Activity Ideas (Please use Issue Tracker for actual requests)

Coordinator
Jul 4, 2007 at 7:44 AM
Post your activity ideas here.
Jul 5, 2007 at 1:04 PM
Hy there!
I have the following suggestion:
  • Current workflow starts an other workflow

Maybe later on I get more things in mind ;)
Jul 6, 2007 at 1:45 PM
Edited Jul 6, 2007 at 1:50 PM
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Jul 6, 2007 at 1:49 PM
Improve scheduling and timing of workflow actions.

* Schedule workflow to run every x number of (min, hours, days, etc)
--> Until n number of times
--> Until a certain date
--> Until a certain user action (good for e-nag)

* Delay workflow for x number of (min, hours, days, etc)
--> Then start at a certain time
--> Then start at a certain date
--> Then start at a certain user action

Jul 6, 2007 at 2:01 PM
Edited Jul 6, 2007 at 2:02 PM
*
Jul 6, 2007 at 2:01 PM
Edited Jul 6, 2007 at 2:04 PM
I have a workflow that sends out new announcements via email. The problem with this is that if a user adds a hyperlink in the announcement to a list item or document, the link is botched in the email. Rather than using the FULL path, it sends a RELATIVE path.

Example:
Say the announcement contains this bit of html (via rich text editor)
<a href="http://mywss.com/library/info.doc/">link</a>
The email html will then be
<a href="http://library/info.doc/">link</a> ...botched!

I'd like to see some command or option to send full paths when the workflow extracts rich text information from a list.

PS: Sorry about the double postings: I was getting form errors when submitting for some reason!
Coordinator
Jul 6, 2007 at 3:46 PM
I reverse engineered OOTB send email activity, and there is actually a method there called BreakBody(), it appears they are doing it on purpose. You could use "Send email with http attachment" activity to achieve the desired result.

Jul 8, 2007 at 2:42 PM
I would like to propose „Archive document“activity. It would work as follows:

  1. When a document is created or modified
    1. Variable DocumentDate = Read a document property (configurable via Sharepoint Designer) – user must select a document property in DateTime format
      1. Extract variables:
        1. DocumentYear = Year(DocumentDate)
        2. DocumentMonth = Month(DocumentDate) (Preferably month name instead of number)
    2. In Archive document library (configurable via Sharepoint Designer) do
      1. Check for a folder DocumentYear (if it does not exist create one)
      2. Check for a subfolder DocumentMonth in folder DocumentYear (if DocumentMonth folder does not exists create one)
      3. Copy document to DocumentYear/DocumentMonth folder of Archive document library , rename it to OriginalDocumentName-DocumentDate.extension (overwrite if document with same name exists)
Coordinator
Jul 10, 2007 at 12:11 AM
This discussion has been copied to a work item. Click here to go to the work item and continue the discussion.
Jul 14, 2007 at 7:06 PM
Edited Jul 14, 2007 at 7:08 PM
The "Send email with http attachment" is good in some situations. The down-side is that it could lead to document proliferation in the case of sending to a list-server like we do. Also, if you have ever encountered ISO9001 document control policies, you know that decentralizing a document (like sending it to many people) leads to version issues (if they are updated). A link in this case, takes care of this "uncontrolled document" issue. I think there is more power in sending a live hyperlink to the document stored in a WSS doc library. In this way, you drive people to visit the site and have an opportunity to edit the document (new version) without sending everyone an updated http attachment. I'd really like to see an option to send a link as I discussed in my previous post. This would require the workflow to recognize rich text HTML where the user has types a link internal to the WSS site and leave the full path in place rather than stripping-out the parent. There must be some code trick you can implement to get this working, I hope. I have searched all over MSDN, SharePointU, MS WSS 3 site, and other SharePoint MVP blogs for a solution without any luck.
Coordinator
Jul 19, 2007 at 5:58 PM
We will address this issue in Send Email with List Item data custom task

Thanks for your comments and suggestions

NiskyPTO wrote:
The "Send email with http attachment" is good in some situations. The down-side is that it could lead to document proliferation in the case of sending to a list-server like we do. Also, if you have ever encountered ISO9001 document control policies, you know that decentralizing a document (like sending it to many people) leads to version issues (if they are updated). A link in this case, takes care of this "uncontrolled document" issue. I think there is more power in sending a live hyperlink to the document stored in a WSS doc library. In this way, you drive people to visit the site and have an opportunity to edit the document (new version) without sending everyone an updated http attachment. I'd really like to see an option to send a link as I discussed in my previous post. This would require the workflow to recognize rich text HTML where the user has types a link internal to the WSS site and leave the full path in place rather than stripping-out the parent. There must be some code trick you can implement to get this working, I hope. I have searched all over MSDN, SharePointU, MS WSS 3 site, and other SharePoint MVP blogs for a solution without any luck.

Aug 6, 2007 at 2:06 PM
I'd still like a WF option to just send an absolute link URL to a Document in a library or even some Page of my WSS site. It's really frustrating that only relative URLs are sent in emails. Thank you.
Aug 10, 2007 at 10:17 AM
It wold be great to have an activity that makes it possible to move/copy a listitem (with atachments) to a list/library located on a different site.
Aug 10, 2007 at 2:14 PM

Elin wrote:
It wold be great to have an activity that makes it possible to move/copy a listitem (with atachments) to a list/library located on a different site.



That's a good one! This would allow automation of roll-ups: A key feature missing in WSS3 (but not MOSS). For example, the WF could collect all new announcements from some sub-sites to a top-level site.
Aug 24, 2007 at 8:18 AM
Update an InfoPath form with values from within a workflow.

I would appreciate an activity where you can update an InfoPath form with values from a workflow. "urdagama" has done some coding on this in his/her blog:

http://officerocks.blogspot.com/2007/07/updating-sharepoint-library-infopath.html
Sep 4, 2007 at 5:06 PM
I would like to see:

1) a workflow action that can copy a list item to a list on a separate site (similar to the manual "Send To" capability). As a custom action, though, we'd be able to put conditions around it and time it within workflows.

2) a workflow action that can copy a list item to a specific folder within a list. Right now, the copy list item can only be targeted to a list / library, but we make use of folders for permissioning in many cases. We'd like to be able to determine, based on metadata field values for submitted content which folder the item should be moved to for proper permissions.

3) a workflow action to modify security for an item.



Sep 5, 2007 at 5:29 PM
Here's an add-on for the email-enabled lists: How about a workflow that starts when a list receives an email?

The workflow can parse the email contents in such a way as to update column headings in the list. Yes, you have to somehow tag the contents in the email body in a standardized way. For example: In the following email, the Workflow would put Joe's email in the "Modified by" column, the custom column "Subject" would get the text "News", the body would be parsed into three custom columns "Info", "Expiration", and "Priority" with the text, pictures, etc. Since other workflows could be initiated after parsing, this would be a powerful way to "roll-up" or "roll-down" information across sites as well as be a nifty way to get info out to your teams.

From: joe@yadda.com
Subject: News
Body:
<Info:tag>
Hi, this is Joe. Here's what's new: Yadda Yadda
<Expiration:tag>
11/11/08
<Priority:tag>
Low
Developer
Sep 5, 2007 at 8:34 PM
The correct way to do this would be to create an SPEmailEventReceiver(http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/microsoft.sharepoint.spemaileventreceiver.aspx) that would be fired when an email is sent to the list. The need for custom parsing doesn't really make this the greatest candidate for a SP Designer activity. However, If you can come up with some generic semantics then I'll see what I can do.

-Mike



NiskyPTO wrote:
Here's an add-on for the email-enabled lists: How about a workflow that starts when a list receives an email?

The workflow can parse the email contents in such a way as to update column headings in the list. Yes, you have to somehow tag the contents in the email body in a standardized way. For example: In the following email, the Workflow would put Joe's email in the "Modified by" column, the custom column "Subject" would get the text "News", the body would be parsed into three custom columns "Info", "Expiration", and "Priority" with the text, pictures, etc. Since other workflows could be initiated after parsing, this would be a powerful way to "roll-up" or "roll-down" information across sites as well as be a nifty way to get info out to your teams.

From: joe@yadda.com
Subject: News
Body:
<Info:tag>
Hi, this is Joe. Here's what's new: Yadda Yadda
<Expiration:tag>
11/11/08
<Priority:tag>
Low

Developer
Sep 5, 2007 at 8:40 PM
If you've got a copy of SP Designer(I'm guessing you do given the name of this project), then check out the DataView for rollups. Go to DataView > Insert DataView on the menu bar in SP Designer. You may have to use some custom SPDataSource's but it should take care of most roll up scenarios.


NiskyPTO wrote:

Elin wrote:
It wold be great to have an activity that makes it possible to move/copy a listitem (with atachments) to a list/library located on a different site.



That's a good one! This would allow automation of roll-ups: A key feature missing in WSS3 (but not MOSS). For example, the WF could collect all new announcements from some sub-sites to a top-level site.

Sep 5, 2007 at 10:43 PM
I though about using custom meta data tags in an html email but this has the disadvantage that you'd have to manually add these in when creating your email.

The best way to do this is to make a form-style email where after each named section, you type-in some text. For example:
SUBJECT: My Data
AUTHOR: Joe Point
EXPIRATION: 11/11/08
DETAILS: Yadda yadda bla bla bla

This nice thing about this is that you could have another workflow that shoots-off a blank email to a team member with these named sections ready to fill-in. Then this person would reply after filling-in the sections and WSS would then parse and update the custom list. This sounds a little Infopathy, but without all the overhead and extra stuff that requires. This is still deeply rooted in Workflows and I think would be very cool addition to our toolbox.

{quote}
mikep175 wrote:
The correct way to do this would be to create an SPEmailEventReceiver(http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/microsoft.sharepoint.spemaileventreceiver.aspx) that would be fired when an email is sent to the list. The need for custom parsing doesn't really make this the greatest candidate for a SP Designer activity. However, If you can come up with some generic semantics then I'll see what I can do.

-Mike


Sep 5, 2007 at 11:33 PM
It would be great to have a custom activity that allows you to call a web service and set a workflow variable to what is returned.
Sep 10, 2007 at 7:47 PM
Edited Sep 10, 2007 at 7:51 PM


sbmach2 wrote:
I would like to see:

2) a workflow action that can copy a list item to a specific folder within a list. Right now, the copy list item can only be targeted to a list / library, but we make use of folders for permissioning in many cases. We'd like to be able to determine, based on metadata field values for submitted content which folder the item should be moved to for proper permissions.

3) a workflow action to modify security for an item.


I'd really like to see #2 aswell, I'm currently trying to make it but without success. I'm using the listItem.CopyTo(URL); and it's not working.

Another intresting custom activity would be creating folders in either document librairies AND custom lists.

Thank you.
Sep 12, 2007 at 1:40 PM
Create a Folder (In a document library) - for example with the same name as an item title

Set URL Path as Tags - for example a file uploaded to /documentlibrary/foldera/folderb/folderc would be tagged with foldera;#folderb#;folderc (perhaps multivalue categories, comma separated tags, or even setting specific parts of the path to specific columns.
Sep 15, 2007 at 5:37 PM
Here's an easy one for you!

Can you also add a send mail without the option for attachments? The point being is to use the "From" option which is not available with the standard mail feature. Thanks!
Sep 17, 2007 at 1:13 PM
It is well documented that anonymous users (i.e. on an Internet facing site) CANNOT start workflows.

Example: http://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=1220669&SiteID=1

After reading many postings about this ISSUE, it seems that if you alter the workflow code to use the "SPSecurity.RunWithElevatedPriviliges" settings, then it's possible. Can this be a new IF statement you can add?

IF user:anonymous THEN....
Sep 20, 2007 at 4:56 PM
Two very useful workflow features would be:

(1) The ability to have a while loop.
(2) The ability to copy/move/delete a file or list item. This is particularly useful when writing e-mail-based systems that send along items which need to be routed to different locations within the system.

Thanks,

Vlad
Sep 27, 2007 at 12:08 AM
Hi,

I think a great activity would be an extension to the Assign to do Item activity, with the ability to Set the fields of the task that it creates via the activity.

I.e.

List one fires the workflow to create a task via the Assign to do item activity. In the to do item activity the ability to select what the Title will be, from either workflow data or from the current item. This would be the same for all the fields.

For me this is a big limitation of this activity.

Thanks,
Pete
Sep 27, 2007 at 12:57 AM
Hi all,

First off, I’d like to commend you all for these very useful workflow activities.

My suggestion is to be able start a discussion topic via a workflow.

Even though it seems so simple, I can’t get my head around how to do it, now I know you can create list items, but when you do that in a discussion list, it creates a message and not a topic. My understanding that it might be that the actual topics are folders, and the messages are list items, thus why you can’t start a topic using existing activities.

If someone knows how to do this, please let me know,

Best Regards,
Joe
Sep 27, 2007 at 10:39 AM
How about an activity to check to see if the current list has any items? And an activity to get the next item? If we had these, we could do while loops to, for example, copy or delete all the items in a list.

Thanks,

David
Sep 27, 2007 at 12:32 PM
Would a while loop help out the issue that anonymous users cannot start workflows?

If a list had a while loop running in the background, checking the list for new items every few seconds, then if an anonymous user added an item, the loop itself (and not the user) would then initiate a workflow to process the item.

Does anyone have an idea how to solve this?
Coordinator
Sep 28, 2007 at 4:38 AM
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Coordinator
Sep 28, 2007 at 4:40 AM
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Oct 5, 2007 at 2:29 PM
I would also like to see another email activity without attachments that includes the 'from' address. Almost every workflow we have generates an email at some point and to have them all come from the same generic email address based on the web application settings is a real limitation for us.

Thanks,
Andy


NiskyPTO wrote:
Here's an easy one for you!

Can you also add a send mail without the option for attachments? The point being is to use the "From" option which is not available with the standard mail feature. Thanks!

Nov 7, 2007 at 8:05 PM
Edited Nov 7, 2007 at 8:08 PM


sbmach2 wrote:
I would like to see:

1) a workflow action that can copy a list item to a list on a separate site (similar to the manual "Send To" capability). As a custom action, though, we'd be able to put conditions around it and time it within workflows.


I would love to see this as well but I would like to add that "updating" and "retrieving" data on items within lists in other sites would be very powerful.

Thanks
Jun 16, 2008 at 6:09 PM
I think it would be great if we had some enhanced output variables, such as number calculation with output formatting (dollar, yen, etc).  Toni requested something similar but for date formats.  My guess is this would actually be string outputs on number or date calculations.

unclepaul84 wrote:
Post your activity ideas here.



Jun 18, 2008 at 5:14 PM
Also some information gathering on the current list would be awesome.  I can think of a lot of situations where it would be good to know a count of all items that match a certain criteria in the current or some other list.  Also knowing a total of some number/currency columns in the current or some other list.  This is easily done with a view on a list but what if you need the same information in a workflow.

EricSammann wrote:
I think it would be great if we had some enhanced output variables, such as number calculation with output formatting (dollar, yen, etc).  Toni requested something similar but for date formats.  My guess is this would actually be string outputs on number or date calculations.

unclepaul84 wrote:
Post your activity ideas here.