The main tools to utilize in SharePoint development of forms and workflows have been InfoPath and SharePoint Designer. However, with Microsoft’s latest updates in 2016, new versions of InfoPath and SharePoint Designer were missing from the list. Microsoft has stated that there won’t be new versions of InfoPath, and it seems to be the case with Designer as well. Both will be supported by Microsoft for years to come, but existing versions aren’t very intuitive. Without future improvements, it may be time for businesses to look at other options. One such option that stands out from the rest is Nintex Workflows and Forms
Nintex extends SharePoint’s functionality, giving a user-friendly way to create what would normally take extensive programming to achieve. The two products they offer are Nintex Forms and Nintex Workflows. They can be purchased and utilized separately if needed. Nintex is also compatible with both SharePoint on-premise and Office 365.
Workflows are key in automating processes that would normally require a manual effort. Workflows can be either scheduled to run or can be triggered by an event. Nintex Workflows accomplishes this simply by point-and-click. Nintex Workflows provides an interface with drag and drop actions that can be specifically configured to users’ needs. In the workflow designer, you are given a flowchart view of the actions within the workflow. A menu of draggable actions are shown to the left of this section. Email notifications, setting SharePoint fields, assigning a task to users, and triggering another workflow are all standard options in the menu. In addition, actions normally reserved for programming can be employed, such as setting variables, loops, and if-statements.
Nintex will be an additional cost to SharePoint’s out of the box fees, but will allow for more extensive forms and workflows to be created with far less development time. An additional advantage to Nintex is that a programming background is not required when setting up basic workflows and forms. However, when working on more intricate solutions, programming experience certainly helps.