Automate SharePoint Without Code - AutoMate 8 Tour -- Part 3

by Dustin Snell, in SharePoint Automation, posted 4/25/11
image for article

Why SharePoint?

SharePoint is a popular software system developed by Microsoft for small to large organizations, typically associated with web content management and document management systems. For many organizations, SharePoint is a mission critical component of their operations; it facilitates intranet portals, extranets and websites, document management and file management, collaboration spaces, social networking tools, enterprise search, business intelligence tooling and process/information integration. 

As organizations work to automate various business processes, it is important that their automation platform supports direct code-free interaction with all of the systems that are utilized in these processes; SharePoint is, increasingly, one of these critical systems.

The SharePoint Action

With the introduction of Version 8, AutoMate now supports native code-free SharePoint automation. The new SharePoint Action joins the ever-expanding library of more than 400 actions and activities. The action supports the automated creation, deletion, and modification of lists, list items, documents, sites, groups, roles and more.  It supports SharePoint 2003, 2007 and 2010.

Example Uses

The SharePoint action combines capabilities for automation of both administrative tasks, such as adding Users and business tasks such as adding new documents and updating sites. The workflows below show a few examples of how this functionality might be used:

For a step-by-step example showing another sample use of the new SharePoint Action, please see the following article: "Automating SharePoint Downloads in 3 Easy Steps"

Activities Supported by the SharePoint Action

Activity Description
SharePoint - Add List Item Adds an item to an existing SharePoint list.
SharePoint - Add to Role (Permission Level) Adds the user to the specified role definition.
SharePoint - Add User to Group Adds a user to the specified group.
SharePoint - Check In Checks in a document. Checking documents in and out allows users to obtain exclusive write access to a document, eliminating the need to merge changes from multiple authors.
SharePoint - Check Out Checks out a document. Checking documents in and out allows users to obtain exclusive write access to a document, eliminating the need to merge changes from multiple authors. When a user checks a document out, that user is the only user who can save changes to the document. Other users can read the document, but they cannot make changes. The user who has the document checked out can update the document, and see the latest version of the document, but other users will not see the updates until the document has been checked back in. If you want to make changes to a file that resides in a SharePoint library, the safest way to do it is to check the file out.
SharePoint - Copy File (Document) Copies a file from the source URL to the destination URL.
SharePoint - Create Folder Creates a folder in an existing document library.
SharePoint - Create Group Creates a new group.
SharePoint - Create List Creates a new list. A SharePoint list is a collection of similar items. A list contains columns or fields that define the item data or metadata schema. Each item stored in a list shares the same schema. Technically lists also include libraries, but libraries are often seen as separate from lists or at least specialized forms of lists. In lists items are defined by metadata or by the columns of a list with documents being attached to that metadata. In a library, a document is the item with library metadata supporting the document. Lists in SharePoint resemble database tables in structure and behavior. Lists support various field or data types, and can have triggers that react to list events such as creating, updating or deleting items. In addition lists can be configured to filter, sort or group items based on item data or properties.
SharePoint - Create Role (Permission Level) Creates a new role assignment in which to add items.
SharePoint - Create Session Creates a new SharePoint session in which to attach subsequent SharePoint related activities to. This allows multiple sessions to exist within the same task. To end a session, use the End Session activity.
SharePoint - Create Site Creates a new SharePoint site. SharePoint sites are, functionally, ASP.NET 2.0 web applications that are served using IIS and a SQL Server database as a data storage back end. All site content data, such as items in document libraries and lists, are stored within an SQL database named by default as "WSS_Content_[ID]".
SharePoint - Delete File (Document) Deletes an existing file or document in a SharePoint library.
SharePoint - Delete Folder Deletes a folder in an existing document library.
SharePoint - Delete Group Deletes an existing group.
SharePoint - Delete List Deletes an existing list.
SharePoint - Delete Role (Permission Level) Deletes an existing role.
SharePoint - Delete Site Deletes an existing SharePoint site.
SharePoint - Discard Check Out Discards an existing check out. If you check out a file and make no changes to it, you can simply discard the checkout, rather than saving it. If your organization tracks versions, a new version is created each time you check a file back into the library. By discarding the checkout, you can avoid making new versions when you have not made any changes to the file. In some cases, you might make changes that you do not want to keep. Rather than saving the file, you can discard the checkout and thereby lose the changes.
SharePoint - Download File (Document) Downloads a file from a SharePoint library.
SharePoint - End Session Ends a SharePoint session initially created with the use of the Create Session activity.
SharePoint - Get Files (Documents) Retrieves files from a SharePoint library.
SharePoint - Get Folder(s) Retrieves folders from a SharePoint library.
SharePoint - Get Groups Retrieves available groups and populates a dataset with the results.
SharePoint - Get List Items Retrieves list items and populates a dataset with the results.
SharePoint - Get Lists Retrieves available lists and populates a dataset with the results.
SharePoint - Get Roles (Permission Levels) Retrieves available roles and populates a dataset with the results.
SharePoint - Get Sites Retrieves available sites and populates a dataset with the results.
SharePoint - Get Users Retrieves available users from the specified group and populates a dataset with the results.
SharePoint - Move File (Document) Moves a file from the source URL to the destination URL.
SharePoint - Remove from Role (Permission Level) Removes the specified user from the specified role definition.
SharePoint - Remove List Item Removes an item from the specified list.
SharePoint - Remove User from Group Removes the specified user from the specified group.
SharePoint - Rename Folder Renames a folder from the specified SharePoint library.
SharePoint - Update Group Updates information for the specified group.
SharePoint - Update List Updates a list based on the specified field definitions and list properties.
SharePoint - Update List Item Updates an item from the specified list.
SharePoint - Update Role (Permission Level) Updates information for the specified role definition.
SharePoint - Update Site Updates information for the specified site.
SharePoint - Upload File (Document) Uploads a file to the specified site.

Our Commitment to You -- Complete Automation, Depth of Functionality

Many software vendors implement only token features so that their marketing department can position a given feature as "supported". Here at AutoMate, we take a different approach by embracing technologies thoughtfully and completely.  For serious automation, AutoMate is the platform you can rely on for SharePoint automation -- with depth of functionality that eliminates the need for code without making compromises.