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Tips for Newbies (like me) - Action Sets

Nintex Newbie
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I started creating my workflows in a very linear fashion across or down, each action laid out on my canvas.

I quickly discovered the ability to "label" my action panels (do it!)

But as my workflow started to grow in size scrolling up and down and side-to-side was increasingly frustrating. The only way I could get a clear view of the entire workflow was to zoom out which then made my label very hard to read. Testing my workflow also became very time-consuming as I would have restart and run through 10 steps to get to the action I thought was causing the problem, you get the idea.

One day I discovered Nintex in a Minute, Nancy & Shelley, Forms Film Festival, Jeopardy and Secret Agent Ninja in the Training Blog​. This is a must bookmark, especially if your just starting out.

Workflow actions for 2013: Action Set  by Kayla Marsden​ gave me my first exposure to Action Sets, enough to want more.

A Google search led me to a Nintex Tips and Tricks video by GigWerks.

These two references pointed out that I could group my actions into containers and achieve the following:

Below shows a workflow on the right without Action Sets. Each step laid out on my canvas. A similar workflow on the left using Action Sets.

With the Action Set, I am able group the actions into logical steps of the workflow and collapse the Action Set so I can easily visualize multiple steps in the workflow in one view, no scrolling or panning.

The Action Set allows you to expand or collapse the group of actions by selecting "Minimize" or "Maximize"

This made it much easier for me to lay out, label and visualize my workflow making development a more pleasurable experience.

As I said, as the workflow became larger in size it became increasingly difficult to pinpoint errors during testing.

Notice in the Action Set menu above, there is a selection named "Disable". This selection is a testing bonus!

Below I have disabled the first three Action Sets. When I publish and run the workflow, it disregards those actions and in this case starts with "CPO for Signature Action Set.

So if your workflow contains many, many actions, this could be an incredible time saver, relieving you of having to go through multiple steps to get to one specific step when testing.

I would encourage you to take a look at Action Sets now and utilize them as a routine in your development process.

Nintex Newbie

You can also break down your workflows. Just like in programming we have functions. You can break down your workflow and call other workflows so it isn't so large and you can narrow down where errors appear. Doing this will also reduce how much you see in your main workflow.

Nintex Newbie

Hi Bill,

Action sets are useful indeed. Other possible uses are:

  1. Run the actions in it with the permissions of the workflow owner.
  2. Copying a similar group of actions within the workflow.

To make a clear page, I also often choose the setting 'Hide from workflow status'. This saves entries in the Nintex Workflow content database too.