Never use SharePoint 2010 designer if you have custom activities.

Never use SharePoint 2010 designer if you have custom activities.

In my current assignment I was asked to do something like this:
When a new event is created, a new document library should be created, then in the event a link to the document library should be updated. After 30 days the document library should be moved to an archive sub-site and the link should be deleted.

I suggested at the beginning that it should be done via a Visual Studio workflow but I was suggested that it should be done with SharePoint Designer so we can use out of the box functionality and do it faster.

Well, I am going to explain why this is not an option, in this particular scenario, SharePoint Designer does not have activities to Create a document library with specific naming logic and it does not have an activity to move the document library from one site to another sub-site. SharePoint designer can copy or move files, but it does not allow to loop through folders or library neither.

Sharepoint Designer 2010 is not for developers. Maybe its good for powerusers, but for really experienced developers or consultants, its not an option in scenarios where you need custom activities.

The reasons are very simple:
1. Timing.
2. Easy of maintenance.
3. Easy deployment.

Option 1: SP designer workflow.
1. You start creating a Sp designer workflow.
2. Then you need a custom activity.
3. You create the custom activity in visual studio.
4. You need to create a feature that deploys the dll to the gac.
5. You need to create a feature that adds the authorizedtypes entry into the web.config.
6. You go back to sharepoint designer, you have to close it and open it back to see the custom activity.
7. You finish the workflow.
8. Then you need to export it to see it in the assets library.
9. Then you can download the WSP.
10. Then you need to write a long document in how to deploy all these things in test and production environment.
11. If a change needs to be done, you need to go change the custom activity, and also the sharepoint designer workflow, then export again, update, etc, I am not going to run into details here, but you get my point.

Option 2: Visual studio workflow.
1. You open visual studio, create one solution with 2 projects, one for custom activities, another for the workflow.
2. You develop all the logic there.
3. You create in the same vs solution one feature to add the authorized types into the web.config.
4. There is only one WSP created which will include inside the custom activities dll.
5. Installation can be done in 20% of the time than the other solution.
6. Maintenance its a lot easier and faster. Updates as well.

Option 1: 4 days.

Option 2:  1.5 days.

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