Configuring a workflow

Using built-in SharePoint workflow templates you can configure a workflow using a browser and customize it in a way limited by workflow template structure to meet the exact needs. Workflow template defines a number of conditions to test and actions to be performed when these conditions are met.
Each workflow has the start and the end. The triggering event for a workflow is usually uploading a document or adding an item, but you can also configure it to be started manually. When a workflow event is triggered a new workflow instance is created. When a workflow completes all the stages, it is set to Completed status.
Additionally, workflows can use Task list and History list. It can add items to a Tasks list to help users to track what actions are required to complete workflow process and send emails to users when a task has been assigned to them. Workflow history provides the information about each workflow instance created, running or completed for an item or document. This list can be accessed only by adding /lists/workflow history/ to the sites URL, it is not available on the Site Contents page.
Let`s trace the process of configuring a workflow using built-in template. In our example we will use Three-State workflow. This workflow is perfect for tracking status of tasks or documents. We are going to create a workflow on project site that tracks documents and passes them through review and accepting process.

Adding a Choice column

If you want to associate List or Library with a Three-state workflow, you must add at least one Choice column that contains the state values that the workflow will track. To add this column:

  1. Chose the list or library you want to associate with a workflow and click on Library. Then click on Create Column.

  2. Enter the name of new column and choose Choice as its type.

  3. Enter the description of this new column, at least 3 choices for it and choose the necessary additional settings. You can enter more than 3 choices but three-state workflow can use only three options.

  4. Click OK.
Adding a Three-state workflow

Now you can add Three-state workflow to this library.

  1. Click on Library –> Workflow Settings and choose Add a Workflow from the drop-down menu.

  2. Choose Three-state workflow template and type the name of a new workflow.

  3. Specify the Task list and History list for this workflow, choose the start options and click Next.

  4. In the workflow states section you can choose the choice column and the values from it for each stage of the workflow.

  5. Specify the necessary settings for the Initiation stage of the workflow. The option to send email is enabled by default, you can disable it if required.

  6. Specify the necessary settings for Middle stage of the workflow.

  7. Click OK.

Now your Three-state workflow has been added to your library and you can check how it works.


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