Summer is a funny time in most small shops. Projects start and stop as people take time off and attentions get diverted to the periodic crisis or to fill-in for an absent coworker. The downside for someone trying to craft a blog entry at the end of each week is that there isn’t much to work with. Those of you that come here don’t come to hear about the meetings I attended or the fires I put out. The upside is that this post will be short.
One of the interesting things I did this week was to build a SharePoint Workflow using Nintex Workflow. I’ve used Nintex before, but this time, I was teaching someone else how to build a “proper” workflow. The workflow is another part of our Payables process and it allows our accountants to delete a payable that has been submitted and approved for payment. Yeah, sometimes people make mistakes. To prevent someone from making those mistakes worse, this workflow needs to verify that a series of conditions are true. The payable has to be at a specific status. The person running the workflow has to be a member of accounting. A bunch of people have to be notified, the activity has to be logged and we also have to let people know if any of those conditions aren’t met and the workflow has to be stopped.
All of those things can be done using a SharePoint Designer workflow. So, why does the title point out that I like Nintex Workflows? Well, that’s the point of this post. Here is my list of the things I like about Nintex Workflows:
I can add multiple logical conditions into the kick-off point of a single “Run if” block. You can see that illustrated in the image at the top.
I can act against multiple list items in one step. For example, I can say “go find all the allocations that have the same payment_request_ID as this item and delete them.” You can’t do that in SharePoint Designer in SharePoint 2010
I can give an intelligent name to each workflow step. So, the above example step can be called “Delete Allocations” – I like that.
I can copy steps. We need to create a log entry regardless of the end-state of the process. Since some of those states cause the workflow to stop, I need to have the “Create Log Entry” step in multiple places which is very easy to do. Copy. Paste. Configure. Done.
I can drag and drop steps in and out of Condition blocks and Impersonation blocks which is very helpful when you realize that you have the right action but that it’s happening in the wrong place.
I can export and import entire workflows. In fairness, I think I can do this in SharePoint Designer, but I have had problems with that process and this worked like magic. I built the basic structure of this workflow from an earlier workflow that lets the person who submitted the payable to delete it before it’s approved.
And, my favorite thing – you work in a browser as opposed to a somewhat finicky, somewhat unpredictable and somewhat predictably bad stand-alone product.
That’s it for today. Not much of a product review, but I think you can understand why I like Nintex. And, I said it in fewer than 600 words.