Working with Nintex workflow for Office 365 SharePoint Online

nintex workflow examples

This Nintex tutorial explains, how we can start working with Nintex Workflow for Office 365 in SharePoint online. What are the advantages of using Nintex workflow over SharePoint designer workflows in SharePoint Online? How we can add Nintex workflow app from the Office Store to the SharePoint Online site. Also, I will explain how to create your first workflow using Nintex workflow.

Introduction to Nintex Workflow for Office 365

There are different ways and tools we can use to develop workflows in SharePoint Online Office 365.

  • Out of box workflows: We can create and use out of box workflows in SharePoint Online. [Example: Approval Workflow in SharePoint Online with example]
  • Develop workflows using SharePoint Designer 2013: We can also develop workflows using SharePoint designer 2013 for SharePoint Online Office 365 sites.
  • Develop workflows using Visual Studio 2015/2017: We can also develop workflows using visual studio 2015/2017 for SharePoint Online. But it requires developer knowledge and requires lots of time to develop workflows.
  • Develop workflows using Nintex Workflow for Office 365: We can also use 3rd party products like Nintex to develop workflows for Office 365 SharePoint Online.  Nintex has workflow products for SharePoint On-premise as well as SharePoint Online versions. The SharePoint Online version is known as Nintex Workflow for Office 365. You do not necessarily require developer knowledge to develop workflows.

Advantages of Nintex Workflow compared to SharePoint Designer Workflows

There are few advantages compared to SharePoint designer workflow are:

  • One of the main features is, it is very easy to use, simply we can drag and drop to create and edit workflows. We can save lots of time by using Nintex workflow.
  • Apart from this, there are more actions available compared to SharePoint designer workflow actions and also we can customize with CSS.
  • We can do everything in the browser itself, we don’t not any external software.
  • We can not have state machine workflows in the SharePoint designer but it is possible in Nintex workflow.
  • We can communicate on Twitter, Facebook, and Yammer also.
  • We can use Nintex workflow app in mobile devices also.
  • We can easily develop multi-level approval workflows, Lazy approval workflows, scheduled workflows etc.

If you want to learn about Nintex forms for Office 365, you can check:  Working with Nintex Forms for Office 365

Add Nintex Workflow for Office 365 to SharePoint Online

We can easily add Nintext Workflow for Office 365 app to our Office 365 SharePoint online site from SharePoint store. Open your SharePoint online site, then click on Add an app. In the Your Apps page, click on SharePoint Store on the left side. Here search for “Nintex Workflow for Office 365“. Then click on Add to add Nintex workflow. They provide a full-featured 30-day trial which you can add to test the functionality. If you do not have an Office 365 site, sign up for an Office 365 trial.

Once it is successfully added then you can see the app in the Site Contents page.

There are basically two types of workflows you can create in Nintex, Site workflows and List workflows.

To create a list workflow we have gone the individual list. But to create a site workflow, form Site Contents page click on the Nintex Workflow for Office 365 app which will open the workflow Gallery. Here we can create a new site workflow.

nintex workflow examples
nintex workflow examples

Create Your First Workflow using Nintex Workflow for Office 365 in SharePoint Online

Here we will discuss how we can create a simple list workflow using Nintex. For this, I have created a simple custom list in my SharePoint online office 365 site. Now open your list in the browser and then from the ribbon click on Nintex Workflow in the settings section as shown in the below:

nintex workflow for office 365
nintex workflow for office 365

Since I am using a trial version, it is displaying me the license information to buy the product. Just click on “Go to the designer” button. This will open the Workflow Gallery. Here it will give the option to Create a new workflow as well as it displays all the workflows attached to the list. You can also select the existing workflow, edit or delete existing workflows.

nintex workflow sharepoint online
nintex workflow sharepoint online

Click on the Create New list workflow button to start creating a new workflow.

Then it will open the workflow designer. Here in the left side, it displays various workflow Actions category wise and in the Ribbon, we can see various buttons like Save, Publish, New Open, Import, Export, Settings etc. And in the center of the page, you can see the start and stop flow chart kind symbol.

nintex workflow sharepoint 2013 examples
nintex workflow sharepoint 2013 examples

Inside the start and st,op we can add our actions.

Before starting anything from the ribbon click on the Settings button which will open the Settings page. Here we can give a name for the workflow, as well as a description. We can also give our Task list and History list. Then we can choose the start option for the workflow. For this demo I have just chosen to start the workflow manually like below:

nintex workflow sharepoint 2013 tutorial
nintex workflow sharepoint 2013 tutorial

In this particular example, we will add 2/3 actions to the workflow. First, drag and drop a Log to History List action, then drag and drop an Update List item action and below to this again add a Log to History List action. It should look like below:

nintex workflow tutorial
nintex workflow tutorial

You can see the yellow symbol inside the actions which show that we are missing some configurations. Click on the Arrow mark and then click on Configure as shown in the fig below:

nintex workflow tutorial pdf
nintex workflow tutorial pdf

Here we will try to write some text along with the Item title. First, write the text in the message box and then from the Right side Insert Reference, click on the Title column name.

nintex workflow sharepoint 2013 tutorial pdf
nintex workflow sharepoint 2013 tutorial pdf

Then we will configure the next action which is Set Field in the Current item. Here we will simply update the Title column value to the Current title with updated text which looks like below:

nintex workflow for office 365
nintex workflow for office 365

Again similarly we configure the next log to history action which will get the current update title like below:

sharepoint nintex workflow examples
sharepoint nintex workflow examples

Now if you will look at the workflow designer then there will be no warning icon. The workflow looks like below and is ready for deployment.

how to create nintex workflow in sharepoint 2013
how to create nintex workflow in sharepoint 2013

To publish the workflow, click on the Publish button which is there in the ribbon as shown in the fig below:

nintex workflow 2013
nintex workflow 2013

Once the workflow successfully published, go back to the site. In the list add one item with Title as Item Title like below:

nintex workflow actions
nintex workflow actions

From the ECB menu of the item, Advanced -> Workflows. This will open the workflow page and it will display the workflow which we have deployed to the list. Click on the workflow (My Demo Workflow) to start the workflow.

nintex workflow sharepoint 2010
nintex workflow sharepoint 2010

Once the workflow completed, You can see the list title got changed (appened to Updated text) like below:

nintex workflow sharepoint online
nintex workflow sharepoint online

In the workflow, we have added two Log to History action. If you will open the History list or if you will go to the Workflow details page you can see the messages that we have put.

nintex workflow actions list
nintex workflow actions list

You may like following Nintex Workflow for Office 365 SharePoint Online tutorials:

Conclusion:



This Nintex tutorial explains how we can start with Nintex Workflow for Office 365? What are the advantages of using Nintex Workflow for Office 365 over SharePoint designer workflows? Also, we discussed how we can start our first workflow using Nintex Workflow for Office 365 in SharePoint online?

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About Bijay Kumar

I am Bijay from Odisha, India. Currently working in my own venture TSInfo Technologies in Bangalore, India. I am Microsoft Office Servers and Services (SharePoint) MVP (5 times). I works in SharePoint 2016/2013/2010, SharePoint Online Office 365 etc. Check out My MVP Profile.. I also run popular SharePoint web site SharePointSky.com

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