One of the huge holes in the current version of SharePoint is workflow. If you have a document that starts out as a draft, and then the author decides it's ready to be approved, and then someone approves it and it goes to a more public status, that's workflow. And it's not supported in the SharePoint (either WSS or SPS) you can "buy" today. (WSS is free with Windows Server 2003, so I put "buy" in quotes.)
This hole is going to be fixed in the next version of SharePoint. The team has a blog and has posted a quick summary of what workflow will be like and just how much will come to you "out of the box." Check this list:
To help people get started with scenarios like these, we’ve taken some common processes we’ve seen in our research and built those workflows into SharePoint Server 2007 out-of-the-box for people to use without IT involvement.These out-of-the-box workflows include:
- Approval: Routes a document for approval. Approvers can approve or reject the document, reassign the approval task, or request changes to the document.
- Collect Feedback: Routes a document for review. Reviewers can provide feedback, which is compiled and sent to the document owner when the workflow has completed.
- Collect Signatures: Gathers signatures needed to complete an Office document. This workflow can be started only from within an Office client.
- Disposition Approval: Manages document expiration and retention by allowing participants to decide whether to retain or delete expired documents.
- Group Approval: Similar to the Approval workflow, but uses a designated document library and offers a personalized view of the approval process(es) in which a user is participating. This workflow provides a hierarchical organization chart from which to select the approvers and allows the approvers to use a stamp control instead of a signature. This solution was designed specifically for East Asian Markets.
- Translation Management: Manages document translation by creating copies of the document to be translated and assigning translation tasks to translators.
- Issue Tracking: Manages the issue tracking process by creating tasks for Active issues assigned to users who own to a given issue. When the task related to an issue is complete hence resolving the issue, the creator of the issue is assigned a review task so that the issue can be closed.
Think about what you will be able to take care of with this! Do you want the beta? Of course you do. And there's a whole new Enterprise Content Management blog to talk about all of this in greater detail, too.