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6 Posts authored by: burkslm

Displaying Workflow Tasks

Posted by burkslm Jan 16, 2015

There are times when a user does not want to go through each and every email to approve a task. There are also times when a list item is deleted; however, the task is still out there for that item.


To display the task list for users in SharePoint:


  • Go to Lists->Workflow Tasks
  • Click on the link
  • Copy the URL
  • Create a new item in the Quick Launch and paste the URL there
  • Users can filter the list on their name or check on the status of other users


To display one task link in Nintex email notifications:

  • In your email notification, you can 'Insert Reference' and select 'Workflow Status URL'
  • All the user will have to do is click on 'Respond to Task'


Personally, I give all the users the information they need in the email to approve/reject. In addition, I attach any files. That way they can perform a lazy approval if they so choose to. Where I work, the URLs are disabled from clicking on them. So users have to copy and paste them to open their items.


If you have an orphaned task, it will appear in the workflow task list. You simply find it and delete it.

There are times when too many emails go back and forth. When you have a primary and secondary approver, the secondary may not have to approve anything very often because the primary approver may not miss much work. If that is the case, the secondary approver is bombarded by emails for no reason. You can set up for the secondary to receive emails only after so many days, hours, etc. Doing this can reduce all of those unnecessary emails and only notify the secondary approver if for some reason the primary approver hasn't completed a task in x amount of time. To do this, perform the following:


  • Open the Assign Flexi task action
  • Make sure the primary and secondary are in the 'Assignee' on the 'Action' tab
  • Click on the Task Notification tab
  • Click on the dropdown for 'Edit Settings for' and select the secondary approver
  • Click on 'None' for the 'Delivery Type'
  • Click on the 'Reminder' tab and set how many reminders need to be sent and the time between reminders


You do not have to set the secondary up in the 'Reminder' tab because they automatically get notified since they are an Assignee. This is a very useful tip to have in a Nintex Workflow developer's bag of tricks.


Logging History In Loops

Posted by burkslm Jan 8, 2015

Beware of running 'Log in History List' actions in loops (for each, loop, etc.). Not doing this will clutter the workflow database with logs and impact customers. If you have them, set them to "Hide from workflow status" in the "Common" tab of the for each or loop. In general, there shouldn't be too much logging in your workflows anyway. Its better to use those for troubleshooting and giving general information to the user.



Be careful of scheduled workflows. I had a nightly scheduled workflow that came back with an error. I knew there was no reason for it to error because it had been running for months with no problems. I contacted the server admins to check into the error on the server for me. They didn't see anything suspicious. I had the workflow running at a specific time. They told me that could cause a problem. I didn't know it but they ran patches and updates at the same time my workflow started. They recommended I ran the workflow outside of that window. This particular workflow had to run midnight or later but before employees arrived at work. I didn't want any employees updating the list while this workflow was running. I changed the time their updates were over. I haven't had any problems since. I also learned there were other workflows scheduled and the times they were running. I found that the workflows were put in a queue so your workflow wasn't guaranteed to run exactly when you wanted it to run. Sometimes my workflow started when I scheduled it and sometimes it would be an hour or later.


When you are creating a scheduled workflow, be sure to know the times other workflows are scheduled and any maintenance on the servers are to be performed. This will save you a headache later.




Lock Down Items In A List

Posted by burkslm Jan 5, 2015

There may be times when you have a list and you want to lock down items in the list to certain people, groups, the creator, etc. due to the sensitivity of the data. This can be done in Nintex Workflow. I am using Nintex Workflow 2010 so it will be based on that version. To do this:


  1. Use the action 'Set Item Permissions'.
  2. Set Item On = Current Item.
  3. Inherit permissions from parent = No.
  4. Check Remove existing permissions.
  5. Users = the users you want to have permissions
  6. Permission = the permission you want them to have.


You can have multiple users with different permissions. You can add them by clicking on 'Add user permission'.



I have found this problem very annoying after not knowing what it was and running into it several times. We finally resolved the issue after banging our heads against the wall. If you have a list with a workflow and want to save the list as a list template and save the data you will run into this issue. I even checked the setting to include this data.


What happens is when you have your new list, you try to import your original workflow. You do that because the original workflow does not appear in SharePoint. In trying to be consistent, I try to name the new workflow the same name. An error appears telling me the workflow already exists. Well, how can that be when it does not appear in the workflow list for the list you are working on? However, magically if you go to SharePoint Designer you will find the workflow under the list even though it doesn't appear in SharePoint. You will have to delete that workflow in SharePoint Designer. If you do not, you will have problems with the workflow running actions twice. We ran into emails firing twice. I believe it was because it was running the workflow twice. Be careful of this issue.

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