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Back to Basics - Hiding workflow actions or the workflow diagram

brad_orluk
Nintex Newbie
15 12 4,701

I was on a call with a Nintex partner the other day and they had asked me how to hide actions from the workflow status. While I answer questions about complex workflow and forms scenarios for partners and customers alike, I often receive questions about more basic functionality like this as well, especially from non-technical users. So, in an effort to make sure that everyone is empowered to build the most engaging workflows, I will be working on putting together some blog posts about how to do some things that are relatively easy to with Nintex Workflow and Nintex Forms but that can really help you build compelling business automation solutions.

In this post I will cover a common question:

"When I start a workflow or look at a workflow history, I see this really great picture of what is going on thanks to the Nintex workflow diagram. But, I have processes that I really don't want users to see inside of the workflow or I don't want them to see anything at all. How can I hide this information?"

Sample workflow:

2014-09-10_8-37-16.jpg

The answer to this question is, yes you can! Plus, it's easy to do! 

Whomever is building the workflow can simply open the configuration dialog for any action in the workflow through the Nintex workflow designer, navigate to the Common settings option, check off the Hide from workflow status box and click on Save. Done! This action will no longer show up on the diagram.

So now that we're done hiding our actions, what does the workflow diagram look like on the start page or in the workflow history?

End Result:

2014-09-10_9-10-03.jpg

Now, if you want to go further and hide the workflow diagram all together you can make sure that you've enable custom workflow start pages in the Nintex Workflow settings inside of SharePoint Central Administration. You will need to be a SharePoint administrator to do this!  Once you've done that you can remove the workflow diagram or add any other information to the start form you would like.

To enable custom start pages:

  1. Open up Central Administration
  2. Application Management
  3. Global Settings (under Nintex Workflow Management)
  4. Check that the "Allow workflow designers to specify a start page" option is set to Yes and then Save. (This change will take about 15 minutes or you can manually restart IIS for the change to take effect immediately)

Users can now open the workflow and create a custom start page by clicking on Workflow Settings and then clicking on Edit Start Form.

2014-09-10_9-29-15.jpg

Customize your start page and save it. Then simply publish your workflow. Now, when you attempt to start the workflow, the custom form will be displayed:

2014-09-10_9-32-10.jpg

As you can see, I only added a label control and the text 'My custom start form!' but you can tailor this form to include a myriad of controls and fields but again, as you can see, the workflow diagram is not there!  Keep in mind you can always add the diagram back to this page if you so choose by editing the start page and dragging and dropping the Workflow Diagram control back onto the form, saving and publishing the workflow.

2014-09-10_9-37-16.jpg

I hope this post helps you and please keep a lookout for more in my Back to Basics series!

12 Comments
Not applicable

This is great! I will lookout for more. Thank you.

Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

I know this has been out here for a while, but I needed this exact thing to send to a customer.  Thanks for putting it together.

burkslm
Nintex Newbie

I just needed to do this earlier this week. They said hiding workflow actions helps with performance on the server because so much doesn't get entered into the database. It was recommended to me that you do this on any loops you have.

Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

Lisa,

I heard the same things, but wasn't 100% sure on the "helps with performance" piece.  Do you know if that's documented anywhere?

I'm going to test that out in my VM to see, just thought I'd ask.

burkslm
Nintex Newbie

This was what my system admin person told me. According to him it is less information to store in the database. I guess that is in the database to help recreate the workflow on the screen.

Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

Makes sense and I appreciate the info. 

Thanks,

Eric

cju
Nintex Newbie

You can find this information on this document, 2nd page :

Purge Workflow Data - Reduce the size of the workflow progress database table

Be careful not to hide too many actions : it will be less easy to debug if there's an error.

Hope this helps

bimi82
Nintex Newbie

How can I hide the followings from normal users:

Reason:

because some users like to click about and then end up asking and trying to make changes etc.

Solution: to be able to hide the option from them (users who raise a form > wf)

Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

Bim Bimi,

What you are trying to hide is within SharePoint, not controlled by Nintex. This is also a permissions thing. Try giving a user view only access to the list to see if that removed those. There is a combination of permissions that can prevent a user from seeing workflows available on a list item, but I can't remember which ones exactly. 

brad_orluk
Nintex Newbie

I would recommend utilizing custom CSS to hide those icons in the form, Bim Bimi‌. The below CSS would hide the entire ribbon in the modal dialog but you could certainly adjust it according to your needs to only hide specific items.

.ms-dialog #s4-ribbonrow, .ms-dialog .ms-cui-topBar2, .ms-dialog .s4-notdlg, .ms-dialog .s4-pr s4-ribbonrowhidetitle, .ms-dialog .s4-notdlg noindex, .ms-dialog #ms-cui-ribbonTopBars, .ms-dialog #s4-titlerow, .ms-dialog #s4-pr s4-notdlg s4-titlerowhidetitle, .ms-dialog #s4-leftpanel-content {display:none !important;}
.ms-dialog .s4-ca{margin-left:0px !important; margin-right:0px !important;}‍‍

If you're using Nintex Forms, this CSS (or any CSS customizations) can be easily added to your form via the Form Settings dialog and Custom CSS configuration field.

See our help documentation for more info on accessing the custom CSS fields:

Nintex Forms for SharePoint Online (Office 365)

Nintex Forms for Office 365 > Reference > Forms designer and tools visual reference > Settings - For...

Nintex Forms for SharePoint 2013

Nintex Forms 2013 > Using the Form Designer > Form and Layout settings

Best, 

Brad

bimi82
Nintex Newbie

@Eric Harris Employee 

Would be great if you could tell me which permissions I need to remove.

bimi82
Nintex Newbie

@Brad

Great idea
Sad part is that even Admins, won't get to see the entire ribbon which is useful to them.

I was trying to find which permission disables that option for users only.