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Options for creating a workflow on a folder in a document library RRS feed

  • Question

  • I know that I cannot create a workflow for just a folder or item within a Document Library.  However, people want to be able to create workflows that do different things on folders within a library without affecting the other folders/documents.

    For instance, I have a user who created a Drafts library.  In this library he has 5 folders.  He wants to trigger an Approval workflow when a document is created (added into the folder), and depending on which folder it is, there would be a different set of Approvers.  So, if Folder 1 had a document added, then an Approval Workflow starts and Approvers A, B, and C are involved.  But if Folder 2 has a document added, an Approval Workflow starts but the Approvers might be Approver A, C, D, and E.

    He knows that he could create 5 libraries and the appropriate workflow to each library, but if we were to stick with the structure as it exists, how do we go about the workflow process?  How do we create workflows that run only on specific folders in a library when items are added into those folders?  Is there even an ability to do this with Designer?

    Tuesday, September 27, 2011 8:35 PM

Answers

  • Use content types to achieve this. Create 5 content types for 5 different types of the documents, you could then end up creating workflows on content types. This should help you in providing different approver's based on the content type. 

    Does this help?


    Thanks, Mayur Joshi Blog: http://splearnings.blogspot.com/
    • Proposed as answer by Clayton Cobb Wednesday, September 28, 2011 4:35 AM
    • Marked as answer by TheMind Wednesday, September 28, 2011 12:59 PM
    Tuesday, September 27, 2011 9:30 PM

All replies

  • Use content types to achieve this. Create 5 content types for 5 different types of the documents, you could then end up creating workflows on content types. This should help you in providing different approver's based on the content type. 

    Does this help?


    Thanks, Mayur Joshi Blog: http://splearnings.blogspot.com/
    • Proposed as answer by Clayton Cobb Wednesday, September 28, 2011 4:35 AM
    • Marked as answer by TheMind Wednesday, September 28, 2011 12:59 PM
    Tuesday, September 27, 2011 9:30 PM
  • Must you really user folders? That is an archaic way of using SharePoint, so if you can instead utilize the other advanced features of SharePoint, you will probably have a much better solution.  There is no way to specify workflows within a folder.  You would instead just use different doc libs or content types.

    Mayur's content type suggestion is great.


    SharePoint Architect || Microsoft MVP || My Blog
    Planet Technologies || SharePoint Task Force
    Wednesday, September 28, 2011 4:35 AM
  • We pushed migration of files off of file servers into SharePoint, and so the site owners built structures either similar to their old folder structure, or simply moved the whole structure over.

    It's a major task in itself to get them to understand and utilize SharePoint (not that I'm yet a guru with it myself), so the idea of telling them that folders are no longer a viable option for storage seems like it would be inconceivable in their minds.  We are baby steps into our first SharePoint implementation, so there are many facets that all users are not understanding of, or are learning...and I've been trying to balance "making it simple for the end users" with utilizing the features given.

    I myself wasn't sure about doing content types as I've only begun looking at workflows.  I will definitely run through creating content types and test the workflows though.

     

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011 12:58 PM
  • Amendment to the question:

    I feel like this is redundant to the original question in a different way, but I've tested a content type on a workflow and ran into a question:

    Say I've created 5 content types as Mayur suggested, and associated them with the library.  How would I be able to associate one of the 5 custom content types to documents that are added in through the "add documents" link or the "Upload Document" link? 

    This just uploads documents under the default content type, correct?  In this case, the users wouldn't be creating brand new files and clicking "New - Custom Content Type #1 Document" to do so...they will be uploading existing documents that then need to be approved by specific people based off of the custom content type.

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011 2:31 PM
  • No, you should be able to choose the content type.

    This is a different question, though, so please create a new thread.

    Also, the comment about baby steps and users thinking it is inconceivable speaks loudly to the lack of foresight and planning on behalf of the organization.  SharePoint never should have been deployed and shown to users without first building a taxonomy and governance plan.  You've already started down the path of the most common reason for failed SharePoint deployments unfortunately.  Baby steps are good, but you're leaps and bounds beyond many of the steps that should have been taken before rolling out the environment.  Just food for thought...


    SharePoint Architect || Microsoft MVP || My Blog
    Planet Technologies || SharePoint Task Force
    Wednesday, September 28, 2011 10:35 PM