What's in this chapter?
- Understanding workflow in the context of enterprise content management
- Understanding workflow capabilities in SharePoint 2010
- Choosing between different workflow options when implementing a solution
- Creating workflow solutions using the various development options in SharePoint 2010, including SharePoint Designer and Visual Studio
Workflow and ECM
Any ECM system worth its salt has some kind of workflow capability. Workflow in the context of ECM is commonly used in the following capacities:
- Content approval
- Content development
- Content disposition
- Custom business processes
The preceding list is certainly not exhaustive, but it is broad enough to describe many scenarios in which workflow is used in an ECM system. Content needs to be created, approved, and then have its life cycle managed in a way such that business rules can automatically be applied, without a human having to think about it or handle it.
Common requirements for workflow in ECM systems include parallel processing, integration with client applications such as Microsoft Office, process tracking and reporting, rule-based routing, task management (such that reminders and task delegation can be easily handled), as well as obvious requirements such as creating workflows that can be easily managed and maintained.
Windows Workflow Foundation
To fully understand workflow in SharePoint 2010 from an architectural perspective, it is important to understand the underpinnings of the ...