Here we will see how we can use Start a task process workflow action in Nintex workflow for Office 365 and SharePoint online. First of let us understand what a task is in SharePoint 2013. A task in SharePoint is used to assign work to a person or group, aslo then track the progress of the work. SharePoint by default provides two workflow actions in SharePoint designer to work with tasks.
1- Assign a task: As the name suggest this action used to assign a task to a single user and then directs the workflow based on the outcomes. You can visit this article Assign A Task Action in Nintex workflow for Office 365 SharePoint online for more details how we can use the action.
2- Start a task process: This workflow action is used to assign a task to multiple participants.
Nintex workflow for Office 365 also provides the above two workflow action. The major difference between the out of box and Nintex workflow action, By using Nintex action we can easily with less time we can develop our workflow.
Here I have created a simple SharePoint custom list in my sharepoint online site which has only one title field. Open the list in the browser and then from the Ribbon, go to the LIST tab and then click on Nintex Workflow which will open the Workflow Gallery. Then click on New list workflow button to create a new workflow.
Then in the workflow designer, first click on the Settings button in the ribbon which will open the workflow settings dialog box. Give a name and description for the workflow. Then choose the Task list and History list for the workflow. Then choose how you want to start the workflow. In this case I have started to start the workflow manually.
Then from the User Interaction section drag and drop a Start a task process to the workflow designer. It will by default add two outcomes as: Approved & Rejected like below:
The double click on the action to configure Start a task process workflow action.
- Participants: Put the users to whom you want to assign the task, you can take help of the lookups to configure also. In this particular example, I have added two of my users User1 & User2.
- Task Title and Description: Give a title here, Here I have added the Current Item Title field into it. Give a description to the task process.
- Due Date: You can define a due date for the task. You can use the calendar to specify a date or you can use the lookup to give a dynamic date. To give the current date, check the check box "Use data when action is executed."
- Related Item: I have set the current item as related item.
- Task outcomes: By default for a Task process workflow action it adds two outcomes Approved and Rejected. You can add your custom outcomes into it. Once you add your own outcome it will add a branch of child actions in the workflow.
- Default Outcome: You can select one outcome as default outcome. If the task is not completed properly then this outcome will be used.
- Allow LazyApproval: If you will check this check box then user can approve/reject item by email response.
- Assignee options:
Assignment Behavior: Here there are two options: Serial (One at a time) and Parallel (all at once). If you select Serial (One at a time) option then users will get the emails one by one meaning. If two users are there User1 and User2, then first User1 will get the email and after User1 take some acttion in the task then only User2 will receive the email for the task.
If you will check the "Wait for task completion" checkbox, then the workflow will pause until the task completes.
It has another option as: Completion Criteria. It has four options:
- Wait for all responses
- Wait for first response
- Wait for specific response
- Wait for percentage of a response
Here I have choosen Wait for all responses, so the outcome will come once every user take action on the task. It will then return the outcome that received the most number of responses. In the event of a tie, the response that was received first will be returned.
Initial email option:
Here you can format the email which will be send to the participants. Subject and Email body. By default Nintex provides Email subject as well as Email body but you can change if you want to change. By default it looks like below:
Similarly it provides default email templates for Reminder email options as well as Cancellation email options.
- Escalate and auto-complete options:
This is a good option if you want some action to happen if user is not responding to a task. Either you can Auto complete the task or you can Escalate to a person or group.
If you select Escalate to a person or group, then it will ask you the date when you want to escalate as well as the person or group name to whom you want to escalate. If you will check the check box "Inform original participants", then it will trigger both an email. Again the Subject and Email body both are populated by default. But you can change as per your requirement.
Apart from escalate, you can auto complete also. When you choose "Auto complete the task" option. It will ask for the auto complete on (Date) and What task outcome you want to set like Approved, Rejected etc. Also it will trigger an eamil.
Once the configuration over, I have added two Log to History List just to tract the response in workflow history. It looks like below:
Now publish the workflow by clicking in the publish button in the ribbon. Once the workflow published successfully, back to the attached list and manually start the workflow for an item.
Since we have selected Assignment behavior to Serial (one at a time). first user will get the email first and once first user takes an action in the task, then second user will got the email for the task.
User will get the email like below:
User can click on the link for the task and then by editing item user can approve or reject the item. By default SharePoint uses the default task form, but you can also edit the task form to use Nintex task form. The default form looks like below:
Once both the users approve the task then you can see the details in the workflow details page.
Hope this will be helpful.