Do you prefer product launches to sneak up on you with no warning at all? Does knowing what's coming fill you with an uneasy sense of clairvoyancy? Do you pride yourself on being the last to know things?
If you answered "Yes" to any of the above, I suggest you stop reading this immediately. On the other hand, if you're the type who just can't wait to catch a glimpse of the future, read on.
We've been hard at work for the last several months updating Workflow Conductor, and I'm just too excited about some of the upcoming features to keep them under wraps any longer. Here's a mere sampling from the plethora of new features you can look forward to…
- Cross-Site Collection Widgets – Workflows will no longer be limited to the current site. Widgets will now let you use and edit SharePoint data on different sites, and even different site collections. You can even start another workflow on an item in a different site/site collection.
- Alternate Credentials – Widgets will be able to run under the permissions of the workflow initiator, the workflow designer, or even a completely different account (if you have the login/password). This means designers will be able to let workflows perform actions without having to give users those same rights outside of the workflow.
- Repeat for Each Item – Another new widget will let workflows cycle through items in a list while performing a set of actions. Designers can even decide where in the list to start, and where to exit.
- User Account Widgets – The first round of our new User Provisioning widgets. Workflows will be able to Create AD Accounts, Disable AD Accounts, Add Users to AD Groups, Add Users to SharePoint Groups, and Query User Profiles. Administrators can even decide which OUs can be used, and which users/groups have access to each of them.
- Advanced Calculations – Our Calculate widget has been updated to allow numeric, date, and text values to be calculated using an Excel-style interface. Formulas can use any combination of lookups, references, and variables.
- Simulation Mode – Designers will be able to run workflows in "Simulation Mode" to test them. This mode reroutes emails and tasks to the designer and skips any built-in pauses so they can quickly make sure everything works as intended.
- Set Auto-Start Options at Design Time – Designers will be able to deploy workflows that are set to start automatically when an item is added or updated in a list. You could already do this in SharePoint settings after a workflow was deployed, but now the settings will be right there in Workflow Conductor's Studio.
- Scheduled Deployment Windows – This setting will let administrators limit deployment of new workflows to specific times, or they can continue to let workflows deploy immediately when published.
- Limit Workflow Designers – Administrators will be able to allow all “site designers” to use Workflow Conductor, or they can decide to limit workflow design and deployment to specific users or groups.
- Improved Reporting Features – Reporting elements will be expanded, and many items will link to instance and object details for easy analysis.
- New “Easy Reference” Lookups – You can never have enough access to workflow metadata, so we're adding “Edit Item URL”, “Date and Time Last Run”, “Workflow Description”, and a bunch more items to the already impressive lineup of "Easy References". More than a dozen new ones are on the way.
- Support for SQL Records – You could already grab a single field value using the "Query Database" widget … now you'll be able to grab whole records at once and copy some or all of the fields to SharePoint.
- Retract Solutions – Administrators will be able to view a list of all workflows deployed to the farm from Central Admin. They'll also be able to retract any of them with just a couple of clicks.
- Editable E-mail Templates – Default e-mail templates for most tasks (ex. Request Approval) will be editable by administrators. This includes the ability to use workflow lookups and create custom hyperlinks.
These are just some of the many new and updated features in Workflow Conductor. There are also tons of UI & performance improvements, including simplified interfaces for some widgets, updated and more responsive Studio elements, and much, much, more.
"But when can I get my hands on all of this tasty workflow goodness?" you ask? Good news. We're just wrapping up development and should have this out in the next few weeks, so you won't have to wait long. Keep an eye on the Workflow Conductor product page for all the details and to download your free 30-day trial.