Knowledge Base

Workflow

Last Modified:
14 Jan 2019
User Level:
Power User

Description

By default, all content within TERMINALFOUR uses the built-in Workflow where a user (Contributor+) creates or edits content, and a user (Moderator+) approves content. Within this workflow, the content only needs to be approved by one user, and that user is any Moderator, Power User or Administrator who has edit rights to the content. If more complex approval logic is required, it is possible to configure a custom Workflow.

How are Workflows Used?

Workflows can either be assigned to a:

  1. Section: all content within that Section or Child Sections will use the Workflow. This is useful for parts of the website where users may require additional assistance, for example, where they are newly trained and need some initial guidance.
  2. Content Type: all content within a specific Content Type will use the Workflow. This is useful for special types of content (e.g. Site Configurations, Code content) which may require additional approval before publishing.

Where a workflow is applied to both a Section and a Content Type, a configuration option defines which Workflow should be used.

Workflow Recommendations

To prevent large time delays between content edits and content approvals, TERMINALFOUR recommends that you:

  • use Workflows as sparingly as possible
  • keep Workflows simple
  • minimize the number of Workflow steps
  • ensure that more than one user is able to approve in any one step (if that one user is out of the office, content may not get approved)

Workflow Listing

When you go to System Administration > User Rights & Roles > Workflow you will see a list of existing Workflows on the page.

The columns in the table are Name, Group and the Action Menu button:

ItemDescription
Name Contains Workflow name, a brief description (if one has been provided), and the Workflow ID number. The arrow in the header row can re-order the list alphabetically.
Group Shows the Group the Workflow belongs to. Workflows cannot be shared with multiple groups.
Action Menu Button Provides options to Edit, and Delete the Workflow.

Create New Workflow

When you select Create New Workflow, the General screen is displayed:

ItemDescription
Name This is a mandatory entry. Give your Workflow a name - it is recommended that the name is as descriptive as possible.
Description This is an optional entry. This is used by the filter on the Workflow listing and can be useful for finding Workflows.
Group

Select a Group for this Workflow. Grouping Workflows restricts the users that can use or edit the Workflow.

It is good practice to add all your assets to Groups. This makes it easier to identify which assets are being used and where. By grouping assets together, you can also restrict access to them. When a user is not part of the Group, they cannot see or access assets in that Group.

If you are satisfied with your inputs so far, click Save Changes.

Workflow Steps

The Steps tab lists the individual steps in the selected Workflow. When creating a new Workflow, this will be blank until new steps are created.

The columns in the table are Name and Priority:

ItemDescription
Name Contains Workflow Step name, a brief description (if one has been provided). The arrow in the header row can re-order the list alphabetically.
Priority Shows the Priority assigned to the step when creating the step.
Action Menu Button Provides options to Edit the Step, and Delete the Step.

To add a step to the Workflow, select Create New Step.

General

Enter the general information about the Workflow step:

ItemDescription
Name Give the Workflow step a name. This is also used in any email alerts that are configured.
Description Give the Workflow step a description. This is also used in any email alerts that are configured.
Step priority This can be left at normal as it is a legacy setting from previous versions that is no longer used.
Restrict to editors

Check this box if you want to restrict the users who can review/approve this step to only those who have editing rights to the content.


This is used in conjunction with the Configure Users option below so that while a number of users may be selected for any Content Item, only those with editing rights can approve it.

This makes the Workflow re-usable across different Branches of the site, with different approvers for the Branches they have access to.


TERMINALFOUR recommend that this is checked.

Configure users

Configure the users who can approve content in this Workflow step:

The Available Users are individuals or groups who can participate in the Workflow you are creating.
The Current Users are the users who are able to approve content in this Workflow step.
To move an Available user to the Current Users' list, click the Add button next to the user.

Reject settings

Configure the action that is taken when content is rejected in this Workflow step:

The options are:

  • Content Owner: sends the content to the content owner, as specified in the Section or content options.
  • Last modified by: send the content back to the person who last modified the content. This is the TERMINALFOUR-recommended setting.
  • Step x: send the content to a different step in this workflow.
  • Different workflow: send the content to a different workflow.
  • Do nothing: the content remains in the Approval list.

Step Approval Settings

Select the number of step approvers required to approve the content for it to successfully pass through this Workflow step:

The options are:

  • All moderators: all users who are configured as step approvers must approve the content
  • Majority: the majority of step approvers must approve the content
  • X number of moderators: set the minimum number of step approvers who must approve the content (TERMINALFOUR recommend this setting is used and it is set at 1)
  • Content owner: only the content owner, specified in the Section or content options, can approve the content. If no owner is selected, the content can only be approved by an Administrator.

If the Enable active moderation option is checked, combined with X number of moderators, once the set number of approvals or rejections are reached, ultimately meaning that content can never be approved (because too many users have rejected it), the content is considered to be rejected. For efficiency, TERMINALFOUR recommend that this option is checked (if using x number of moderators).

Notification settings

Email alerts can be sent as part of the workflow. The "from" address of these emails can be configured to be the logged in user's email address in Approval configuration settings. This can be useful as users have been known to reply to the Workflow emails. Alternatively they will use the application default email address (configured in General configuration).

Configure when email alerts are sent:

Check the options for when email alerts should be sent:

  • Start: an email alert is sent when a Content Item enters the workflow. This is required if the step approvers are to receive email alerts of new content.
  • In progress: if multiple users are required to approve the content, an email alert is sent for each user who approves or rejects the content
  • End: an email alert is sent when the workflow step is complete (i.e. content is approved through the step, or content is rejected in the step). This is required if the content editors are to receive email alerts of rejected content.

User alert configuration settings

Configure who receives the email alerts:

Check the options for who will receive email alerts:

  • Content owner: the user who submitted the content for approval. This is required if the content editors are to receive email alerts of rejected content, but cannot be used if Step moderators need email notifications for content awaiting approval.
  • Step moderators: the user(s) who can approve the content. This is required if the step approvers are to receive email alerts of new content, but will result in content rejection emails not being sent to the content editors.
  • All content owners and moderators: This is required if both content editors and step approvers are to receive email alerts. This is the recommended setting if content editors are to receive email alerts of rejected content AND step approvers are to receive email alerts of new content.

It is not currently possible to configure that different emails are sent to different users, e.g. step start email are sent to moderators and step end emails are sent to editors.

If you are satisfied with your inputs so far, then click Save Changes.

Delete a Workflow

In the row of the corresponding Workflow, open the Actions drop-down list and select Delete. A confirmation pop-up window appears and you can confirm your choice and Delete, or Cancel the action. Upon successful deletion, a green banner appears confirming the deletion, and the object is removed from the list.

When a Workflow is deleted you cannot recover the workflow or step configuration. Content within the workflow is unaffected.