Nintex Workflow Recording Sales: Part 1 – Advantage of setting workflow status

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This is the first part of a series of posts relating to the scenario explained in the introduction which can be viewed using the following link:
Nintex Workflow Recording Sales: Introduction

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.

Scenario overview

With Nintex Workflow for Office 365, I have found that after publishing and running a new workflow, there is no indicator as to whether the workflow has even started or eventually “done its thing” without having to go through a few unnecessary steps to navigate to an item’s individual workflow status page.

I have created, published and started a simple workflow named “Create Individual Sale Items” which is also the name given to the column that is automatically created in a given list when a new workflow is first started.

The workflow had completed but how could I know this without checking the workflow status page?

As you can see, there is no value in the workflow created column below.

no message

To then check the details of the workflow status, I would need to do the following:

  1. Select the required item
  2. Click on the items tab in the ribbon menu
  3. Click on the workflows button
  4. Click on the Completed workflow name

Maybe these 4 steps are too many in order to see whether the workflow has completed or not.

I think that it would be a great improvement to be able to see an overview of this information in the same page as the list where the workflow was ran, and also get detailed information in a single click.

This is where the “Set Workflow Status” action comes in.

Making use of the “Set Workflow Status” action

It is a great advantage in that you can customise a message that will be displayed in the workflow column, instantly giving the current user the information that they need. This message can be set at any stage of the workflow as an indication to where the current stage lies.

Not only this, the text displayed also acts as a link directly to the workflow status details page that previously required 4 steps to get to.

Here I have added the action to the start of the workflow, and right at the end of the workflow.

Set Workflow Status StartSet Workflow Status End

This will allow me to display a custom message that will show me that the workflow has correctly started (great for when you set it to automatically start), and also when the workflow has completed all actions and successfully reached the end, therefore proving that no errors occurred along the way.

The message displayed in the column is easily set, with the action configuration only containing 1 field, “Status”, which allows you to enter plain text or use the advanced lookup to set the status to values such as those in a specific list column or workflow variable.

Set Workflow Status Configuration

We set the first action to display “Workflow Started” and the last action to display “Completed”. Once you have set these, publish the workflow and run the workflow on a list item.

As you can see below, the text in the column has been automatically populated due to the workflow action(s).

with message

Clicking this status text at any time will then take me to the workflow status details where I can see further information about it, all in a single click!

Personally, I like to make sure that I always use these actions at the start and end of a workflow, not only for testing purposes, but as a beneficial indicator to other users.

In the next part, we will be going through the workflow action of performing a calculation based on list column values.

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