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28 November 2011

PowerShell Enriches SharePoint Workflows with the Help of HarePoint Workflow Extensions

The main problem of SharePoint workflows is that Microsoft offers merely about 30 “building blocks” (called workflow activities), that strictly limits possible usage scenarios. And even its 30 activities have bare functionality. For example, you can send an email from workflow, but you cannot add an attachment! Many developers are delighted after they meet the technology, but fall into despondency, when they experience practical problems.

The HarePoint Workflow Extensions brings new functionality to workflows. It allows working with SQL and XML, creating, converting and modifying Office documents, resizing and converting images, integrating workflows with Active Directory, administrating SharePoint users, groups and sites, allows to work with file system and network storages and adds numerous other features. 180 workflow activities of the product help to solve successfully the most of real life tasks without programming.

For the very specific tasks, the product offers the activity which is able to execute C# and Visual Basic code compiled at execution time, from a workflow. But our users state in their feedbacks that the use of programming code seems too complicated for many persons, because in most cases, they need to use Visual Studio to write and test code before using it in workflow, and to develop their code in Visual Studio, they need to install local copy of Microsoft SharePoint to developer computer.

Thanks to our users, we have got the idea to make the PowerShell execution activity, and we are pleased to announce that it is added in the new version. Since now, all power of PowerShell is available for workflow developers. PowerShell capabilities in most cases do not yield to traditional programming languages, but it is much easier to write and debug scripts with it. And it does not require any developer tools. We believe that with the PowerShell execution activity, workflows will be universal and suitable for any real life case. And at the same time, they remain simple in design and maintenance.

More information about the product and free download is available on the HarePoint Workflow Extensions homepage.

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