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Using workflows

What is a workflow?

Workflow is a sequence of steps that define the life cycle of documents. This ensures the quality of content and design by setting up a reviewing and approval process. In such a process, individual roles and users can work with documents in certain steps of their life cycle (such as Edit, Published, Archived, ...).

An example of a simple workflow process is a website that publishes scientific articles. An author writes an article and sends it for approval to an editor. The editor makes corrections and submits the article to the head of the respective department. The head then publishes the document, thus making it publicly available to read on the website.

Using workflows

This topic describes how you can manage documents under a workflow.

The following tasks refer to buttons in the Pages application by their default captions, e.g., Submit for approval, Approve, Reject. However, the caption texts are customizable, so you may not always see the same buttons in the user interface.

On this page

Configuration
 

Applying a workflow on a document

This functionality is useful when you want to apply a workflow on a document, or a document and its children. For example, when you create a document outside of an existing workflow scope.

You need to have the Manage workflow permission assigned in the content module to be able to use this functionality.

To apply a workflow on a single document or a document and its children:

  1. In the Pages application, navigate to the document that you want to apply a workflow on.
  2. Click Apply workflow. A dialog box opens.
    Applying a workflow to a document
  3. Select the workflow that you want to apply on the document.
  4. Choose from the following options:
    1. To this document only
    2. To this document and its children

    Selecting a workflow to apply to a document

    Applying a workflow on a document directly also creates a workflow scope that can be edited later.

  5. Click Apply workflow.

Submitting a document for approval

When a document is in the Edit step, you can submit it for approval to move it to the next step.

  1. In the Pages application, navigate to the document that you want to submit for approval.
  2. Click Submit for approval. The document will be moved to the next step in the workflow process.

Submitting a document for approval with a comment

To submit a document for approval and add a comment for the person who will be approving it, follow these steps:

  1. In the Pages application, navigate to the document that you want to submit for approval.
  2. Click (...) icon next to the Submit for approval button and then click Comment and submit for approval. A dialog box opens.
    Commenting and submitting a document for approval
  3. Enter your comment and click Approve. The document moves to the next step in the workflow process.

Viewing documents waiting for your approval

To view documents that are in an approval step, which you're an operator of, you can use the Pending page in My desk.

  1. Open the Pending documents application.
  2. (Optional) Click Navigate to document to view the current version of the document on the live site.
  3. (Optional) Click Edit to make changes to the document and approve or reject it.

Approving and rejecting a document

When a document reaches a step that requires user interaction, you can approve the document, or, if settings of the step permit, reject it.

  1. Navigate to the document you want to approve or reject.
  2. (Optional) Make changes to the document.
  3. (Optional) Disable the Send notification e-mails checkbox to prevent the system from sending e-mails to users involved in the next step.
  4. Approve or reject the document. Note that if the step that follows is the Published step, the default text of the Approve button changes to Publish.
    1. To approve the document without commenting on the approval, click Approve.
    2. To reject the document without commenting on the rejection, click Reject.
    3. To approve the document and make a comment, click the arrow icon next to the Approve button, then click Comment and approve. Enter your comment into the dialog box and click Approve.
    4. To reject the document and make a comment, click the arrow icon next to the Reject button, then click Comment and reject. Enter your comment into the dialog box and click Reject.

Publishing a document

When a document is published, its most recent version will be made available to visitors on the live site. You can publish documents in one of the following ways:

  • Manually moving through the whole workflow process
  • Directly publishing if the current step allows it
  • Publishing multiple document at once

Manually moving through the whole workflow process

  1. Navigate to the document that you want to publish.
  2. Repeatedly approve the document until it is in the Published step.

Directly publishing a document

When a document is in a standard approval step and the settings of the step allow it, you can publish the document immediately. To do this, a direct approval path must exist in the workflow process. Direct publishing won't work if your workflow process contains user decisions.

  1. Navigate to the document that you want to publish.
  2. Click the arrow icon next to the Approve button, then click Approve until published.

Publishing multiple documents at once

You can publish entire sections of your website using the List mode.

  1. In the Pages application, switch to the Listing mode.
  2. Navigate to the document, which is a parent of the documents that you want to publish.
  3. Select the documents you want to publish. You have two options:
    1. Check the boxes next to documents you want to publish.
    2. Select All documents in the drop-down list below the document list.
  4. Select Publish in the drop-down list marked (select an action) and click OK to confirm. You will be redirected to a page with the list of documents to be published.
  5. (Optional) Adjust the following settings:
    1. Publish also all child documents
    2. Perform Undo check-out for checked out documents - if checked, all documents that are checked out will be checked in and the changes made during the last check-out will be discarded.
  6. Click Yes to start publishing the documents.

Archiving a document

When you archive a document, it stays in its location in the content tree, but it isn't visible on the live site. You can archive documents in one of the following ways:

  • Manually archiving
  • Archiving multiple documents at once

Manually archiving a document

When a document reaches a step that is immediately followed by the Archived step, you can click the Archive button to archive the document.

Archiving multiple documents at once

You can archive entire sections of your website using the List mode.

  1. In the Pages application, switch to the Listing mode.
  2. Navigate to the document, which is a parent of the documents that you want to archive.
  3. Select the documents you want to archive. You have two options:
    1. Check the boxes next to documents you want to archive.
    2. Select All documents in the drop-down list below the document list.
  4. Select Archive in the drop-down list marked (select an action) and click OK to confirm. You will be redirected to a page with the list of documents to be archived.
  5. (Optional) Adjust the following settings:
    1. Archive also all child documents
    2. Perform Undo check-out for checked out documents - if checked, all documents that are checked out will be checked in and the changes made during the last check-out will be discarded.
  6. Click Yes to start archiving the documents.

Viewing a document's workflow history

For all documents under a workflow, the system records every move from one step to another. That means that you can review all the workflow actions that were performed on the document, the users who performed them and comments.

To view the workflow history of a document, select it in the content tree of the Pages application and navigate to Properties -> Workflow.

Restarting a workflow cycle

When a document reaches the Published or Archived step (whichever comes first), it completes its workflow cycle. That means that the document has gone all the way from the Edit step through the whole process to the final step. To start a new cycle and put the document back to the edit step, do the following:

  • If you're using basic workflow, open the document in the Pages application, make changes to it and click Save. This will create a new version of the document.
  • If you're using advanced workflow, click Create new version.

When you start a new cycle, the system re-evaluates workflow scopes that cover this document and chooses the workflow with the highest priority.

Removing documents from a workflow

If you want to remove documents from an existing workflow. That is, documents that are under a workflow scope, and that are in any of the steps belonging to the workflow, then proceed as follows:

  1. Open the Workflows application.
  2. Edit () the workflow from which you want to remove the document.
  3. Switch to the Documents tab.
  4. Select the documents that you want to remove from the workflow.
  5. Choose the Remove workflow and keep currently published data option in the second drop-down list under the list of documents.
    Removing document from a workflow
  6. Click OK.

Note that this action does not remove the document from under the workflow scope. It may become part of the workflow again when modified.