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Start workflow with one click

This is for NW2010. I'm getting a lot of grief over the amount of button clicks needed to start a workflow. While I chalk some of that up to typical complaining, I must admit, the complainer does have a point. You have a row highlighted in a library/list. Click the big "Workflows" icon in the Ribbon. Click the workflow icon for the workflow to start. Or... from the ECB for that list item, pick the "Start" action created from within Nintex Workflow Properties for that workflow.

In both cases, this does not start the workflow. Instead, you end on a page displaying the graphical representation of the workflow, along with a Start/Cancel button pair.

YES, I get it, the graphical workflow display is pretty. Congratulations to the Nintex team (it is a nice workflow display indeed). But my customer doesn't want to see it. They click "Start" and they want the workflow to start. That intermediate page does my customer no good (this is their assertion, not mine).

SO, how do I get this accomplished?

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15 Replies
chad_austin
Nintex Newbie

Re: Start workflow with one click

Hi Alan,

There are a couple of options, some may work better than others for you.

The one thing to keep in mind is that the graphical representation of the workflow (GUI page you referenced in your post) is called the start form and will also be seen when starting a SharePoint designer. I bring this up because the first option i have for you will likely be the quickest to implement.

If you open the workflow, and browse to "Workflow Settings", there will be the option to "Enable workflow to start from the item menu".

WF_startmenu.png

If you check this box and republish the workflow, the option to directly start the workflow will show up on the item menu:

WF_startitem.png

and if clicked on will drop you directly to the GUI view, aka the start form:

WF_GUI.png

Another option depending on how you have thngs implemented is to use the start workflow web service to start the workflow on the list item. This option could be added to an item form (view/edit), or even the list itself (in a seperate column). More information on using the web service to start the workflow (which would bypass any other forms/screens) can be found in our SDK here: Nintex Workflow 2010 SDK

Please let us know if this helps.

Thanks,

Chad Austin

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murphybp2
Nintex Newbie

Re: Start workflow with one click

Alan, to bypass the Start screen do the following:

  1. Go to the Workflow Settings
  2. Change the Form Type to "Custom". (Its the last setting)
  3. In the Start Page field, delete the text.
  4. Save and publish your workflow.

If you have enabled the workflow to start from a list item as Alan suggested, then all user has to do is select the workflow from the context menu, and it will start right away.

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Not applicable

Re: Start workflow with one click

I did this, and in a most cruel fashion it almost works. Yes, the workflow starts with one click. And yes, the workflow dies, throwing an error. If I reset the Form Type to "Default" instead of "Custom", and go through the undesired step of clicking the "Start" button after having clicked a separate "Start" button previously, then it works.

Here is a a ULS log dump showing the error detail, the sole difference being the switch of Form Type to "Custom" and erasing the Start Page field.


11/10/2014 11:21:59.11  w3wp.exe (OURSERVER:0x1BC4)           0x0C28 SharePoint Foundation          Workflow Infrastructure        88xr Unexpected WinWF Internal Error, terminating workflow Id# 3626befb-9485-4513-a56c-61e5d9557f3e d0528dfd-365e-4ad9-b10c-dc341f096d59


11/10/2014 11:21:59.11  w3wp.exe (OURSERVER:0x1BC4)           0x0C28 SharePoint Foundation          Workflow Infrastructure        98d4 Unexpected System.Workflow.Runtime.Hosting.PersistenceException: Failed to set permissions (-2130243945). ---> Nintex.Workflow.NWException: Failed to set permissions (-2130243945). ---> Microsoft.SharePoint.SPException: Updates are currently disallowed on GET requests.  To allow updates on a GET, set the 'AllowUnsafeUpdates' property on SPWeb. ---> System.Runtime.InteropServices.COMException (0x81070E97): <nativehr>0x80004005</nativehr><nativestack></nativestack>Updates are currently disallowed on GET requests.  To allow updates on a GET, set the 'AllowUnsafeUpdates' property on SPWeb.     at ...(and more and more)


I spent some time looking up "AllowUnsafeUpdates", and it turns out our SPWeb is already configured to True for that . I went back to the workflow, and one of its first actions is a "Set Item Permissions" action. When I disabled that "Set Item Permissions" action, the one-click Start works as it should. But, my workflow depends on modifying the permissions, so I'm in a bad way still. But for future folks reading this, the "Set Item Permissions" seems to not play well with others.

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Automation Master
Automation Master

Re: Start workflow with one click

If you put a pause as the first action before the set item permissions, it may work then. Let us know.

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Not applicable

Re: Start workflow with one click

This works, but unfortunately, people are complaining about the pause. I can't say I blame them; it seems pretty lame that an action that should be occuring in real time needs a 5-minute delay. I'm not blaming Nintex for this, as I realize the usual disappointments and angst from workflows is due to the underlying workflow engine.

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janp
Nintex Newbie

Re: Start workflow with one click

I ran into the same issue but it was because I wanted to NOT have a start form. I have the user start a WF from the list menu item and it seems redundant to have them click another button. (no input required)

I did the "Custom" Form selection and removed the text which means we don't have a postback and I get the same - Allow Unsafe Update needs to be set to true error (it is)

Putting in a pause works but it's rather inconvenient. Either way, why does it work and is there another workaround?

Thanks!

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Not applicable

Re: Start workflow with one click

My technique for avoiding the start form is to have the workflow (for a specific List/Doc library) start anytime an item in the library is created or modified.

Add a "flag" variable to the List. Eg "Start workflow?" With values {-, Yes} with "-" as the default.

Then add a Workflow start up condition to check the value of your flag variable.

The workflow itself should reset the flag so the workflow will not be re-started the next time the item is modified.

The net effect is that the meta data fields for the list item supply all of the parameters that the workflow needs for starting up (if there are any). The one required meta-data field is the flag field described above.

This technique does require that you edit the item to start the workflow.

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Not applicable

Re: Start workflow with one click

I had exactly this problem a while back, and like you spent several frustrating weeks on and off trying differnt solutions, none of which worked.

At the time I sidestepped the issue. It was desirable for users to be able to enter a start parameter (the name of a Wiki page to be created) and with that the (custom) start form had a purpose rather than being just a delay in the start process.

If I run into this problem again (and i'm sure I will) I think one route to try would be-

  • Use a custom start form
  • Have the form visibly blank, or maybe with some "workflow starting..." type text, and then have some Javascript automatically submit the form without user interaction.

Ok, it's a bit clunky because the user sees an intermediate page flick up briefly, but I'm discovering life with Sharepoint / Nintex is full of hacky workarounds, it's just a matter of doing your best to hide the ugliness from your users.

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Not applicable

Re: Start workflow with one click

This has been the solution I have been looking for a long time.

Awesome, they now can select from the item menu the workflow and starts right away.

Nintex Staff should make this knowledge accessible & easy to find

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