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New release of Nintex Workflow!

In an effort to constantly improve our products, the amazing product
management team and developers here at Nintex have done a bang up job of putting together another new release of our flagship on premises workflow product, Nintex Workflow. I’m really looking forward to utilizing the new Due Date functionality in the Task actions as well as variable sorting.nintex_logo

Below is a list of new features in both the 2010 and 2013 versions as well as links to download.

Nintex Workflow 2013 v3.0.7 

  • Internet Explorer 11 Support
  • BCC & Due date support in Tasks & Notifications
  • Variable Sorting enhancements
  • State Machine, Switch & Parallel Action branch reordering
  • Support for SharePoint Server 2013 Service Pack 1 (and by proxy, Windows Server 2012 R2!)
  • Additional items are outlined in the below release notes.

Release Notes

Download now!

Nintex Workflow 2010 v2.3.13

  • Internet Explorer 10 & 11 Support
  • BCC & Due date support in Tasks & Notifications
  • Variable Sorting enhancements
  • State Machine, Switch & Parallel Action branch reordering
  • Additional items are outlined in the below release notes.

Release Notes

Download now!

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Leveraging Dynamic Approvers and then some!

If you’re like me and would like to create a task driven workflow for a team that needs to assign approvers and evaluate variables (such as, approvers based on a geographic location, value of a project, etc.) and you don’t want to hard code those approvers and escalation values in the workflow itself (since that is a much more difficult process to maintain and does not lend itself easily to knowledge transfer when someone leaves the team!) then leveraging a state machine workflow and custom workflow data list should be your first choice.

You may have looked around the web and found some documentation talking about creating a custom list in SharePoint to store dynamic approvers and the configuring a Query List action to pull them into the workflow. But, I will show you that in addition to approvers that you can also pick up notifiers, flexible costs and more and then use those values to execute some helpful logic which can allow for escalations and dynamic text referencing in your communications.

Setup

A Document Library named Customer Documents – Click here to download the template

A Custom List named Dynamic WF Data List* – Click here to download the template

Building the Workflow

You’ll need to create some variables to store data for this workflow:

  • perPriApprover – Stores the primary approver.
  • perSecApprover – Stores a secondary approver if there is another approver for the task.
  • perPriNotify – Stores the primary notifier
  • perSecNotify – Stores the secondary notifier if applicable
  • textExtNotify – Stores an external email address if applicable
  • textCostsinUSD – Stores the costs value from the data list as a string
  • bolHighCost – Stores our Yes/No value to be used a flag for escalations

The workflow will consist of a couple of list queries that will allow us to capture the approvers and notifiers as well that the other kind of data used by the workflow, costs and a state machine to handle the conditional logic and approval tasks.

  1. List Queries (placed into an action set)
  2. Our state machine (configured with three states; evaluation of the costs, our default first approval level and then an escalated high cost approval if the High Cost flag has been set.)

2014-04-14_12-12-43

*Note that SharePoint 2010/2013 lists with more than 8 lookup columns will not work. If you have occasion to build a workflow that needs even more fields you will need to break the lookup columns up across multiple lists. Read more in Marc D. Anderson’s blog post entitled “The SharePoint 2010 “List View Lookup Threshold” and Why We Don’t Change It

Outcome

Now you have a workflow that will evaluate a piece of information (in this case a cost), notify some folks, assign a task to a default approver and, if necessary, escalate it to a top tier approver all by leveraging one list with disparate data types.

Download an exported version of this Workflow now

 

 

 

 

 

Generate an HTML document with dynamic data

An interesting scenario I ran into is one where a user wanted to create a form document quickly and easily (without having to call IT or leverage an outside solution or functionality such as InfoPath, Word Automation Services, etc.) that had dynamic text data from a SharePoint list.

This sounded like something that could be accomplished with some very basic HTML (full disclosure, I am NOT a developer and you don’t need to be to do this. So feel free to cut and paste some Google’d HTML “code”, for drawing an HTML table or use what I stuck into the Build HTML form action and you’ll be in business! :).

So, I went ahead and built a Nintex workflow that takes the column data entered into the list, builds a file name and performs an error check to determine if the file already exists in the library, generates the HTML document dynamically and then writes that document into a library.

docgen331144

The simple HTML document generated with this workflow

Setup

A Document Library named Customer Forms Library – (Template here)
A Custom List named Customer Data List – (Template here)

Building the Workflow

You’ll need to create some variables to store data for this workflow:

  •          textFileName – Stores the name that the document will called once saved into the document library.
  •          textHTMLRecord – The documents HTML framework will be stored here along with the dynamic data to be written to the record.
  •          textDestinationURL – The URL (including the filename) for where the file should be written to.
  •          coLib – A collection to store any documents found with the same name that already exist in the docment library.

Now we need to drop some actions onto our design canvas that perform the following actions:

  1.        Generate the destination URL.
  2.        Set the output filename.
  3.        Query the document library for existing files.
  4.        Set a condition to
    •     Log the existence of the file into the workflow history and then send a notification to the initiator.
    •     Generate the HTML framework and dynamic data that will be written to the document and then use the web request action to put file the into the document library.

docgen331141

Below is how I configured the Build string action. As you can see the forms HTML structure is simply saved into the action and then references to the column data are inserted as necessary.  It’s also worth noting, since I’m saving this out as an HTML file, you CSS wizards out there could probably dress this form up quite a bit more than I did! 🙂

docgen331145

Outcome

Now, when an item is created in the Customer Data List it will take the columns that we defined inside of the build string along with the HTML framework for the form and write it out to the document library. This could be quite helpful when creating a permanent record or a more attractive document that can be published to a web site or communicated via email or any other use you could imagine!

Download an exported version of this Workflow now

Customer_Data_Form_Generator_Workflow.nwf