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Create Workflow in Visual Designer View

A SharePoint Workflows tutorial by Peter Kalmström

SharePoint Designer iconSharePoint Designer 2013 has an additional design view for SharePoint 2013 workflows. It is called Visual Designer, and here you can create a workflow by dragging shapes to a design surface.

In the demo below Peter Kalmström, CEO and Systems Designer of kalmstrom.com Business Solutions, explains how to use the Visual Designer view.

In the previous demo Peter showed how to create a SharePoint 2013 workflow in the Text Editor view and pointed out the differences to the SharePoint 2010 workflow. One of these differences is that the SharePoint 2013 workflow has the Visual Designer view, while the SharePoint 2010 workflow only has the Text Based view.

If you, or your customer, are not used to reading code, the Visual Designer view might be easier to understand and explain than the Text-Based Designer:
  • You can write your own text in the Visual Designer shapes.
  • The Visual Designer gives a picture that describes the conditions and actions.
In the demo below Peter creates the same SharePoint 2013 workflow as in the previous demo, but now he uses the new Visual Designer view. Another option is to create the workflow in the Text-Based designer and then just show it in the Visual Designer.

You must have Visio Professional 2013 installed on the same PC as SharePoint Designer 2013 to use the new view.

Create a SharePoint 2013 workflow in the Visual Designer view

  1. Start Visio.
  2. In SharePoint Designer, open the site that has the list you want to send notifications for.
  3. Open the Summary page for the list. At Workflows, click on the New button.
  4. Give the new workflow a Name and a Description and select the Platform Type, SharePoint 2013 workflow. Click OK.
  5. Click on the View button in the ribbon and select Visual Designer. Visio will now open inside SharePoint Designer.
  6. Under Shapes in the left panel, click on Conditions and then drag the shape 'If any value equals value' to the design surface as the first stage.
  7. Click on the gearwheel icon and select Value.
  8. Select Assigned To and then High.
  9. Under Shapes in the left panel, click on Actions and then drag the shape 'Send an email' to the design surface and place it after the first shape you added.
  10. Click on the gearwheel icon and select Email.
  11. Click on 'these users' and select Workflow Lookup for a User.
  12. Click on Add and select the 'Field from source' Assigned To and the 'Return field as' Email Address. Click OK
  13. Enter a subject for the e-mail to be sent and add the body text you wish to use. Peter just adds a link to the list. Click OK.
  14. To connect the Condition shape and the Action shape, right click on the connector between them and select Yes.
  15. Select the Condition shape to show the Connector tool in the ribbon and create another connection from the Condition to the end of the workflow. Right click on the connector and select No.
  16. Set the start options you wish to use under Start Options in the Workflow settings.
  17. Publish and test the workflow.

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