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Professional SharePoint® 2007 Development by Tom Rizzo, Adam Buenz, J. Dan Attis, Matt Ranlett, Brendon Schwartz, Eli Robillard, Jeff Julian, John Alexander, John Holliday

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15.4. Building Declarative Workflows Using SharePoint Designer 2007

SharePoint Designer (SPD) provides a workflow design experience similar to the Outlook Rules Wizard. You create your linear workflow by specifying conditions and the actions to take based on those conditions. SPD does not use code to create its workflows but instead uses a workflow markup file that includes rules and conditions that WF executes. One thing to realize about SPD is that the target for SPD designed workflows is to allow you to code up business logic for your lists that require you not to write event handlers or other types of code. If you are looking to use SPD to write very complex, intricate workflows, you will find yourself quickly yearning for Visual Studio and the WF designer or you will write custom activities in Visual Studio that you will plug into SharePoint Designer.

The easiest way to understand how to build workflows with SPD is to build a workflow with SPD. There are some concepts you need to wrap your head around when working with SPD workflows before you get started. First, SPD workflows are sequential so modeling complex workflows will be, well, complex. There are probably ways you could build very complex workflows in SPD by using multiple workflows in different lists to mimic state-machine-style workflows, but it's probably easier to just use Visual Studio at that point. Second, debugging is nonexistent in SPD workflows. The closest thing to debugging is writing to the workflow history ...

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