$995 | Hands-on | 20 hours | FlexClass Format
The goal of this SharePoint Designer 2010 Workflow and InfoPath 2010 training course is to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to take advantage of InfoPath, Forms Services, and Workflow Designer in SharePoint Designer 2010 for the purpose of automating business processes in SharePoint 2010 (Foundation and/or Server). In addition the Data View web part will be explored, along with other technologies related to process automation.
Student learning will be facilitated through a combination of instructor presentations and hands-on lab exercises. A sample company will be used in the labs to teach students how to integrate these technologies to automate business processes.
Module 1: Forms, Forms and InfoPath Forms
Forms permeate much of our day-to-day business life. They are a primary driver of many business processes and we encounter them often. Forms are behind much of what we do in SharePoint whether it is adding, editing or displaying list items or applying metadata to a document. Microsoft Office InfoPath 2010 is a member of the Microsoft Office suite of desktop programs and is a powerful tool for developing XML-based forms. Students will begin by learning the basics of using the InfoPath desktop client as a stand-alone tool for creating forms. You will learn:
- Understanding forms as a primary driver of business processes
- List item forms in SharePoint
- What are the primary benefits of InfoPath?
- What is Data Binding and what are InfoPath forms doing “under the hood”?
- Forms from a designer’s perspective
- Forms from a user’s perspective
Module 2: Designing Forms that Work – Asking the right questions the right way
Users don’t like to fill out forms. To a user, a form is merely a necessary means to an end – and the end is what they really want! Understanding who your form users are and what they need is critical in creating forms and processes that work. Understanding who your audiences are and what they need is critical in creating forms, reporting and processes that work.
Form design from a user experience standpoint is extremely important too. Getting our users to complete the form accurately is our goal. The design of our forms will either help or hinder. In this module, you will learn:
- How to identify your best process improvement opportunities
- Understanding the varied audiences for your forms and the data they need
- A framework for determining what questions your form needs
- Form layout and design best practices
Module 3: Getting Started with InfoPath: Creating your first form
InfoPath is a powerful form design program with many features capable of creating complex forms. This is where you get started making sense of this program, its features and the kinds of forms you can create. In this module you will begin at the beginning by designing a form and understanding the structure of the data source behind that form. You will learn:
- What is a form template and where do I start?
- What controls are available for InfoPath forms and how do they work?
- What are template parts? How are they created? How are they used?
- What is an InfoPath data source and how should it best be structured?
Module 4: Publishing InfoPath Forms to SharePoint
Even if you are working with SharePoint Foundation (as opposed to SharePoint Server with Forms Services), there is some very nice integration between InfoPath and SharePoint. In this module you will publish your form to a SharePoint site, and create views to help with reporting on form results. You will learn to:
- Turn form fields into metadata columns in SharePoint
- Leverage the values in those columns to create reporting views
Module 5: Data Connections to Submit Data – A simple method of saving form data
Users filling out forms with InfoPath Filler 2010 are faced with numerous options. Just saving and naming the form can raise questions. Data connections and submit options simplify the process and make completing the form a one-click proposition. In this module you will learn to:
- Help your users by taking the guess work out form completion
- Reduce form complexity
- Automate filename creation and data submission
Module 6: Data Connections to Receive Data – A powerful method for integrating external data in your forms
Suppose you have dozens of locations, or products or something else that multiple forms might reference. You could manage that same list in every form where it is needed. Or you could create data connections to manage the choice list in one place and use it in many. In this module, you will learn:
- The different kinds of data connections you can create in InfoPath
- How to create cascading filters where one drop down list’s choices are determined by a previous form field selection
- Populating form fields based on other form field values
Module 7: Using Rules in your InfoPath Forms
Rules add powerful logic to your InfoPath forms solutions by giving you workflow-type capabilities built into your form to do things like set a field’s value, create a filename, and submit form data, etc. Rules can be set to run only when certain conditions are met. You will learn:
- The different types of rules and how to create them
- How to manage rules associated with form controls
- How to validate data with rules
- How to create rules to retrieve data from a data connection
- How to make sense of rules in your form using the built-in Rule Inspector
Module 8: Conditional Formatting
Help your users by creating formatting rules for your form controls that are based on conditions or values within the form. You can change the font, background shading color or whether to show, hide or disable the control altogether.
Module 9: Leveraging User Roles in Your Forms
When using InfoPath inside your organization you have a very important piece of information at your disposal before the user even begins to fill out the form: their identity. Knowing who the user is allows you to present different views of the form based on their role in the organization. For example, one view of the expense report for the employee incurring the expense and another view for their manager. You will learn:
- Different methods to determine the current user’s role and which method best suits your needs
- How to default fill form fields (name, email, department, etc.) based on current user
- How to switch views based on the user’s role
Module 10: SharePoint Workflow 101
Microsoft ships a few workflow templates right out of the box, with both SharePoint Foundation and Server 2010, but you want more. What is a non-programmer to do? In this module you will learn:
- The different methods for creating custom workflows in SharePoint and their pros and cons
- SharePoint workflow development for non-developers/programmers
- What role Visio plays in workflow development
- The different types of workflows you can create and when to use them
Module 11: Getting Started with SharePoint Designer Workflow Development
The primary tool for non-developers to use in workflow development is SharePoint Designer 2010. It is a great tool but it’s like those huge Swiss army knives… It has lots of moving parts. Where do you start? Just in workflow alone there are many choices. Do you want a list workflow, site workflow or reusable workflow? In this module you will learn:
- Item events which trigger workflow
- Steps, actions and conditions; The building blocks of workflow design
- Else-if conditional branching and (MS) Boolean logic
- How to test and debug your workflows
- How to build, test and use a workflow on the forms created earlier in class
Module 12: Workflow Conditions, Logic and Lookups
The ability to create workflows that can look up information contained in another list is huge. Think of checking the current inventory of a product and initiating a new order process if the current order reduces the inventory level below the reorder point for that item. List lookups within workflows are wizard driven but you effectively launch a wizard within a wizard within a wizard. It can be (it is) confusing. Understanding how to target that list data (and practice) makes it more understandable. In this module you will learn:
- Looking up information in another list based on data in the current item
- Updating list items
- Creating and deleting items in other lists
- List, column, row: understanding the lookup wizard
Module 13: Email notifications and Updating Form Fields
Keeping users notified is a big part of most business processes you will automate. Workflow-generated emails are hugely customizable and offer many options for looking up data and including it in the email itself. You will also work through the process of updating form data via workflow.
Module 14: Collecting Data from Workflow Participants
Most of the workflows we create and use in our SharePoint environments are human workflows, meaning we will often need input from a person at various stages of the workflow. In this module we will look at:
- Creating Tasks for Users
- Collecting Data from Users
- Assigning Forms to Users
Module 15: InfoPath and SharePoint Forms Services
Forms Services is included with the Enterprise edition of SharePoint Server 2010 and gives you the capability to create InfoPath forms that your users can fill out right in a browser. They are no longer required to have the InfoPath Form Filler client application on their machine. One less app to support and simpler form user interface as well.
In this module you will learn:
- The benefits of browser-enabled forms
- Which form controls and features are compatible with browser forms
- Using the InfoPath design checker to remedy any compatibility issues
- Making forms easier to find, fill and submit
Module 16: Receiving Data from Web Services
In your SharePoint Server environment there are web services you can tap into with your forms to make form filling easier for your users. Since they are authenticated users in your environment, do you really have to ask for their ID, name, email, or department? The answer is no you don’t. The SharePoint user profile web service can return all that and more. In this module you will learn:
- How to connect to SharePoint web services
- How to simplify your forms by pre-filling form fields for your users
Module 17: Accessing SQL Data through External Content Types and External Lists
In this lab you will create an External Content Type and an External List that will give your users a familiar SharePoint list interface to the back-end SQL data. You will then utilize that data in your InfoPath form.
Module 18: Using Workflow to Update SQL Data
Here you will write the workflow portion of the business process solution begun in Module 17. It will include workflow lookups, calculations, and will ultimately update the SQL data based on the outcome of an approval process.Module 19: Storing InfoPath Data in External Databases and Reporting
Module 19: Customizing SharePoint List Item Forms with InfoPath
Forms Services allows you the freedom to customize your list item forms with InfoPath. Everything you can do with browser-enabled forms you can do with your list item forms: customize the new item, edit an item, and display item forms. In this module you will:
- Customize the list item forms in InfoPath
- Create optional cascading (filtered) drop down choice columns
Module 20: Working with Digital Signatures
InfoPath Forms can be digitally signed to confirm that the information contained has not been altered. Digital signatures are supported in both InfoPath Form Filler- and Forms Services-based browser forms. In this module, you will learn:
- What Digital Signatures are and how they work in an InfoPath form
- Signing, counter signing and cosigning
- How to determine the presence of a digital signature by rule
- How to make a cumbersome user experience less bad
Module 21: Leveraging the Out-of-the-Box Task Process Workflows
In this module you will first create a simple workflow to secure form data as soon as it is submitted. After the form lands in the secure library, a workflow is started to route it for approval. For this workflow you will make use of the pre-built approval task process, customizing it to fit your needs.
Module 22: Storing InfoPath Data in External Databases and Reporting
In many scenarios, companies will be fine storing form data in SharePoint libraries. But sometimes users will want to store the information in an external database like SQL. In this module, students will learn:
- Options for connecting InfoPath forms to a database
- How to submit to a database via a web service
- Using a browser-compatible form to connect to SQL
Module 23: Surfacing Back-End SQL Data through Data View Web Parts
This module will show you:
- How to create a reporting dashboard using the Data View web part
- Editing SQL data from SharePoint
- Connecting data view web parts
- Using a Form web part to find data in SQL
Module 24: Using Visio 2010 for Visual Workflow Design
Workflow logic can be difficult to visualize. Visio to the rescue! You can design (flowchart) your workflow using workflow tools in Visio 2010 and import the results into SharePoint Designer to apply the logic and actions.
You can also export your SPD workflows into Visio for a visual representation of the workflow process. These can be useful for communication, documentation and redesign purposes. It this module you will learn to design workflows in Visio and import to SharePoint Designer as well as export SPD workflows to Visio.
This course is designed for SharePoint Power Users and IT Pros who are tasked with using SharePoint’s powerful workflow engine to develop medium to complex workflow solutions for their organization.
While this course does not require the student to be able to code in a programming language such as C# or VB.NET, it does require the ability to implement complex processing logic using the graphical workflow-development tools that SharePoint and InfoPath provide.
It is recommended that students have a minimum of 6 months of full-time experience working with SharePoint as a Power User or IT Pro, before taking this course.
Each student will be provided with the following:
- A custom-developed, comprehensive electronic course manual containing:
- Presentation slides with speaker notes, and
- Step-by-step, scripted hands-on lab exercises
- Remote Desktop access to your own SharePoint site on a virtual server for one full week
(Click here to verify that your computer meets the minimum requirements to connect to the lab environment.)