Yes it may be a little early on in the piece to start talking about product features when it is still in preview, but the excitement has gotten the better of me.
Looking at the title of this post, you may be curious as to what a web service is. Basically, it is a provider of data and function. All we need to do is use it.
The last decade has seen me create many of these web services to further decouple, reuse and distribute application logic. A lot of organisations make information available for others to consume in their own applications and/or web sites. Unfortunately, when trying to utilise this functionality in Microsoft SharePoint Designer workflows, we have been left hanging. From the multitude of built in actions that SharePoint Designer has provided, there has never been a native action that allows us to call a web service.
So what did we do in the past? Use third party solutions or build the custom workflow action in Visual Studio ourselves.
Thankfully, SharePoint Designer 2013 seems to have added this neat ability to call a web service to its repertoire.
A sales leader board is displayed on our intranet homepage and needs to be refreshed at the beginning of every month. First, second and third place winners should be sent an email thanking them for their efforts. This aggregated sales information comes from an external application, shared by a web service.
With SharePoint Designer 2013 and the new call a web service action, we can now very easily automate the population of the leader board and the sending of emails.
For those that are familiar with SharePoint Designer capabilities, you may have immediately noticed that there could be a problem. There will be more than one person being returned by the web service and entered into this leader board.
So, what data type do we use to hold the result?
The new dictionary data type which is basically an array!
How can we process each of these sales people individually from the overall result?
The new looping construct!
It pains me to think about how much time could have been saved if only this had come sooner!!
You can read more about Professional Advantage and SharePoint here.