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Currently, we have a business process management tool and we are looking to replace it with SharePoint. The good thing with our current tool is that you define a rigorous workflows and force users to follow that flow. For instance, we have a bug tracker for a software development company let's think about the life-cycle of a bug. Bug Gets Created - State = New Send to Development - State - In Development Fix - State = Fixed Test - State = In Test Passed - State = Closure Close - State = Closed.

In this case, the bug must not be transitioned from New state to Fix state for example.

Also, there should be action buttons on the detail view of the issue to transition a bug from one state to another, as in when user view the bug, if workflow only allow user to send the but to "Send to Development" state, user only should see this action button.

At some point, we will need to extract transitions from workflow and show on the detail form as action buttons depending on the availability of the action.

this is a very simple and we have much more complex workflows.

I have had a look at the built-in workflow engine in sharepoint, but it seems that it is a bit limited.

another option is Visual Studio 2010 but not sure whether it can meet our needs or nor. Has anyone had to develop such workflow in sharepoint 2010, or what do you suggest to use?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You would need to look at VS Studio workflows as your option here. You are correct that the OOTB workflows are limited and won't fit your requirements. You could look at SharePoint Designer to offer a lot more actions etc. The problem here is that you won't get the State Machine workflow you are looking for. If you ha the budget the Nintex workflow product could help here also if you didn't want to go to VS Studio.

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+1 on looking for an external tool that have a state machine included. It's way cheaper! –  Gabriel Mongeon Oct 26 '11 at 12:52
    
Nintex is a great addition to the SharePoint platform, also look at K2. The actions you get out of the box allow you to model pretty much any process. You'll save much more time and money by purchasing a third party workflow tool than developing, packaging and deploying you're own VS workflow actions. –  PirateEric Oct 26 '11 at 13:07
    
You can also look at Datapolis or ..humm.. Alcero ..humm.. . But keep in mind that theses company had put a lot of money and effort on creating theses tools. You can check the Nintex, K2 and Datapolis Workflow shoutout at Europeen SharePoint Conference here: vimeo.com/30930951 –  Gabriel Mongeon Oct 26 '11 at 13:19
    
Thanks for the recomendations for K2, always love to hear people know of us in a postive light. As to any 3rd party workflow you have to make sure you are going to get some kind of good ROI. This means that the WF you want to create now and in the near future are both important enough and enough beyond the scope of what SPD and OOB functionality can give you to warrant the cost investment in a tool like K2. I typically believe this to be the case more than not. In any case if you have any questions please let me know. Happy to answer any questions. –  Chris Geier Oct 27 '11 at 13:08
    
we got K2 on site for a product demonstration, and they seemed to cope with complex workflows. I cannot tell more because of the confidentiality, but the demo they showed was cool. I think we will go for it, if we decide to use Sharepoint, –  AnarchistGeek Dec 16 '11 at 10:43
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