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Approvals with built-in workflow

SharePoint iconIn the first demo below Peter Kalmström, kalmstrom.com CEO and Systems Designer, describes an easy way to use a workflow for approvals of new or changed library items. The workflow can also be used in lists.

Peter uses a SharePoint workflow that is built-in and does not require SharePoint Designer. To use this workflow, you first have to enable approvals in the list or library where you want the workflow to run.

Activate workflows feature

SharePoint has a few built-in workflows that can be used in document libraries. To use them, you first have to activate the Workflows feature under Site settings >Site collection features.

Select workflow for library

When the Workflows feature has been activated, you can add a built-in workflow to a list, library, or content type. In this case we are using the document library created in the previous tutorial. In the library settings, open Workflow settings, click on 'Add a workflow' and select the Approval workflow.

Configure workflow

The last step is to give a name to this specific instance of the workflow at configure the workflow. There is a possibility to set approval stages, so that documents are first approved by one or several people at one level and then moves to the next level of approval.

Workflow process

The Approval workflow creates a task assigned to the approver
In the demo below, Peter shows the setup and gives an example by creating a new file and approving it. (In production, this should of course be done by different people!)

A drawback with the built-in workflow is that the library does not show the name of the person who has approved the document. You have to go into the workflow page for that. Another problem might be that you cannot specify a condition for the workflow to run, for example only for a specific file type, and users who can start the workflow manually will also be able to change the workflow settings.

It is not difficult to remove the workflow from the library. Peter shows how to do it in the demo below.

Learn more

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