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Starting a Workflow (On Premises)

Nintex Employee
Nintex Employee
15 5 13.3K

There are a number of ways to have a Nintex Workflow start in a SharePoint 2010 or 2013 environment.

Manual Start

In the Workflow Settings, you can also check the box for "Start Manually".  This gives users the ability to click on an item, select Workflows, and select the workflow they want to start.  This gives them a nice graphical view of the workflow they are going to start.

In case you need it, it will also give them a form to fill in, if that workflow has some Start Form variables.


This behavior is the same for both List/Library workflows and Site workflows.

Event Driven List/Library Workflow

The most common way to have your workflow start, is to set it to be event driven.

The two events that are supported, are On Created and On Modified.  Regardless of whether you have a List workflow or a Document Library workflow, if one of those items/documents is created or modified, it will kick off a workflow.


The image above shows the workflow settings of a workflow.  You'll notice that the "Start when items are created" and "Start when items are modified" options are drop downs.  They aren't just Yes or No.  There is also the option of "Conditional". This allows you to specify that a workflow should start when an item is modified, but only if a particular field is set or is a particular value.  The condition can have multiple levels also.


Scheduling Workflows

Both a List/Library workflow and a Site Workflow can be scheduled to run at a particular time of day and date and be repeating.

When it comes to a List/Library workflow, scheduling a workflow is done on a particular item/document.


The thing to note when it comes to scheduling a workflow on an item/document, is that if that item or document is deleted, it will also delete the schedule.

For a Site Workflow, you schedule it from the Site Settings drop down.


Nintex Workflow to start another Workflow

Nintex Workflow comes with an action called Start Workflow.  This lets you start a workflow instance immediately, or schedule it to start later.  It also lets the parent workflow wait or continue once the child workflow starts.


N‌intex Workflow Web Service

Nintex Workflow installs into SharePoint and as part of that, you'll have a web service available to you on each SharePoint site where Nintex Workflow is activated.

The URL to the web service can be found at the site level : http://[site]/[subsite]/_vti_bin/NintexWorkflow/Workflow.asmx

There are a number of web methods that can be called to start a workflow instance.

  • StartSiteWorkflow
  • StartWorkflow - this is to start a workflow on a document, using it's URL
  • StartWorkflowOnListItem - this can be used to start a workflow on an item or document, as long as you have the ID

These methods can be called from any number of places.  It could be called from another Nintex Workflow, using the Call Web Service action.  It could be called from JavaScript.  It could also be called from external systems, outside of SharePoint.

Automation Master
Automation Master

FYI: for Sharepoint 2013 online, the url to see the Nintex Workflow Web Services is http://[site]/[subsite]/_vti_bin/Workflow.asmx

Nintex Newbie

When starting a workflow manually, I do not want the user to be bothered with the graphical overview of the workflow - it does not make sense to her and is just confusing. I just want the workflow to start right away.

How can I accomplish this?



Automation Master
Automation Master


Why is the conditional not an option on creation for document libraries?  is it because of the order in which the document is stored and metadata updated?  is there a way around this?  we find ourselves creating messy workarounds for this at times and I can't believe we are the only ones?



Nintex Newbie

Hi Leif Frederiksen‌,

In case you did not yet find this yourself:



Nintex Newbie

Hi Rick - super cool! Thanks for the reference