Monday, May 3, 2010

Limitation of SharePoint Designer workflow

Hi All,

We all know the power of SharePoint Designer. When there is any requirement in which we need to send a mail when item is added to list or document library along with its metadata column values and with some formatting.

However I observed one simple limitation of designer workflow. We can add field values in the body part when we want to send an email from designer workflow. However when it comes to the subject line, we cannot add some static text and field value together. It can be wither entirely static subject line or it can be entirely a field values.

So how should we overcome this difficulty? Well, the idea is have one calculated field and define its value with “static text” & [field value] and when sending mail from designer, mention this calculated field in subject line.

You are ready to send a customized subject line.

Hope this post will help you.

---------Updated on 21-05-2010----------------

I would like to highlight few more limitations in Workflow designer.

We do not have facility to add bcc field.

We cannot deploy designer workflow created in local machine to staging or production environment easily.

We cannot set a priority of an email.

There is no HTML editing capability in body text. Hence we are bound to write manually all html tags and formatting stuff. This is really a big limitation I would think.

Let’s say, you are sending an email and then you include field values in the body of the email. If any field has no value, means if the string is empty, Designer workflow inserts “??????” (Yes, six question marks) in that. Now this is really a strange behavior and totally unexpected one.


Anonymous said...

There is a activity in SharePoint Designer which allows you to build a dynamic String. You can use this activty to concatenate a field and custom text

SharePoint Kings said...

Thanks, but this is just a quick work around

Muhimbi said...

The standard email activity that ships with SharePoint is quite limited. If you want more control then have a look at the approach outlined at

I wrote this blog post so I am obviously biased :-)

SharePoint Kings said...


appreciate your efforts.

SharepointKings Team

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