One of the main purposes of SharePoint is collaboration: a group of people can conveniently work with shared documents, making teamwork especially efficient. Usually, text documents are created and edited using Microsoft Word, but when the work is complete, it is convenient to convert the resulting document to PDF. This gives two advantages:
- No further changes to a document are possible, so it can be safely shared
- The PDF document can be easily viewed on any device
In this article, we will follow this scenario:
- While the team actively works with a document in the document library Active Docs, it has the status "Work in progress". As soon as the job is done the status is set to Completed.
- The workflow triggers and converts this Word document to PDF.
- When the PDF file has been created, the workflow moves the original Word document to Document Sources library. Only selected team members (such as managers, etc) have access to this document library.
- As a result, only the PDF file remains in the original document library, so everyone can view and share this document. This way, the document can be opened easily (also on any mobile device), and at the same time no deliberate or inadvertent changes can be made.
Creating a workflow
We can start creating a workflow. This is performed with SharePoint Designer, like we are used to. On the ribbon click New List Workflow for Active Docs list:
Important: select the SharePoint 2010 Workflow Platform Type in the drop-down menu, since HarePoint Workflow Extensions uses the 2010 platform type.
Add condition If any value equals value:
In the third parameter, select Completed:
Add a Convert Document action from the HarePoint Activities – Document Conversion category:
Finally, we will move the original document to Document Sources library that is accessible only for selected team members.
Add action Copy or Move Document from HarePoint Activities – Document Library:
In the second parameter (document URL) specify Current Item: Encoded Absolute URL using the lookup:
(typically that looks like http://servername/sitename/subsitename/.../documentlibraryname/)
Testing a workflow
Now we can make a test. Add a Word document to Active Docs library.
The document will have an empty status field by default (this is how the Status field is set up).
Now, change the status of the document to Completed:
In this article we have reviewed an example of rather simple but efficient workflow for a Team working with shared documents, and have seen how quickly and easily the solution can be achieved by using HarePoint Workflow Extensions – just a couple of actions in SharePoint Designer and no code at all.
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