Have you ever wished you were somebody else for a day? I would love to be Lady Gaga, just so I could wear a stunningly bizarre hat and platform boots sometime other than Halloween. If your goals are a little less "Paparazzi" than mine, you might want to check out the new impersonation feature in Workflow Conductor. Now at least your SharePoint workflows can be anybody you want them to be, even if you have to put your dream of an MTV Video Music Awards red carpet walk on the back burner.
You might have read about impersonation in the feature list for SharePoint Designer 2010. If you did, you might also have noticed that SPD limits impersonation to the workflow author (actually, the person who associated the workflow to the list). This has some unfortunate limitations:
- What if you don't want to give your workflow designer accounts administrative permissions just for one workflow step?
- What if your workflow is automating a business process that must be performed as a particular non-designer user?
- What if your workflow is doing something in another site collection where your designers have different permissions?
(Sorry, that last one was a trick question. SharePoint Designer workflows can't perform actions across site collections – but Workflow Conductor workflows can!)
Enter Workflow Conductor 1.5 and the Run As Widget property. Run As allows almost any step in your workflow to run as whoever you want it to: the workflow initiator, the workflow designer, or any other account (as long as you have the user name and password). There's no need to create a different workflow for the steps you want to impersonate, either. Just configure the Widgets that need special permissions, right in the same workflow.
Here are just a few of the things you can do by configuring a Widget to run as another user:
- Create, update, or delete items with a specific Modified By user
- Check in or check out documents as someone other than the workflow initiator
- Start another workflow as a different user
- Copy a document as someone who has elevated privileges in the target library
- Create a new list as a user with the Manage Lists permission but add items to the list as a Contributor
As you can see, Workflow Conductor lets your SharePoint workflows seamlessly switch between Clark Kent and Superman (or mild-mannered Bamboo employee and Lady Gaga). Install the new version of Workflow Conductor today to check out the Run As Widget property.
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