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Phone Messages Enterprise Solution – Reusable Workflow

A SharePoint Workflows tutorial by Peter Kalmström

SharePoint Designer iconIn the previous article we described how to create a workflow that sends an e-mail alert to the person who was called. That workflow only works for one list, but it is possible to instead create a reusable workflow that can be used with a Phone Message content type in the whole SharePoint tenancy.

In the demo below Peter Kalmstrom, CEO and Systems Designer of kalmstrom.com Business Solutions, shows how to create a reusable workflow. The workflow is connected to a Phone Message content type and sends an alert to the person how has a phone message.

As Peter showed a more elaborate alert e-mail in the earlier demonstration, he just creates a simple e-mail this time. Instead this demo focus on the re-usability of the workflow. The workflow has to be a SharePoint 2010 workflow, as 2013 workflows cannot be connected to a specific content type.

Create a reusable workflow and connect it to a content type

  1. Open the Content Type Hub in SharePoint Designer 2013.
  2. Click on Workflows in the left panel.
  3. Click on the Reusable Workflow button in the ribbon.
  4. Give the workflow a name.
  5. Select to create a SharePoint 2010 workflow .
  6. Connect the workflow to your Phone Message content type and click OK.
  7. Click on the Action button in the ribbon and select the Action 'Send an Email'.
  8. Click on 'these users' and select a Workflow Lookup for a User .
  9. Select the 'Called' field from source and the Return field 'Email Address'.
  10. Enter a subject and a body text for the e-mail. Peter adds a Lookup for Name in the subject. In the body he adds a lookup for the Phone number.
  11. Publish the workflow.
Now this workflow will be used in all lists that use the phone messages content type in that site collection.

Create a workflow template for other site collections

To use the same workflow in other site collections, you can save it as a template and upload the templates file to the other site collections.
  1. Open the workflow settings again and click on the Save as Template button in the ribbon. The workflow will now be saved as a WSP file in the Site Assets library.
  2. Open All Files in the left panel and select Site Assets and then the reusable workflow you just saved.
  3. View the reusable workflow in the browser and download it to your PC.
  4. Open the site settings in the root site of the site collection where you want to use the workflow.
  5. Click on 'Solutions' in the Web Designer Galleries group.
  6. Upload the WSP file and activate it to make it available for the whole site collection.
  7. Open the site settings again and click on the 'Manage site features' link in the Site Actions group.
  8. Activate the reusable workflow.

Associate the workflow with a list

  1. To associate the workflow with the Phone Messages list, open the List Settings and click on the Workflow Settings link.
  2. Click on 'Add a workflow' and select the content type and then the workflow you want to add.
  3. Give the workflow a unique name and select it to be run when a new item is created.
  4. Click on OK and then Activate.

In the next article, we will have look at how you can add a link to the current list item in edit mode to the e-mail sent out by the workflow. With such a link the person who gets the e-mail message can open the list item directly from the e-mail and mark the call as returned.

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