Tag Archives: SharePoint

What a week…

17 Dec

As one of the only “SharePoint guys”, I was asked for help by one of our divisions with their SharePoint portal. They have their own Product portal which sits in a completely separate place to ours. Different farm, on different servers, in different physical location etc etc. Because it is nothing to do with our project I set about learning their requirements a few weeks back. In short these were:

Create a set of workflows to improve the process of receiving and…er…processing enquiries and orders.

Ok… Well how would you like me to go about this? What sort of system have you currently got doing this?

Er… None really. That’s why we’ve asked you.

Brilliant. So I eventually got my head around their “ideal” process (after a few dry runs that ended up in the complete wrong place), and we mapped out a series of workflows which each triggered events such as approval, document relocation, name validation. It all looked great… on the whiteboard.

As it turns out, great was not the word I would use to rate my experience. Stress. Anxiety. Frustration. Paranoia. Pick any of them, but not great.

You see the thing I’m finding about SharePoint designer is that the words are fairly friendly. Eg “Copy item to list”. Love it. I’d love to just put this document in this library and call it… Wait… what? You can’t name it something that simple because its a lookup field? But thats one of the lookup options! And so on and so forth.

Instead of three days building a beautiful workflow that had everyone amazed and excited, I spent two days searching the internet for answers and a day frantically trying to put something together so they wouldn’t think I was a complete failure.

Some of you may wonder when my SharePoint content is coming into this post. Or when I am going to post the instructions on how I fixed any of my problems. I’d like the answers to those myself, since many of the problems havent been fixed yet! You’ll be the first to know when they have. Well, maybe second – I should probably tell the people I owe this workflow to…