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Workflow Hero

Ability to cancel a workflow

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Hello Community,

I have an interesting request from the end user base.

On my SharePoint 2013 on premise install that has Nintex Workflow 2013, we have created a PO system.

Here is the question being asked from the end user:

"As an end user I have created a PO. The situation of the PO has changed and I need to cancel the PO, how do I cancel the PO?"

My question is, how do I give the end user the ability to cancel the PO that they have create and submitted and now has a workflow running against it?

As far as I understand the end user would have to cancel the running workflow in the following method:

1. The end user would have to go to the list that displays the workflow column and click on the link for the workflow that is listed as In Progress, see below:

2. Once the end user finds the In Progress link and clicks it, then they have to find the "End this workflow" link in order to click it and stop the workflow, as see below:

3. Once the end user has ended the workflow they now have to go and delete the PO that they have created from the list.

WOW! This is a lot of steps for an end user to remember and go through in order to cancel an item they have created!

So, I have some questions and thoughts about how to deal with this scenario.

1. I would like to know if anyone has had to deal with a scenario like this before and how did they deal with it (if you could provide some examples that would be awesome).

2. Could I place a button on the page and attach a Nintex workflow behind the scenes to this button called "Cancel PO"? Once the end user clicks on this "Cancel PO" button it either calls or kicks off a Nintex workflow.

3. How could I create a custom button to add to the ribbon bar in SharePoint and have the user kick off a workflow to cancel the workflow and remove the item from the custom list?

4. Does Nintex have the features and the ability to deal with this scenario?

I look forward to hear from the community members on this scenario.

Thank you

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20 Replies
Workflow Hero

Re: Ability to cancel a workflow

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Why don't you create a workflow that

  1. shows on the item menu as "Delete PO"
  2. workflow first cancels all other running workflows
  3. deletes the current item
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Workflow Hero

Re: Ability to cancel a workflow

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Hello Cassy,

Thank you for your reply.

What I am interested in here is how I would create this. Your answer is very similar to what I would like to do in order to provide a solution for the end user. I feel giving the end user a button is easier then having them go through 3 - 6 steps.

What action would you use to cancel the running workflow?

Would you have to capture the ID of the list item using a query so that the workflow deletes the right list item?

If you have a example of something that you have done before and can share it, that would be appreciated.

Thanks

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Workflow Hero

Re: Ability to cancel a workflow

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Sean Docherty‌ - 

Following what Cassy Freeman‌ started with, I would do the following:

  • Add a field (lets call it [DeleteThis]) to the form to allow for users to cancel their PO (I would use a single line textbox and use a button to write to it)
  • Once this field has been set to "Yes" (or whatever you want), kick off a workflow to do all the work.

Here is where it gets a bit tricky. You will want 2 workflows:

  • One that is on the list that will kick off when an item is modified AND [DeleteThis] = Yes 
    • This one is used to pass the information to the site workflow. You will need to pass over the List Name, ItemID, and workflow name
  • A site workflow to terminate any other workflows and delete the item
    • Using the data that you pass over to it, the workflow will find the item on the list, and terminate the specific workflow. You can then delete the item from the list since you know the ItemID.

Check out the TerminateWorkflowByNameForListItem web service in the Nintex Workflow Web Services.

Hope this helps and let us know if you need more specifics.

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Workflow Hero

Re: Ability to cancel a workflow

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Jesse McHargue‌ love that approach but it isn't actually what I had in mind when I originally replied to the thread.

So I thought you could have a workflow with settings set such that the workflow will show on the item context menu (accessible via the ellipsis):

Inside the workflow have two actions; terminate workflow and delete item, configured as follows:

So the overall workflow looks like this:

And when published can be accessed with a quick click by the user against the chosen PO on the item context menu:

Let us know how you get on!

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Workflow Hero

Re: Ability to cancel a workflow

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Nice I didn't think of it that way. Would the workflow still be able to delete the item that it is running on?

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Workflow Hero

Re: Ability to cancel a workflow

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yep I think so - the default setting for delete item action is "current item" so it must be fine.

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Workflow Hero

Re: Ability to cancel a workflow

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Hello Cassy,

Thank you for your reply and the example that you have given.

I have a question for you about the example that you have provided. In the Terminate Workflow action the setting of Stop workflow - All except current workflow (as seen below)

maybe I am not reading this correctly, but doe this setting mean that it will terminate all workflows that are running except the current workflow, which is the one that I would like to cancel.

Now if I look at the setting for the Stop Workflow, I do have a drop down and when I click on it I see the name of the workflow that I have created (as seen below):

If I use this option in the Terminate Workflow setting, does it mean that I am going to be terminating ALL workflows or just terminating the POReqApprovalNumber workflow that has started against the list item that I want to cancel?

I might be over thinking this, but it would be a huge issue if I ended up terminating all of the other running workflows except the one that I really wanted to terminate.

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Workflow Hero

Re: Ability to cancel a workflow

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Hello Cassy,

I was just thinking about your example and could the same thing not be accomplished with the following actions:

Or would the issue here be the fact that if I use the End Workflow action it would end the workflow before the item even got deleted from the list?

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Workflow Hero

Re: Ability to cancel a workflow

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I would assume the workflow would end before the Delete Item action executed, but I would test it to verify.

I need to do some testing today and can check it out, but I am wondering if the native functionality of deleting the item will take care of the workflows for you. Again, need to test and verify, but will let you know.

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