SharePoint Designer 2010 Workflow Issue Out

Phew… USP Journal issue 2/2 is out.

I announced the plans to write a journal issue on SharePoint Designer 2010 workflows back in February and started working on it at the same time.

I had originally intended to use this announcement blog post to complain and moan about how long it took, how hard I’ve worked, and so on, but honestly, that’s not what you want to hear, so let me just skip to the facts, deviously stolen from the journal web page.

This issue targets beginning developers and business users looking to save organizations time and money by automating business processes (that’s written for your boss, not you).

With your purchase, you will get the beautifully illustrated (not my words, honest) 143 page journal issue plus over four hours of video content, including a recorded lecture from USPJ Academy on SharePoint Designer 2010 workflow types.

Topics covered in the issue are:

  • Workflow in a NutShell
  • Introduction to SharePoint Designer workflows
  • Your first SharePoint Designer 2010 workflow
  • Initiation forms and parameters
  • Working with variables
  • Collecting data from users
  • Workflow lookups
  • …plus many more

What else do you need to know?

Ah, where to buy:

Go on, you know you want it. And I want to get rich, so why not buy two copies, so you can have one in your wallet and one in the bedroom?


PS: I searched for SharePoint Designer 2010 workflows and found an article I wrote over a year ago about SharePoint Designer 2010 workflow features, before any public beta, based on what I found in the menus of an early version of SPD2010. Funny how virtually everything is spot on, even thought at the time I hadn’t seen anything beyond two error messages :-)

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SharePoint Designer 2010 Workflow Video Bonanza

Although it’s been far too seldom, I haven’t stopped writing USP Journal issues. Actually, I’ve been writing on several issues over the last few months, but most of my time has gone into getting USPJ Academy up and running.

The next issue, Volume 2, issue 2, on SharePoint Designer 2010 workflows, is due out next week (which would be September 20, 2010, if you’re reading this at a later time). I just got the copy-edited version back from Kim (my resident and highly skilled copy editor) and have begun the production of the final version.

The issue, I can tell you, will be massive, and I’m breaking all the previous records for amount of content. The issue itself is over 140 pages long, and I’m piling hours and hours of video content into the bonus downloads as well.

However, despite all the content that I’ve added, it’s clear that I haven’t been able to cover all the improvements of SharePoint Designer 2010. So, I’ve started to record and upload a number of shorter SharePoint Designer 2010 workflow videos to the USPJA YouTube Channel. These videos are shorter tips and tricks and stand on their own, without needing any special setup.

Here’s the first one, on creating documents as part of a workflow in SharePoint Designer:

I’ll be recording several more videos over the next couple of days, so you may want to subscribe to the channel at YouTube to get all the updates.

If you have specific requests that you’d like to see covered, feel free to drop me a line or post a comment, and although I’m not making any promises, I’ll see what I can do :-)

All of the videos will be added to the bonus downloads for the journal issue, by the way.


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USPJA Publishing: Why We’ll Make A Difference

You may know that the team behind USPJ Academy recently announced that we’ve started a new venture by the name of USPJA Publishing. That may not be the final name, btw, but it’s at least a working title and the name of the company.

So, do we need yet another publisher in this market? Hell, yeah! Well, hell yeah, if that publisher brings something new to the market, and I think we have the ideas to do just that.

If you remember Napster, chances are that you remember the rebellion that ensued over whether the recording companies had any future at all. CD sales have plummeted proving, if nothing else, that the delivery mechanism wasn’t following the needs of its customer base.

The reason, I suspect, is that focus on delivery mechanism. Selling CDs or DVDs or concert tickets can’t be the business model, because what is the real value is in the music and the experience. If a business focuses on how that content is delivered rather than the content itself, I think that the business will die out. Apple understood this with ITunes – Don’t sell CDs, sell music.

I foresee a future when the same applies to knowledge as well. Traditional publishers focus too much on selling books or DVDs or delivering class room training. When knowledge becomes just what’s in the book, businesses will fail.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the people at APress, for example. They took a chance with me when I pitched an idea for a book a couple of years ago and gave me a great amount of experience with writing. However, when I go to their site, the headline reads ‘Book for professionals by professionals’. That doesn’t make any sense to me. Why would I buy a book? It’s just dead trees with ink on them, or a series of zeroes and ones in the case of a PDF download.

What I want to buy is ‘Knowledge for professionals by professionals’.

Stop Talking Crap, Gimme The Juicy Bits!

USPJA Publishing has a different idea. We want to give you knowledge first. What delivery mechanisms will we have? Well, what makes most sense to you? If you want to read shorter bite-sized blog posts, we’ll give you that. If you want to get specific in-depth knowledge, perhaps you’d like to get that through videos, journals, web based articles, structured courses… If you want to get a Master’s degree in SharePoint Architecture, look no further. We’re there to give you knowledge, not paper or PDFs or MPEGs.

Oh, and we’re not just done with bringing you that knowledge to you from us, we want to engage you as well and learn from your knowledge. You know something, likely a whole lot. In fact, you’re the reigning champion of the world in being you, if nothing else.

We have already announced our author mentoring program. That program will being in some extremely skilled staff who will help you on a path to share your knowledge with the world. You’ll have the chance to learn from and teach to experienced authors and presenters to help both you and us grow.

How you approach that program is also up to you – you may want to make a career as a columnist in your own blog (or one of ours even). You may want a book deal for the nostalgia of it. You may want to present to huge audiences all over the world, either in person or in online lectures. Perhaps you want to teach at USPJA for all we know.

Really, we want to make that choice up to you, but we’ll be there to guide you along and help you avoid pitfalls, some of which have our faces engraved in the ‘wall of fame’.

In the end, we want to be about knowledge. That’s why I think we’ll make a difference.

To accomplish those goals, we’ll need a network and a community. Already, we’ve acquired, the SharePoint Beagle, and USP Journal, some of the largest and most respected content platforms in the industry. In addition, we have a thriving community among the students and faculty at the academy. I won’t talk about other stuff now, but there may or may not be other things we’re working to include.

If you like our ideas and thoughts, we’d love to hear from you. Whether you want to contribute content, want to join the author mentoring program, or simply want to get in touch to hear more, well, let us know, for example by emailing us at or by getting in touch through any of our networks.


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