I work for a financial company where we have more then 10 departments and I want to implement electronic forms using Sharepoint 2010 standard edition. In my sp2010 box i have configured "User Profile Synchronization Service and Search Service" so user data from Active Directory is available. My experience in .NET C# is almost 5 year and so far I did the following.

My Scenario

We have some request forms which department users initiates. On submission the department approver(s) will approve the submission.


we have "MIS Report Request" form which "FINANCE DEPARTMENT" user will request and the request is for IT department who is responsible to create report. so the initiating department user will request and initiating department approver will approve the request. then the request will come to IT department MIS head and once MIS head will approve the report will be developed.

My question is.

Can I develop a list where i will define all departments and their approvers?

Can I create a custom form using visual studio as visual webpart and can read user department through coding and I want to read the department name from the list and fill the combo with the approver(s) as one approver might be on annual leaves so in this case I can send the approval email to the other approver.

Actually dont want to use OOTB workflow cause i cant delegate approvers in it.

Please guide the best approach to achieve this.

2 Answers 2


In short the answer is Yes. Depending on your IA you could:

  1. Build a Workflow with VS2010 (it is simple build a Sequential, if you estimate it will get more compley, use State Machine). Workflows support 3 types of forms Association(when administrators connects WF to a list of content type), Initiation(when workflow starts or get launched - Automatic or Manual), and Modification (while WF runs and needs input ). http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/Blogs/GetThePoint/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=420 or here http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd206915.aspx Each of these forms get access to the Full Context of the List, Site where they execute therefore you could access security information too. Beyond this, you can have InfoPath or ASPX forms which support programming of course, so again you get to use code to perform your lookups. SUggest to use SP Groups for different types of Approvers,etc. and use built-in WF activities to send email for each member or a single person.
    1. Simpler option via SPD 2010, which also allows forms (more dificult to add code), as INfoPath, automatically generated by considering Variables you create in the WF - might not entirelly do it as you mentioned, but very powerful and no-code.

Hope it helps, C:\Marius


You could certainly use a custom InfoPath form and reach into the UserProfile web service to get the user's department. I have done something very similar. This would pull the information (department) into your form at which point you could promote it to SharePoint and actually use SharePoint Designer workflow to match up the department with your other list and send the emails to the appropriate people. You could also secure certain areas of your form if you wish based off of the information. There are a lot of options. However you must keep in mind that InfoPath and SPD workflows are not always the best solution. Reusability is in most circumstances not possible. Unless you have built a solution (either sandbox of farm level).

  • Cory as I've mentioned in my question that we have sharepoint 2010 Standard license and cannot use INFOPATH forms. I feel more comfortable in developing an ASPX form (Visual WebPart) which would come in action on list item click. you know NewItem.aspx EditItem.aspx and allItems.aspx and replace my forms with the default ajax style OOTB forms.
    – user3697
    May 6, 2012 at 9:15

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