Can i move all the list workflows to be a single workflow defined inside the Content Type RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am working on sharepoint enterprise server 2013, and i want to improve my workflow management indie my sub-sites. my general case is as follow:-

    1. I have a Team Site collection. and a site template stored inside the solution gallery.

    2. inside the site template there are; 4 tracking lists.

    3. for each list there is a list workflow (based on workflow 2010) created using SharePoint designer 2013.

    4. now i have created around 20 sub-site based on the site template.

    5. so for each workflow there are 21 instance. (one at each sub-site list + the site template).

    6. now yesterday our customer asked us to update one of the list workflows.

    7. so i went to the 20 sub-sites + the template, and i update the workflow using sharepoint designer 2013.

    so this raised an issue in my mind that the way i am managing my workflow is wrong, mainly from maintainability point of view.

    now all the sub-site lists share 4 site content types. so i was thinking if i can remove all the list workflows from my sub-sites, and define them inside the 4 site content types. so in this case any new sub-site will be using the content type workflow. also if i want to update the workflow i will be doing so from the CT level and have the effect on all the underlying lists.

    but i have read some articles which mentioned that associating a workflow with a content type can not be done inside sharepoint 2013..

    so i did the following as a test:-

    1. i open sharepoint designer 2013.
    2. i create a new sharepoint 2010 reusable workflow.
    3. save it , then publish it.
    4. i went to a content type inside sharepoint designer. click on "associate existing workflow", and i select the reusable workflow i just created:-

    enter image description here

    1. final step inside the site setting page, i set to update all the content type as follow:-

    enter image description here

    so now based on my understanding, i should have the following:-

    1. a workflow associated with a site content type.
    2. and this workflow should be associated with all the list content types (based on step 5).

    but i am facing this problem:-

    1. when i create/edit an item, the workflow will not work/fire.
    2. also when i went to the related list content type and i checked the related workflows, i can not see the reusable workflow i just added.

    so can anyone adivce on this please?

    side note i have read some articles which mentioned that associating a workflow with a content type is not a valid option in SP2013 as mentioned on this link for example. although in SP designer the options are there.

    so can anyone adivce on this please? how i can define a workflow at the content type level, so all the lists which uses this content type will have the workflow ,, is this possible ?

    • Edited by johnjohn11 Thursday, December 22, 2016 3:14 PM
    Thursday, December 22, 2016 3:10 PM


  • Hi,

    I tested this in my local based on Document content type and it works as expect.

    Confirm you have check below options for your content type workflow:

    You could try to validate your workflow are updated to exist instance by:

    Library settings->Workflow Settings

    The link you mentioned above is talking about SharePoint 2013 workflow( can’t scope to specific content type).

    Best Regards,


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    Friday, December 23, 2016 5:25 AM