I’m very excited to announce that Workflow Conductor version 2.0 for SharePoint 2010 is now available for download, bringing with it a lot of new and updated process-y goodness!
It’s been a busy few months for the Workflow Conductor team here at Bamboo, and we have some great new features to show for it. If you haven’t checked out Workflow Conductor in a while, we added a slew of new features in our 1.5 release late last year, and then we piled on even more good stuff with 1.6 back in February. Well, we haven’t slowed down any since then, as you’ll see in version 2.0. We have gotten some great feedback on Workflow Conductor from our users, and we’ve rolled in some major changes for version 2.0 to give users the new features they want/need. So, without further ado, here’s what’s new in version 2….
- New Workflow Deployment Methods – Earlier versions of Workflow Conductor deployed all workflows as farm-level solutions that could be activated features for any site collection. Workflow Conductor still offers this type of deployment, but now it has new options for deployment as well. In addition to solution deployment, we have new options called “simple publishing.” These allow workflows to be deployed only to the current list, or as reusable workflows stored at the site or site collection level which can be associated with any list/library within that scope. This allows administrators to lockdown workflows to specific parts of a farm, and to only be associated authorized workflow designers. To make things even better, none of these three new deployment methods require the application pool recycling caused standard solution deployment, so a workflow can be used as soon as it’s deployed, with no server downtime. Administrators can allow designers to use all three simple publishing methods, or lock them down to any one or two they prefer.
- Workflow Versioning – Workflows created using the new “simple publishing” option can be easily updated with a newer versions. Simple publish the new version, choose to overwrite the old version, and any new instances will be started using the new logic. Versioning is now seamless and simple.
- Improved User Lookups – You can now define how you would like a user or group lookup to be returned (i.e., as the display name, account name, email address, etc.)
- Manual Workflow Deployment – Administrators who wish to keep using solution deployment workflow publishing can now look at a list of all the scheduled workflows, and manually deploy them as desired between scheduled release windows.
- Filter and Sort Workflow Templates – We know firsthand that it can be hard to manage a lot of workflow templates, so now you can sort or filter the workflow list based on workflow creator, lost modified date, workflow name, and workflow description.
- Email attachments – You can now attach items from a library, or the attachments on a list item. It doesn’t have to be for the current item, or even an item on the current site collection!
- Error Notifications – Administrators get to define which users get notified if a workflow instance fails (even if it’s just them).
We’ve also added a bunch of new widgets in version 2.0, bringing the total to over 50. Here’s what’s new in widgets:
- Run PowerShell Script – This widget lets authorized users (you’ll need a login/[password) run PowerShell scripts on the local server. Scripts can use lookups from the workflow, and can even return values back to the workflow. Can you say “limitless possibilities”?
- Update User Info – Previous versions let you grab user info/profile data; now your workflows can update that data too.
- Update AD Account – More of the same, but with AD account info.
- Add Column – Pick a column to add. Pick a list to add it to. It’s as simple as that.
- Set Item Permissions – It’s all about the inheritance. Break it and create custom permissions, or restore it and get rid of the custom stuff.
- Create AD Group – Create a new AD group.
- Remove AD Group – Remove a … you get the .jpg.
- Remove SharePoint Group – We let you add them in previously, and now you can clean them up too.
- Create Site – Create a new SharePoint site.
- Delete Site – Delete an existing site (don’t worry, they’ll still need the right permissions to do it).
- Set Site Permissions – (Speaking of permissions) Change who can/can’t do various things on a site.
While we’ve added a ton of new stuff to Workflow Conductor in this release (and over the past few), we’re not even close to done. We’re already hard at work getting the great new 2.0 features rolled into our 2007 product, and we have several more releases planned for this year and next that will continue to make Workflow Conductor the perfect set of tools to streamline and manage your business processes.
On top of all the things we have planned inside Workflow Conductor, we’re also busy updating other Bamboo products to make Workflow Conductor more powerful, and vice versa. You can now use Workflow Conductor to get more out of our Knowledge Base Solution Accelerator, and even more goodies like that are on the way, including one that could make some project managers happy. Have you ever looked at Bamboo’s Alert Plus and thought “I wish starting a workflow was as flexible as sending an alert”? Well then, I’d suggest staying tuned to Bamboo Nation for some upcoming good news.
For all you SharePoint 2010 users, go ahead and get your free download and trial of Workflow Conductor. If you just want to get a better look at what it can do, sign up for one of our free Webinars. For those of you still hanging onto SharePoint 2007, hold tight, we’ll be back soon with some good news for you too!