Need a Conditional Initiator for Workflows in SharePoint? Meet Alert Plus R3.2

With the increasing adoption of SharePoint comes the need for a more complex line of business processes. SharePoint provides workflows which provide order to business processes, but  initiation of these workflows is limited to just three main types:

  • User manually starts workflow.
  • Workflow starts automatically when an item is created.
  • Workflow starts automatically when an item is modified.

But what if your process is similar to one of these use cases?:

  • A task is just past-due and, as a result, several actions need to occur, including sending email notifications and creating/modifying items in various lists to resolve the overdue item.
  • Any time a meeting is going to start in 24 hours, collect information from various lists and libraries and create a Meeting Workspace for attendees to review prior to the meeting start time.
  • An Issue Task list item's Issue Status changed from Active to Resolved, requiring the original creator to confirm that the issue was resolved, and close the Issue by entering Lessons Learned.

Those are just a few examples of various activities that should start a workflow, and in case you missed it, the specific actions were:

  • The current date is past the date defined in a column of type Date and Time, thus that item is overdue.
  • The current date is approaching a date defined in a column of type Date and Time, so actions occur to be proactive.
  • A value for a defined column changed from one specific value to another.

You can even have workflows start on actions such as:

  • Every day (or several days, you define how often) that an item exists that meets a specific set of criteria, initiate a workflow.
  • Start a workflow when an item is deleted.

The possibilities are endless!

Now you're asking, "But wait, how is all this possible? Do I need to be a software engineer with my own copy of Visual Studio on my machine?" Nope!  "But SharePoint Designer 2007 and 2010 don't have these options, do they?" Nope, they sure don't... but Bamboo's Alert Plus Web Part does.  That's right, ladies and gentlemen.  The wildly popular email notification tool, Alert Plus, now comes with an integrated workflow feature. Take all the power of sending email notifications you're used to, and now start workflows in place of sending an email.  It's extremely simple too! Simply follow the steps you're already accustomed to by performing these steps in the Bamboo Alert Plus Web Part:

  • In the Event tab:
    • Select a SharePoint List or Library.
    • Select what triggers the alert (or workflow in this case)
    • Select the frequency the alert job runs.
    • Filter the list to meet your needs
  • In the Recipients tab:
    • Select Start Workflow
    • Define which workflows to start when the alert job runs, and save the alert job.

That's it!  It's that simple! Already have an alert job you want to use to start a workflow? Simply select Copy Item in the Bamboo Alert Plus Web Part item edit menu and change the Receipt to Start a Workflow (or vice versa to create a duplicate entry for sending email notifications). Not only does Alert Plus now work with SharePoint out-of-the-box workflows, but it also works for Workflow Conductor, adding the ability to:

  • Create and manage users;
  • Create and manage sites;
  • Initiate tasks through PowerShell;
  • and so much more!

Both Workflow Conductor and Alert Plus R3.2 are available for download today!

Bamboo Solutions provides two fabulous ways to trial our products!

  • Trial locally on your own SharePoint Farm. Go to the product page, click the  in the product banner. Follow the checkout steps to retrieve the server-side installation package.
  • Not ready to install locally, or looking for a faster way to trial?  Check out our SharePoint 2010 Sandbox! Bamboo SharePoint 2010 Sandbox provides you a fully functional SharePoint 2010 site with product preconfigured. Retrieve your personal Sandbox today!

Posted Aug 22 2011, 11:00 AM by Jeff Kozloff

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