On our second session working on the withdrawal workflow we first reviewed what we had developed in the first session. This fresh look enabled us to spot any obvious mistakes that we had made, of which there were a couple. We updated these, and then continued with the development.

We had initially used the “assign task” function to assign work to people, but Rob had remembered that the function “collect data from user” may be more appropriate. We replaced one of the assign task functions within the process to test this. Using this function allows the user to complete a task directly in Outlook, they do not have to enter SharePoint at all. If they need a refresher to the work, there is a link supplied within the email. The task form can be customised so that only the fields the user needs to complete are shown. This will make completing tasks much quicker.

We decided that this method was much more efficient for this process and have deployed throughout the workflow, with the exception where there is a task to complete, but not something that needs to be completed on SharePoint.

To keep track of what the workflow is doing, and to help us debug problems, we use the workflow history log to record certain events. It’s with this that we discovered an issue with the transfer of the interviewer field from the task form to the record in the withdrawals list. The interviewer field was being transferred as a number related to the person selected rather than their account name, or other identifier. We looked for resolutions to this problem, but later discovered that the correct data was in fact being transferred ┬áto the withdrawals list , but was just not being recorded in the history log correctly.

Once we had the workflow as complete as we could at this stage, we started to look at customising the input form. This is where the user will initially fill in the details of the request. For the time being we have developed the from using InfoPath and made it more responsive, based on the value of other fields, this will make the form easier to read for the user.