Thursday, August 21, 2008

Approving blog entries through a workflow in Lotus Connections

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Genaro Nieto, a colleague from IBM Spain, sent me a link to this presentation and integration he created and I thought it would be valuable to share it with you.

A couple of weeks ago, you may remember that I talked about adding workflow to social software. In that blog entry, I talked about how a customer wanted to create a set of approvals before a forum topic or a blog entry would go live. I argued that approvals would be a huge turn off to user adoption. For example, it really bothers me when there's comment moderation on blogs, but I understand there may be a need for it in some cases.

Now... I'm not one to say that the customer is wrong . And since they asked for it, we deliver!! In this presentation (sorry no audio), Genaro shows how to use Lotus Connections Activities to create a workflow behind a blog submission. Perhaps it's an executive blog with external visibility and, as such, needs approval by the legal and marketing departments before it can be published.

So here's what happens:

  1. User 'posts' a blog entry
  2. Business process kicks off and automatically creates a Lotus Connections Activity via the Atom API
  3. The activity contains a To-Do assigned to each person who needs to approve the content
  4. The activity also contains a link to the pre-published version of the Blog
  5. Once all the approvers mark their To-Do's as complete, the blog is then Published!

This is also a very nice example of how you can integrate WebSphere Process Server with applications over their Atom APIs.

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