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SharePoint 2013 Document Approval Workflow

    Question

  • HI,

      I am very new to SharePoint and SharePoint Designer. I have create a SharePoint Site that stores Documents in a Document Library. I have forced Check-Out and Required Approval on New and Changed Documents. I want to create a Workflow that is manually started to get the approvals for the Documents. I have created a List also on this site that has the Apporvers (Names from our O365 INstall) and there Approval Sections. I want the user who starts the Workflow to only be able to chose names from the List for Approvers. I also need to have a user hardcoded as Approver of ALL documents without the ability of their name being removed. Can this be done? If so can I get some documentation on where to go to learn to do this?

    Thanks 

    Rich Vieira

    Thursday, September 12, 2013 12:28 PM

Answers

  • Rich,

    Personally I would just use the out of the box 2010 (yes 2010 even though you are on 2013) approval workflow.  I think this should be available by default other wise there is a feature which provides it once activated.

    This will enable you to set default approvers.

    You can also select

    "Start this workflow to approve publishing a major item".

    To make the workflow start if someone does a publish from the UI without starting the workflow.

    You can Enable document approval so the workflow will eventually change the approval status on a document and make it appear to site visitors.

    The workflow history will provide an audit of the document approval.

    Be aware through that these workflow histories get cleared out by default in SharePoint unless you stop the timer job that does this....

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee662504.aspx

    Whilst it is quite possible to write your own workflow the OOTB one is tried tested and should suit your needs. 

    Also bear in mind when developing workflows that we find ourselves at an interesting cross roads where SharePoint now has the 2010 workflow development model that is being retired and the new 2013 workflow model which we should be using but is a bit of a work in progress so it's a difficult time at which to make a good decision around how to develop custom workflows.

    Thursday, September 12, 2013 12:37 PM

All replies

  • Rich,

    Personally I would just use the out of the box 2010 (yes 2010 even though you are on 2013) approval workflow.  I think this should be available by default other wise there is a feature which provides it once activated.

    This will enable you to set default approvers.

    You can also select

    "Start this workflow to approve publishing a major item".

    To make the workflow start if someone does a publish from the UI without starting the workflow.

    You can Enable document approval so the workflow will eventually change the approval status on a document and make it appear to site visitors.

    The workflow history will provide an audit of the document approval.

    Be aware through that these workflow histories get cleared out by default in SharePoint unless you stop the timer job that does this....

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee662504.aspx

    Whilst it is quite possible to write your own workflow the OOTB one is tried tested and should suit your needs. 

    Also bear in mind when developing workflows that we find ourselves at an interesting cross roads where SharePoint now has the 2010 workflow development model that is being retired and the new 2013 workflow model which we should be using but is a bit of a work in progress so it's a difficult time at which to make a good decision around how to develop custom workflows.

    Thursday, September 12, 2013 12:37 PM
  • Thank you for the speedy response. I have set the default Approval Workflow -2010 on the site. However, there are many documents and folders in the Library that require different approvers. This is why I set it up to be manually started so each document could go to the proper Approver. The complaint is they don't want the initiator to randomly choose but have a List with a single user forced as the Approver of All documents.

    If the above is not possible and I was to use the ootb 2010 Approval then can each document be setup with its own Workflow and Approver?

     
    Thursday, September 12, 2013 12:51 PM
  • You could set up content types for each different profile of document.

    You could attach those content types to the document library and make sure each document has the correct content type.

    You could attach the workflow to each content type.

    You could then specify a different default approver based on the content type.

    From recollection you want to always call the workflow with the same name otherwise you will get losts of association columns that you don't want.

    Good luck

    Thursday, September 19, 2013 4:51 PM