sharepoint workflow, SharePoint workflows are pre-programmed mini-applications that streamline and automate a wide variety of business processes. Workflows can range from collecting signatures, feedback, or approvals for a plan or document, to tracking the current status of a routine procedure.
Here’s a general overview of SharePoint workflows, including types, creation, and management:
Types of SharePoint Workflows:
SharePoint comes with several built-in workflow templates, and they can be categorized into:
- Approval Workflows: Automate the routing of documents or items for approval.
- Collect Feedback: Route a document or item for feedback.
- Collect Signatures: Gather digital signatures.
- Disposition Approval: Manage document expiration and retention.
- Three-state: Track items through three states or phases.
- Publishing Approval: Use for publishing sites where content needs approval before being published.
Creation of a SharePoint Workflow:
- Access Workflow Settings:
- Navigate to the list or library where you wish to add the workflow.
- Under the ‘Settings’ or gear icon, select ‘List Settings’ or ‘Library Settings’.
- Click on ‘Workflow settings’.
- Add a Workflow:
- Select the workflow template you wish to use.
- Name the workflow and configure additional settings as per your needs.
- Configure Workflow:
- Depending on the selected workflow, you might need to specify approvers, email details, task list options, and other settings.
- Decide on the ‘Start Options’, whether the workflow should start manually or automatically based on specific triggers.
- Save & Publish: Once all settings are configured, save and associate the workflow with the list or library.
Apart from the out-of-the-box workflows, SharePoint also offers the ability to create custom workflows using tools like SharePoint Designer and Power Automate (formerly Microsoft Flow).
Managing SharePoint Workflows:
- Start a Workflow Instance:
- For workflows configured to start manually, navigate to the specific document or item, click on the ellipsis or context menu, and select ‘Workflows’. Choose the desired workflow to initiate it.
- View Workflow Status:
- You can view the status of any workflow instance by clicking on the workflow status (like ‘In Progress’, ‘Completed’, etc.) link associated with an item or document.
- Cancel or Terminate Workflows:
- From the workflow status page, depending on the workflow’s configuration and your permissions, you might have options to cancel or terminate running workflow instances.
- Review Workflow History:
- The workflow history provides a log of events for running and completed workflows. This can be useful for troubleshooting or reviewing the sequence of activities in a workflow instance.
Note: It’s important to know that Microsoft has been transitioning from traditional SharePoint workflows to more powerful and versatile workflow solutions like Power Automate. If you’re planning new workflows or considering updating existing ones, it’s a good idea to be aware of the capabilities and roadmap of the tools at your disposal.