The Team Solution
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Microsoft Access Workflow Designer applications are used to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of business processes. These applications are referred to as team solutions, because they provide the security, user information, workflow, and offline capability necessary to enforce the business rules of a departmental team.
Efficiency is usually measured by cycle time metrics such as time to market, time to resolution, time to closure, and so on. Team solutions help improve these metrics for a given business process by bringing the benefits of automation and instant electronic communications to the process. Effectiveness is improved by ensuring the items (issues, defects, documents, reports, and so on) do not fall through cracks.
There are several components to creating a successful team solution, including:
- Application Design
- System Configuration
- Security Configuration
As with any other database application, the success of your team solution is going to depend on the strength of your data model, including the relationship of user tables and design of the workflow process. Once the basic schema is planned, issues such as how the program will look (user interface), what offline capabilities are required, and how users will interact with data and database objects must be considered. For more information about team solution design, see Database Tools and Technologies in the Access Workflow Designer Developer's Guide.
Before starting development, you should also think about the configuration of your server, as well as that of any computers that are used to take the team solution offline. The Access Workflow Designer has very specific, software-configuration requirements that should be carefully reviewed. For more information, see Installation and Setup.
Additionally, security considerations and limitations must be thoroughly analyzed. Because the Access Workflow Designer builds on and over other programs, the permissions and privileges set up on other systems have a strong impact on team solution development and deployment on a server. These programs and components include:
- Microsoft Windows NT Server, Microsoft Windows NT Workstation, Microsoft Windows NT File System (NTFS)
- Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Data Engine (MSDE)
- Microsoft Exchange
- Microsoft Internet Explorer
Within the Access Workflow Designer itself, you have the ability to set up row-level security. Careful planning ensures the team solution will run offline in the manner in which it was intended.
When planning your security within a team solution, you will have the ability to set up database roles and assign users to those roles. This security model is portable and lends itself to creating templates based on existing solutions. For more information about Access Workflow Designer security, see Security Permissions Model in the Access Workflow Designer Developer's Guide.
Note Offline development is not available. To build a team solution using the designer tools, you must have a connection to a server.