Nintex Workflow Document Submission: Part 2 – Checking in items automatically using a deadline date

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The following content is the second part of a series of posts relating to an ongoing scenario. The previous posts in this series can be viewed using the links below:

Although this is part of a larger scenario, each post can be suitably viewed separately for those that would like to view this for the general concept.

Checking in items automatically using a deadline date

Making sure items are checked in is essential in making sure that changes made during check out are committed so that these are then visible to other users.

With our workflow, we are going to combine the “Check In Item” action with another very useful action, “Pause until Date”. This action pauses the workflow at the current action until the specified date is reached, where it will then continue from here.

This prevents the need to run multiple workflows to perform time dependent tasks at various stages when adding new list items.

In this case, I am going to allow the workflow to run its initial actions and then pause until the date set in the “Pause Until Date” action (which will be set to the submission deadline), in order to then “Check in” the item when that date is reached.

After this, further actions can be performed that are applicable to document submissions such as approving the content, which we will be adding in a later blog.

Adding and configuring the “Pause until date” action

To do this, add the “Pause until date” action to the workflow.

Depending on your purpose, you may also use the “Pause for duration”, which will consider a specified amount of time as opposed to a particular date and time.

pause until date

In the configuration for this item, you can use a variety of values such as workflow variables and list lookups to set the Date field. We are going to click the small calendar icon to the right of this, which allows you to select a date from a calendar and a particular hour and minute too, making sure that your deadline is as precise as it can be.

pause until date config

Once this has been set, any further actions added to the workflow will be performed when the selected date and time is reached. In this case, we would like the file to be checked in at this point, so therefore I will add the “Check In Item” action as the next step. But first, to make the workflow a slight bit more effective, we are going to use a “Conditional Branch” to check whether the item is already checked in before finally checking it in.

Only check item in if currently checked out

Although we expect the item to be checked out to the current user, they may have checked the document in themselves before the deadline, therefore we will do a quick check at this point.

If we try using the “Check In” action on an already checked in item, an error in the workflow will occur because to check a file in it must currently be checked out.

Firstly, I am going to add a blank “Conditional Branch” underneath my “Pause until date” action. For those that have never encountered this action, the “Conditional Branch” allows you to set a logical statement as a condition. The possible outcomes are yes or no (true or false). The right branch is used for if the statement is True, and the left branch for those that are False.

For example, at a very basic level, you could set this to say “1=1”, meaning the number 1 is equal to the number 1, which is true every time and therefore the right branch will always be the path taken.

You can compare a wide range of values such as list columns, plain text and variables, and these values can be compared using either “equals” or “not equals

conditional branch

I am going to configure this condition with the following equation:

  • If the current item “checked out to” field = Initiator

Which will be true if the person who added the file still has the file checked out.

conditional config

This allows me to put the “Check In” action in the right branch, as the right branch will only be reached if that statement is True (the file is currently checked out to the initiator).

If it is not checked out to the current user (left branch, i.e. false), it is assumed to be checked in and therefore no action will be needed for this item at this stage.

conditional check in

Now, I made sure that the “Check In Item” action was configured to use the Current Item as its item.

Your workflow will now wait until a specified date and then automatically check-in the file in the current item!

Part 3 of this series will be coming very soon which will explain the use of Office 365 actions in Nintex Workflow.

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