Workflow Hero

Why is "Modified by" always the initiators

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This is more a curious question which I always noticed but don't know the answer or have an explanation to.
Whenever an item is created the created by [is the User's name] which is normal BUT when for example an approval workflow is complete, the Modified by is always the user's name as the last person to edit the item.

Although the user does not edit or modify it.
Of course they click the Submit button which then initiates the workflow process etc.

Is this normal??

I guess it is because the workflow is initiated by the user and therefore the user is always the "modified by" although the approval has been approved by a manager and the process is complete.

Furthermore, it can be confusing because it gives the impression as if the initiator has actually made some changes to the item. Although, you can use the Version History to keep track of what's been changed and by whom.

Exactly! All the changes are "Modified by... the initiator's name" even when it's approved by myself for example.

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Automation Master
Automation Master

Re: Why is "Modified by" always the initiators

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yes that's normal.

workflows by default run with initiator credentials. if you run workflow automatically on item creation or item modification, initiator is the user who created/modified the item. it you ran the workflow manually, initiator would be the user who triggered workflow.

some workflow actions allow to overrule this default behavior and allow to configure to run their enclosed action with workflow publisher credentials (eg. 'action set' action).

in either case you'll not see the Approver making a change on an item. simply because if s/he doesn't make change on item by purpose, approving task itself doesn't mean item change - task is being approved on an other list - workflow task list.

if you want to distinguish between user changes and workflow changes, create an service account, publish workflow with that service account and design the workflow to run with workflow publisher credentials.

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