Monday, June 14, 2010

Email in Workflow is super flexible!

Email in Workflow is super flexible!

The workflow designer that is shipped as part of frontpage looks great. It reminds me in part of the rule wizard in infopath - I wonder if there is a connection?

Anyway - there is one thing that I was worried about, but it turns out microsoft were way ahead of me. The emailing feature in the workflow designer is sooooo flexible its almost perfect (in computers nothing is ever perfect. ask six developers to write the perfect "hello world" application and you will get at least 6 different applications, each developer defending his solution to the death)

What do I like about it?

Well, for example - you can specify a rule to send an email when something happens in the workflow.

Well, obviously! it wouldnt be a workflow if you cant do that!
What is really nice is that you can set formulas to any of the email fields - the "to", "cc", "subject" and body (where is the bcc you ask? I told you nothing is perfect!).

Examples of such a formula -

  1. Workflow lookup - send to an email that is in the meta data of the item in the workflow. This is great for task lists - if the "assigned to" field changed you can make a workflow rule to sent email to the person it was changed to!
  2. User who created current item - this is preety obvious. I guess that user will want to be in the CC of any email generated by the process...Another good idea for this is for discussion boards - I have to try getting the workflow to send a user who asked a question (started a thread) an email about every answer.

If you think about it, the workflow designer actually replaces most of our needs for event handlers. It is so simple to develop, and with actions such as "send email", "set field in current item" and "create list item" and so on, its going to be very usefull for deploying smart solutions fast.

Thanks for that MS!

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