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Build a Better Nintex Workflow "Assign To-Do Task" Form

Workflow Hero
11 11 19.6K

The “User Interaction” category of workflow actions in Nintex Workflow provides extremely useful functionality for human interaction with workflows.  These actions handle assigning tasks, prompting for information, and sending alerts to users.

The “Assign To-Do task” workflow action assigns a workflow task and sends a notification to one or more users to complete.  The task assignee must perform the task and mark it as complete via a workflow task form before the workflow can continue.  The action configuration allows workflow designers to use an existing or create a new content type that inherits from the “Workflow Task” parent content type.

The workflow task form that is generated for the “Assign To-Do Task” action uses the default SharePoint workflow task form, even if you create a new content type via the Nintex user interface. In order to complete the task, a user must change the Status field to “Completed” (see the images below).  My experience so far is this process is not very intuitive and often confusing to assignees. And let’s face it, this is a pretty ugly form that also contains several unneeded fields.

nintexworkflow2010_assigntodotask2.png
SharePoint 2010 task form

nintexworkflow2013_assigntodotask4.png
SharePoint 2013 task form

Design a Better Form

In this post, I want to share with you how to create an “Assign To-Do Task” workflow task form that the assignee can complete by just clicking a button and that has only relevant fields.  In order to accomplish this, we need to create a new content type via the “Request Data” workflow action that we can use in the “Assign To-Do Task” workflow action.  So let’s get started!

  1. Create a new list or library workflow.
  2. Add a “Request Data” action to the Workflow Designer and configure it with the following settings:
    • Collect data from – Add a user (I would suggest using yourself).
    • Content type – Select the “Create new” option and enter a name for your content type (for example, “Complete To Do Task”).
    • Content type fields – Do not add any fields. Select the other settings you would like, such as “Only show fields with variables assigned”, “Display link to workflow item on the task form”, “Display the item properties panel on the task form”, and “Allow attachments”.
    • Task name – Enter what you would like (for example, “Complete this task”).
    • Leave all the other fields as they are defaulted.

      nintexworkflow2010_assigntodotask3.png
      Nintex Workflow 2010 Request Data action

      nintexworkflow2013_assigntodotask7.png
      Nintex Workflow 2013 Request Data action
  3. Click the Save button in the General tab of the Ribbon menu to save your changes to the “Request data” action.
  4. Publish the workflow – In order for the new content type to be created, you must publish the workflow.
  5. Add an “Assign To-Do Task” action to the Workflow Designer and configure it with the following settings:
    • Assignees – Add a user (I would suggest using yourself).
    • Task description – Add some content.
    • Content type – Select the “Use existing” option and choose the new content type you created in Step 2.
    • Content type fields – Do not add any fields.  Select the other settings you would like, such as “Only show fields with variables assigned”, “Display link to workflow item on the task form”, “Display the item properties panel on the task form”, and “Allow attachments”.
    • Task name – Enter what you would like (for example, “Complete this task”).
    • Leave all the other fields as they are defaulted.

      nintexworkflow2010_assigntodotask4.png
      Nintex Workflow 2010 Assign To-Do Task action

      nintexworkflow2013_assigntodotask9.png
      Nintex Workflow 2013 Assign To-Do Task action
  6. Click the Save button in the General tab of the Ribbon menu to save your changes to the “Assign To-Do Task” action.
  7. Disable or delete the “Request Data” action – This action was only used to create the new content type when you published the workflow in Step 3, so it is not needed at this point.
  8. Publish the updates to the workflow.
  9. Test the workflow by starting it on an item in your list/library.
  10. The workflow will assign you a “To Do” task to complete, so open it in your browser.
  11. Complete the task by clicking on the “Complete task” button.

    nintexworkflow2010_assigntodotask5.png
    Nintex Workflow 2010 Complete Task Form

    nintexworkflow2013_assigntodotask8.png
    Nintex Workflow 2013 Complete Task Form
  12. That’s it! The new “Assign To-Do Task” form is much simpler to complete.

Follow these steps if you would like to edit the “Complete To Do Task” content type you just created.

  1. Add a “Request Data” action to a workflow and configure it.
  2. Click on the “Edit the content type” link under the choice in the “Content type” selector.
  3. Click OK when you receive the message that says “Changing the content type may break other applications. Are you sure you want to continue?”.
  4. Make the appropriate changes to the content type. You can add, edit, or remove fields in this content type.
  5. Click the Save button in the General tab of the Ribbon menu to save your changes to the “Request data” action.
  6. Publish the workflow – In order to apply the changes to the content type, you must publish the workflow.

This solution applies to both the Nintex Workflow 2010 and 2013 versions.

11 Comments
Not applicable

Hi Eric,


Forgive my ignorance, is it possible to set a second outcome? and also Approve the task as well? Essentially i'm using this content type but the only outcome is Complete, with no ability to reject and change the outcome of the task. The workflow completes but it doesn't Approve the document.

Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

Blake can you start a new discussion and ping me using Eric Harris on it with a screenshot or two about what you are attempting?  I'll respond promptly.

Workflow Hero

Hi Eric,

This seems like a great workaround for the missing ability to customize a Todo task's form.

The new task form is much simpler, but I would like to make a few changes to the layout. How can I do this?

Regards

Leif

Workflow Hero

Thanks Leif.  The easiest answer to your question is to edit the workflow task form with Nintex Forms.  I realize not everyone has this and that's part of the reason I wrote this blog post.

Workflow Hero

I have Nintex Forms and use it a lot.

But I have no way to get the system to actually use the Nintex Form I design when the user wants to edit the task.

I suspect that it has something to do with the content types. The new content type that gets created using your procedure has the parent "Workflow task" and not the "Nintex workflow task" or maybe even better "Nintex workflow task using Nintex Forms".

This is in accordance with the Nintex documentation of what happens when you create a new content type from the "Request Data" action:

"An existing content type can be used, or a new content type constructed. The list of existing content types will show all content types that inherit from the 'Workflow Task' content type. The new content type will also inherit from this parent."

Untitled.png

How can the newly created  content type be forced to enherit from the Nintex based content type?

Regards

Leif

Workflow Hero

I am using SharePoint 2013, I have successfully used this awesome solution in QA but when I try to use it in Production the Complete task button doesn't do anything.  It's there, you can click it, but nothing happens and the task stays In Progress. I have tried everything.  I hope there is a solution, thank you!

Workflow Hero

Hi Rodney,

There were some previous replies that talk about importing the workflow into a new environment and not having the custom task form work.  You might have to create new content types for the workflow task and apply it to the actions.  I originally wrote this post with users not having Nintex Forms available to edit the task forms.

Workflow Hero

Were you ever able to configure the Assign To-Do  Task using the custom nintex form?  I'm encountering the same thing...

Workflow Hero

I'm having this same issue, have any ideas?

Workflow Hero

Hi Eric , this is good! Thanks , however I am not able to get the comments entered into list view or into email notification , can you assist with this

Workflow Hero

Thanks Eric! Can this content type be reused in multiple unrelated workflows? I would like to reuse the content type I built previously (to show the user the Complete Task button) in a new unrelated workflow but I don't want to user interaction to in any way trigger tasks etc for the previous workflow...if that makes sense.