Getting Started : ASPX Association and Initiation Forms for SharePoint 2007 Workflows


I realize that this topic may be somewhat of a bore for some of you out there that have already ventured down this road, but I have found that there are still many customers just now getting into SharePoint, and Workflow and then needing to create their own ASP.Net forms for association and initiation data.

The hardest thing for me a lot of times is trying to figure out where to go to find the information about this, and for those who are new to the topic, where do you first begin?

Luckily, SharePoint 2007 has been out for a while and the world is now looking toward SharePoint 2010 but, let’s not forget the mass of humanity that may not move there for a while…or those that will be moving eventually, but that need to get started right now with their workflows.

I have put together a short list of links that have really helped me out a lot getting started understanding the mechanics of creating these form types and their integration with SharePoint 2007 workflows.

First, you can start with a few articles on MSDN:

How to: Implement a SharePoint Workflow with ASP.NET Forms

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd206915.aspx

Workflow Forms Overview

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms457061.aspx

Creating an Application Page in WSS 3.0

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb418732.aspx

Those articles begin to build a lot of information in your mind about the things you will need to do to your page.  However, the best step-by-step guide I’ve seen is at Robert Shelton’s blog:

http://rshelton.com/archive/2007/10/05/sharepoint-document-workflow-with-visual-studio-workshop-documents-download.aspx

Robert actually has an entire series of articles on SharePoint tutorials here that are very good.

As I went through this document, I stumbled upon something else quite interested.  As you are going through Roberts tutorial you might notice that there is code in there (such as for page-to-workflow serialization etc) that would be pretty common code for just about any type of ASP.Net form.  I then discovered Serge Lucas’ submission to CodePlex titled ‘Generic Framework for SharePoint Workflow aspx forms’ at http://aspxsharepointwf.codeplex.com/.

On this site, you will find sample code, the framework and a link to a screencast that demonstrates how to use the framework.


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