How to let workflow form users create new jobs

Scenario

Your mobile workers are receiving their job assignments via Formotus workflow forms. But you want some or all of them to also be able to create new jobs by opening blank new forms. Workflow forms do not have the capability of creating new instances, only of opening existing instances.

Solution

Deploy a second Formotus form to users who need to initiate new jobs. This form is the exact same InfoPath form uploaded from the same SharePoint library as your existing workflow form. The only difference is that it is uploaded to Formotus as a regular form, not a workflow form. Any new form created and submitted using this second app will create new workflow jobs.

Following are some additional considerations for such a solution.

Naming the Forms

You can make the different functionality of the two forms clearer to your mobile users by naming the forms carefully when you upload them. For example, your workflow form might be named "Pending Inspections" and your regular form could be named "New Inspection" or "Order an Inspection". This sets the expectation correctly for what will happen when the form is opened.

Maintaining the Forms

Modifying the forms is easy because you are only modifying and publishing one InfoPath form. You then re-upload both the regular and workflow versions from SharePoint and you're done.

Using Different Views

Depending on your situation, it might make sense for the person initiating the new job to see an entirely different interface than the person receiving the job assignment. This is easily accomplished by creating two different views in the InfoPath form, say "Creator" and "Receiver" views. In the Formotus cloud console you can then set the default view for the regular form to "Creator" and the default view for the workflow form to "Receiver".

A Related Idea

Just as you can upload the same InfoPath form twice for different purposes, you can also upload it more than twice. You could deploy multiple versions of your workflow form, each with workflow filters set differently. A few examples:

  • The Foreman could have a form named "All Jobs" while the workers have a form named "My Jobs".
  • You could deploy three different forms: Today's Jobs, Tomorrow's Jobs, and Overdue Jobs, each showing a subset of instances based on a date field.
  • If your people work in five ZIP codes you could deploy five forms, one for each ZIP code. Then your people could easily choose a next job in their vicinity.

 

 

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