Show Workflow-Status in Office 365

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Workflow-veterans know: when you publish a new list-workflow to SharePoint a new column is added to the list, which show the current status of the workflow. Typically, these statuses are: in progress, completed, error and canceled.


There is a corresponding workflow-action, which allows to write in any custom status, for example if an item has been approved or needs additional review. This allows a more fine grained insight of the current status of a workflow.

Starting with SharePoint 2013 Microsoft introduced the Windows Azure Workflow infrastructure in addition to the existing workflow engine from the .Net Framework. This new engine is totally independed of SharePoint (and is therefore a separate setup as well).

If you publish a new WAW-workflow this will also create a new status-column, but this column will actually be left blank (at first), when a new instance is started.


Because SharePoint Designer adds a Stage action to the workflow, this stage-name will be used as the workflow status. Since this Stage-Action is used by default, new workflows will most likely always have a status.


Why is this status-column so interesting anyway? Well, the status-column is a link to the actual workflow-instance. So if you click on that link, you'll see the workflow-status. You could of course also open the context-menu of the item, click on "Advanced > Workflows" to see all current and previous workflows, choose the current workflow you're interested in to get to the status-page - but the link is much quicker.

But how about Nintex Workflows?


They don't show a status - and thus there's no link to the status-page available. That's because the default nintex workflow doesn't writes any status - so you should add a "Set Workflow Status" action to the beginning of your workflow.


This way you'll get a link in the status-column of your workflow, which will take you direct to the status-page of the workflow-instance.


You should also consider adding a "Set Workflow Status" action to the end of your workflow, to set a status like "completed". Otherwise the status of the workflow will remain to whatever you set it last, even though the workflow was completed in the meantime.