We are pleased to announce the release of the new version of Smart List Pro. We introduce new concepts of blank rows and section headers to help you structure your forms better.
Use blank rows to divide each tab into blocks of columns, to make the form easier to understand. Add section headers to further help your users fill the forms.
The following blog was written by Scott Restivo of Crow Canyon Software, our technology partner. Crow Canyon develops a line of business applications based on SharePoint and integrating many of our components
What is Business Process Automation? According to Wikipedia, “Business process automation, or BPA, is the strategy a business uses to automate processes in order to contain costs. It consists of integrating applications, restructuring labor resources and using software applications throughout the organization.”
We here at Crow Canyon Software have seen that using our SharePoint applications “throughout the organization” can contribute substantially to lowering costs and increasing efficiency, while providing better service to employees and customers. These applications include IT Help Desk, Customer Support, CRM, Facility Management, Asset Tracking, and many other programs that automate business process.
Our initial conversations with customers frequently involve discussing how their email or Excel-based help desk or customer support solution is not working well, with lost calls, unfulfilled requests and slow response times. Employees and customers are not happy with the quality of service they receive.
In other cases, customers tell us about the complex, expensive, custom solutions that were put in place, but now are outdated or too much trouble to use. These programs often need updates or revisions due to changes in the businesses, but the costs of doing that are prohibitive. They come to us to find a more reasonably priced, yet fully effective, solution.
Our SharePoint applications, which use Infowise Solutions components, are able to provide cost-effective, efficient solutions to many business processes. We have improved the support and service at organizations throughout the world. For example, one company manufactures and services specialty computers. When there is an issue with one of these computers, their customers call the company’s support center. Our Service Request software for SharePoint manages these issues, problems, and requests.
If the Support Rep cannot solve the issue over the phone or by email, the next step is to have the specialty computer shipped to the manufacturing plant for repair. In our system, the Support Request is escalated to become a Service Ticket. The Service Ticket involves tracking the issue – shipping the computer to the factory, doing the repair, and sending the fixed computer back. The Service Ticket incorporates processes such as approval to ship the device, intake, analysis of the problem, generating a quote for repair, and tracking the computer through to its return to the customer.
We have many examples like this of our SharePoint software improving and enhancing business processes. Through the use of Infowise components along with enhanced custom coding from Crow Canyon, we are able to extend the power of native SharePoint. Our SharePoint applications are adaptable and flexible enough to provide a wide range of Business Process Automation capabilities. Our customers are able to provide better service, quicker turnaround times, higher productivity, and more satisfied employees and customers while lowering costs.
Crow Canyon Software
Infowise Associated Items field is a great solution for parent-child relationship between two lists, or in other words – to show sub items of a different list on a list item, to get the look and feel of a repeating section within a SharePoint list item.
One of the coolest features of the associated items is that it enables to add new items to the sub list, directly from the parent item.
Here we are going to take one step further – to generate the sub items automatically, or in other words - to create predefined sub items.
In this demo we will bring an example of a simple Purchase Request system which generates a predefined sub tasks for the approval stage, this way the approver gets a set of tasks to complete before approving the request.
We will be using some of the products found in Ultimate Forms Enterprise bundle:
- Smart Action Pro - will allow us to create new list items on the child list
- User Property Field - will allow us to create fields with default values from Active Directory, so save time when filling out a form.
- Associated Tasks Field (Associated Items Field)- will allow us to create parent-child relationship between two lists and show the child list items on the parent list item
- Smart ID Pro – will allow us to create a unique id for every request
- Smart List Pro – will allow us to create tabbed interface by splitting the columns into tabs and grant permissions to tabs.
In our demo we will have two lists:
- Purchase Requests - this is where the users will place the purchase requests and the approvers will approve those requests.
- Approval Tasks - will hold the tasks for each purchase request.
The following steps will ensure you have the lists you need:
- created the Purchase Requests list from a custom list template
- Change the Title column name to Request ID.
- Add the following fields: Full Name (User Property Field), Email (User Property Field),Requested Item (Multi Line Text), Cost (Currency),
Quantity(Number), Approval (Choice), Approver Name (User Property Field) and Approver Email (User Property Field).
- created the Approval Taskslist from a tasks list template
- Add one field - Lookup To Purchase Request List , a lookup column to the ID field of the Purchase Requests list. This is a very important setting because this is how our Associated item field recognizes the parent-child link between the two lists, therefor the Associated Items Field should be created in the parent list only after the creation of the child list (Approval Tasks) and the creation of the lookup to the ID field of the parent list (Purchase Requests).
We are now ready to setup the rest
On the Purchase Requests list, create an ID template using Item ID Setting (under list settings) of Smart ID Pro to set the ID for the Request ID field:
Add an Approval Tasks Field (Associated Items field) to the Purchase Requests list, you might want to change the view you selected on the Associated Items Field settings, to show only few fields.
On the Purchase Requests list, use Smart List Pro to create two tabs (Tabs and tab permissions, under the Purchase Request list settings) :
Each tab gets its own fields:
Add two rules to the Approval tab, to make it appear only after the user has filled the request tab. In our demo, we used a SharePoint group called Purchase Requests Approvers Group to limit the access to the Approval tab only to the approvers. You can use any SharePoint group, Active Directory group and users.
Add two rules to the Request tab, to make it read-only only after the user has filled the request tab and submitted the request.
On the Purchase Requests list, create two actions using Smart Action Pro Action Settings (Under the Purchase Request List settings, don’t forget to create the action column first on the action settings). Use the Create List Item Action to create the tasks on the Approval Tasks list.
And this is it! You now have a simple purchase request application which shows the approver on the approver tab an auto generated tasks (powered by Associated Items Field).
To test it, just create a new item on the Purchase Requests list, you should see only the Request tab available, fill out all the field and save the item. Then log in with the manager user and edit the list item, you should now see the Approval tab, click on it and you should see the auto generated tasks!