Fabian Williams SharePoint Blog

Solving problems with SharePoint day and night

Answered: Leave request for SharePoint O365 Sample on MSDN

Précis

So, I as a cure for insomnia, decided to troll the CODE.MSDN site for questions that interested me.  I found this request and figured it was something i could knock out, so i did. There was not much to go on interms of HARD requirements so i posed a question, I assumed if Im up and about, the person making the request must be up too 🙂 but alas no. So, i went ahead and did the sample as I would envision it. In fact, internally at work, we have something On Prem that is similar so this actually made it more appealing. 

I can and will make this example more robust and may submit it up on the MarketPlace, I dont know, just to say that I have, but it seems something that Im sure must already be there, Ill just endeavor to make mine better 🙂

THIS CODE IS AVAILALE ON MSDN: Here

Requirements

As this is an Office 365 SharePoint Online example, you basically don’t need anything as you would for an On-Prem solution, all you need really is:

  • A Office 365 SharePoint Online Site to build against
  • Visual Studio [for completeness I am using 2013 but others will do]
  • Your Brain & some Idle time

What this example will set out to do in this version is the following

  1. Permit an End User to Request Leave off Work/ Holiday/ Vacation etc.
  2. Send a Request for Approval to the End Users Manager/ or the person On Behalf Of
  3. Permit the Approver to Adjudicate the request in an Approval Workflow in SharePoint 2013
  4. Send a ‘Contract of Sorts” to the Requester alerting them of the decision for their acknowledgement
    1. Notification includes a process to Accept the decision or Appeal it
  5. If Approved, update a Leave/Out of Office (OOF) Calendar with the relevant information to show the person being OOF

I plan to extend this example later on to flesh out the Appeals Process, make pretty App Icon and put some more bells and whistles on it. Sexy it up so to speak 🙂

Approach

As with all my work when I set out to do a SharePoint project that involves List/Libraries, Content Types, Workflows/Event Receivers, etc, I often will create my own Site Columns, Content Types, List Definition and Instance (see post here on how to do that). Once I complete that process I typically will Branch my Project (in TFS Online) and start to Dev out the Unit of work/ Story (Agile).  I created a branch for Workflows and set up folders for what I will build out now and later on

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This is what my Visual Studio Solution looks like now

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So, with that heavy lifting complete, lets focus on the Workflow.

Workflow Build out

First, you add a Workflow to your project and associate it with your List, in my case I am associating it with the “TimeOffRequest” list instance. I also set the Workflow to Start on “On Item Created” and have New Task List and Workflow History List created. Basically this…

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Once you do that, you will get a few assets created for you

  • The Workflow itself
  • A History List
  • A Task List

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The canvas will open up and you will a blank slate with one Sequence added. What I typically do here and I learned this from Andrew Connell in all his Demos/ Preso is to change that Default Sequence to “Root” and then embed your other abstracted logic flow buckets inside that sequences as nested Sequences.  I do this for the following reason

  1. It makes the code much more readable and manageable
  2. It allows you to scope your Variables etc to its own sequence
  3. Helps me troubleshoot if/when I get issues

So mine looks like this now

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and you can drill down into each section like so

Init

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Manager Approval

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Notification

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Update Time Off Calendar

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Other Important items not so obvious

So, there are variables that are crated along the way either by an objects Return Type or Auto Loaded by Variable Declaration in SPLookupItem Object, etc

For example here is what is in scope for “Root” Sequence

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here is what is inscope for “Notification”

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How it Works

So, when you get everything working you publish it to your Office 365 SharePoint Tennant. Were I paid for this I would mock up the Default.aspx page to show links for the Time Off Request and the Calendar with an Appropriate View, but for now we will just use Different Tabs in the Browser

You will have a new App in your Site Contents like so

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Here are the Tabs

First the TimeOffRequest

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Second the TimeOffCalendar

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Dev Testing

Lets put it through the paces now.

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Now lets submit this Form

Now we have a form submitted

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lets check the Status of the Workflow, and we can see below we have one already going

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We even got an email in Outlook. for now, lets adjudicate this as Approved so it will appear in the calendar eventually

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Here you can see that we have buttons to Approve and Reject and we have meaningful information in the Email Body. Finally you can see that the Workflow is running in the Context of the App Principal at the bottom, look to the left of the buttons.

Next, and just showing the Task and History Log we can see now that a Contract has been sent back to the Requestor after the decision has been made

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lets go ahead and do that, this time I wont do a screen shot as its similar to the same Approve Reject one earlier.

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Finally you can see everything done, and the only thing we need to do is check the Calendar to see if the Item has been added.

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and sure enough it is….

Summary

So, i hope this was helpful, if so, drop me a comment, share this online, etc.. hook a brotha up 🙂

November 10, 2013 Posted by | Office 365, SharePoint 2013, SharePoint 2013 Workflows, SharePoint How-To, SharePoint Online, Visual Studio 2013, Workflows | | Leave a comment