Nintex Workflow Document Submission: Part 4 – Approval process and dealing with outcome


The following content is the fourth part of a series of posts relating to the 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.

Starting the approval process

Using the “Start a task process” action, you are able to start an approval process which allows a selected individual or group of individuals to decide on whether the item in question is either approved or rejected.

This is useful in a workflow as it automatically assigns tasks to the appropriate users to request an outcome, as well as being able to process the result of this outcome immediately in the same workflow.

In my workflow, I am going to ask for the item to be approved so that I can perform an action based on the outcome, which will be to copy approved items to a separate library.

Add the “Start a task process” action to the workflow.

start a task process

This action has many configuration options that we may go through in a later blog, but here we will focus on the more important ones that are the minimal requirements for a standard approval.

Firstly, use the “Participants” option to enter the name of the individual(s) or group(s) that the item needs to be approved by. This text box allows you to select a value using a list lookup or variable, but holds a great advantage in using plain text to enter. As you begin typing, the box will provide an auto-complete list and allow you to select a value from this list of both SharePoint users and groups.

task process config

Task title” and “Description” allow you to enter the details of the task, which should ideally be a short description which gives the approver a good indication of the approval task/item at hand without having any previous knowledge.

For the “Related Item”, we are using the current item, though for any other purposes you can target items in any other list using the Where clause to target the specific item you require.

All other options can be left as is for our purpose. As it is, the process will set a task for each participant and email them with the details. It will then await all responses and go with the outcome that received the highest number of responses.

Lastly, we need to know the outcome of the task in order to know what to do with the proposal. This is where the last option “Process Outcome” comes into it. From the drop down box, you can select a variable in which to store the outcome of the approval. This will return one of the following numbers to the variable:

  • 0 = Approved
  • 1 = Rejected

Using this value, we can then expand on the workflow depending on the value.

Conditional actions based on approval outcome

In this case, we are going to use a “Conditional branch” to check whether approved, then the “Copy Document” in the right branch which will do nothing with rejected items, but copy approved items to the Approved library that we have created.

The conditional branch configuration should look like below (0 = approved).

conditional approval

The “Copy Document” action will then be added to the right branch as below.

conditional copy item

The configuration to copy the document should look like below, where we have selected to copy the current item and the destination library has been selected as our library named “Approved”.

copy doc config

Now, whenever a submission is Approved, it will be copied to another library and if it is Rejected, it will continue without performing this action.

Stay tuned for the last blog in this series where we will show how our final workflow looks after adding the content from each blog part to our Nintex workflow

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