Updated: October 4, 2007
Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007
In this article:
Businesses depend on business processes, and the most important business processes often depend on people. By using software to automate interactions among the people who participate in a business process, you can improve how a workflow functions, increase its efficiency, and reduce its error rate.
Workflows in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 can reduce the cost and time required to coordinate common business processes — for example, project approval or document review — by managing and tracking the human tasks involved with these processes. You can attach workflows to items in lists and libraries. A workflow enables you to control almost any aspect of an item, up to its entire life cycle.
This roadmap page provides links to Web articles, white papers, training, blog entries, and tools to help guide you in implementing workflows in Office SharePoint Server 2007.
Before you begin
Before you implement workflows in your SharePoint site, review the following overview topics, which describe the workflow design and customization options available to information workers, site designers, and developers:
Workflow Development Tools Comparison (developer)
Configure the workflows included with Office SharePoint Server 2007
Workflows help people to collaborate on documents and to manage project tasks by implementing business processes on documents and other items in a Office SharePoint Server 2007 site. Office SharePoint Server 2007 includes several workflows that address common business scenarios, such as collecting feedback, getting approval, and digitally signing a document. Additionally, the workflow functionality in Office SharePoint Server 2007 is tightly integrated with the 2007 Microsoft Office system.
For information about configuring and using the workflow features included in Office SharePoint Server 2007, see the following resources:
Use a Three-state workflow (Office SharePoint Server 2007)
Use a Three-state workflow (Windows SharePoint Services 3.0)
Use a workflow to manage content approval for a library (Office SharePoint Server 2007)
Use a workflow to manage content approval for a library (Windows SharePoint Services 3.0)
Design custom workflows in Office SharePoint Designer 2007
By using Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007, you can design workflows that add application logic to your site or application without having to write custom code. By using the Workflow Designer, you create rules that associate conditions and actions with items in lists and libraries. In this way, changes to items in lists or libraries trigger actions in the workflow.
For information about designing custom workflows in Office SharePoint Designer 2007, see the following resources:
Adding activities to SharePoint Designer (SharePoint Designer team blog)
Design custom workflow forms in Office InfoPath 2007
Office SharePoint Server 2007 employs the workflow functionality in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and extends that functionality through integration with InfoPath forms. Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007 gives you the ability to create symmetrical forms — that is, forms that look and operate exactly the same whether they are displayed in the Office SharePoint Server 2007 browser interface or within a Microsoft Office client application such as Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. This provides a richer experience in which the user can interact with the workflow directly in the client application.
For information about designing custom workflow forms in Office InfoPath 2007, see the following resources:
InfoPath Forms for Workflows (developer)
Workflow Association and Initialization Forms (developer)
Workflow Modification Forms (developer)
Workflow Task Forms (developer)
Specifying InfoPath 2007 Forms for Workflows (developer)
Design InfoPath Workflow Forms (developer)
Access Workflow Task Form Data in a Workflow (developer)
Design a Workflow Task Form to Use Task Data (developer)
Add the Contact Selector to InfoPath 2007 (developer)
Access Contact Data in Workflow Edit Task Forms (developer)
Define a Workflow Task as Bulk Editable (developer)
Display a Custom Bulk Edit Task Form View (developer)
Develop custom workflows in Visual Studio 2005
Developers can use Visual Studio 2005 Designer for Windows Workflow Foundation to create custom workflows, workflow templates, and custom workflow activities. You can include custom code in your workflow, and you can design forms — for example, ASP.NET forms — to be used by the workflow to communicate with the workflow users during association and run time. You can even create custom activities to be used in other workflows.
For information about developing custom workflows by using the Visual Studio 2005 Designer for Windows Workflow Foundation, see the following resources:
Deploy a Workflow Template (developer)
Limiting Document Access During Workflows (developer)
Manually Configure a Workflow Project (developer)
Workflow Development in Visual Studio 2005 (developer)
Use partner workflow tools
The following list gives examples of a few of the many Microsoft Certified Partners who offer workflow-related tools and products.
For a complete list of Microsoft Certified Partners and Microsoft Gold Certified Partners, see Microsoft Certified Partner Program.
The third-party Web sites contained on this page are not under Microsoft's control. We provide them to you as a convenience only. The inclusion of these links is not an endorsement by Microsoft of any third-party Web site, service or product. Microsoft reserves the right to disable or remove links to any third-party Web site.
Download this book
This topic is included in the following downloadable book for easier reading and printing:
See the full list of available books at Downloadable books for Office SharePoint Server 2007.