My company is currently planning to setup Sharepoint 2010 and I have been tasked with converting old forms (e.g. Vacation Request Form) into workflows in Sharepoint.

Historically, the forms have been printed out, filled out, and manually walked to a supervisor's office. We would like to use Sharepoint workflows to automate this task.

I am VERY new to Sharepoint and am wondering:

Does it make sense to convert the whole process into workflow steps? It seems to me that creating a workflow for data in something like an Expense Report doesn't make much sense. Instead, the data should be in an Excel Spreadsheet hooked to a content type with a workflow built around it. Am I thinking about it right? There may be other benefits to having it all in a workflow that I am not seeing. Does anyone have any recommended tutorials?


  • Whether it makes sense is subjective and depends on your company. Can we rephrase the question? Perhaps something like: "How do I convert the process to use workflow?"
    – Kit Menke
    Commented Jun 29, 2011 at 19:21

1 Answer 1


There are many types of things you can do with workflows. In your example given above, the mundane business process like vacation requests can easily be automated with a workflow process. User submits a request that goes to their supervisor they either approve or reject and the user is notified of the outcome.

For things like Expense Reports, those too can be utilize approval workflows. Even though the content type is a document, the link to the submitted file can be included in email notifications so approvers can refer to the item in question.

In either case, building them off content types and document templates (where applicable) is always a good practice, whether or not workflows are going to be used. Any paper based approval process is a good candidate for an automated workflow process but that doesn't mean that everything should be. They're the most obvious processes to migrate to workflow based solutions for faster turn around and efficiency.

  • Thanks for your comment. I want the user to come to the site and be able to fill out a new Vacation Request by clicking on a link. Is the usual way to make a List in sharepoint and then add the content type for the Vacation Request data to the list? Then the user is presented with the list of all the items, but I would prefer them to never see an item again, including their own, since in this case they don't care about looking at a list. Can you give me some pointers as to how I can accomplish that? Thanks so much.
    – skaz
    Commented Jun 29, 2011 at 17:58
  • In a scenario like that, I'd create all the site columns, attach them to a content type, then attach the cotent type to a custom list. From there I'd build the workflow process. Once the request has been processed, it could be deleted. Commented Jun 29, 2011 at 19:03

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