalid emails, but it does catch quite a lot of them. Hope this post helps someone experiencing the same frustration as I did last week.

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