In this SharePoint workflow tutorial, we will discuss start a task process workflow action in SharePoint designer 2013 and how to create a task process workflow to assign a task with an example in SharePoint Online/2013/2016.
Here we will also discuss what are the prerequisite required to run this SharePoint designer 2013 workflow.
Start a task process workflow is used to assign a task to multiple participants, whereas Assign a task workflow is assigned to a single participant. You can learn more about Assign a task SharePoint designer 2013 workflow action.
For an instance in a business process, we might come up with a task that is assigned to multiple people or participants like when a leave request is raised which needs approvals from Team Lead, Managers, HR, etc.
Here each participant will be receiving emails for approval. For approval, it goes in a flow or step by step way and If anyone rejects it gets rejected.
Below we are going to discuss in detail taking this as an example of how to raise a leave request and get approved form different participants.
Before getting in we should know what are the prerequisites to create Start a task process workflow.
- SharePoint Designer to be configured. You can follow an aritlce on how to install and configure SharePoint designer.
- You need a SharePoint list where on entering some items we can trigger the workflow.
- You can also create SharePoint groups from Users and Permissions if you want to assign tasks to different groups.
“Start a task process” workflow
After creating the workflow from the Actions You can see a workflow is created with a default Stage as Stage 1 which says Start a task process with these users (task outcome variable to Variable: Outcome) and Transition to stage where it is a stage control where you can navigate to different stages and flow.
Click on “these users” you can see a window pop-ups with multiple headings like Participants, Task Tite, Description, Due Date which are necessary fields to create. Then comes some headers like Task Options, Email Options, and outcome Option.
Here you can assign participants, like choose multiple groups and individual members to assign tasks at a time. Besides that, you can also choose how to assign those multiple participants either in a parallel way where all participants will be assigned task with multiple participants at the same time.
If you select serial it can be sent to one participant at a time. You specify serial or parallel tasks when setting up or starting the workflow. You can even set up the workflow in stages, with a series of serial tasks and parallel tasks containing different participants.
When the workflow starts, it automatically assigns a task. `In this field, we provide a specified task title which describes the task or task outcome.
Click on the open editor for the body to write the description or describe the action which you are going to perform.
This is very useful and nice feature provided by Microsoft where you can set a due date for any mail approval. This reminds as the task is overdue and needs to to be taken action on it.
This is a very important section where we come across with many options radio options like “Assign a task to each member within groups”.
Which means if you are selecting any group as a participant then each member will be assigned task and will be sent mail.
“Wait for task completion” this option empowers the task to reach certain criteria and then if you uncheck then task ends automatically if anyone completes it.
If chosen there are multiple criteria like
- Wait for all responses
- Wait for first response
- Wait for specific response
- Wait for a percentage of response
- Wait for all responses: This option will make the workflow wait until all the responses have been collected from all the assigned members or participants. It will then the outcome that received the most number of responses. In the event of a tie, the response that was received first will be returned.
Wait for first response: As the name suggests that the option will make the workflow wait until the first response is received. It will return the outcome of the first response.
Wait for a specific response: This option will make the workflow wait until the required outcome is received. If the required outcome is not received then it will return the default outcome.
Here there is a header which asks you to select a required outcome for the workflow.
Wait for a percentage of response: This option will make the workflow wait until a specified percentage of a particular outcome is received.
If the required percentage is not achieved, It will return the default outcome. Same as above there will beheader to provide the required percentage and Required Outcome.
As you know when a task is assigned an email is being sent to all the assigned users by default so to create the mail more meaningful and precise with all information.
Here we can see two things one is “Task creation” and the other is “Send Task Overdue Email(s)” where we can set the email content, Frequency, and Content.
Here it gives a few more options as Task Content type which returns the default task content type WorkFlow Tasks(SharePoint 2013). Another comes as “Outcome Field” output field is selected as task Outcome.
Another field as “Default outcome” here SharePoint provides by default outcome options as “Approved” or “Rejected” where you can choose the desired output.
Now we are going to see a simple SharePoint Leave Approval process as an example using Start a task process Workflow action.
As discussed initially a list is Custom List is created as “LeaveApproval”.
In this LeaveAproval list, we have taken three columns as LeaveApprover, Leavedatefrom, Leavedateto
Open SharePoint designer 2013 then click on “Open Site” from top left and pass the site URL to Open the SharePoint Site under which you will be working.
From the left navigation click on Workflows and then from the top ribbon choose “List Workflows” where you can see all the lists and then go for the list where you want to create the workflows and where you want to attach the Workflow.
Here we have chosen the list “Leave Approval”, as on this list we will be performing the flow.
After choosing the list It will show to create a new Workflow into your List, give an appropriate workflow name with a description and choose platform type as SharePoint 2013 WorkFlow for building the new Workflow.
As in SharePoint 2010, some of the actions and features will not be present. So it is always good and preferred to choose platform type as Sharepoint 2013.
As it suggests click on Action from the ribbon and then clicks on Log to the history list. You can use the Log History List to initiate a message to the workflow history list during the lifetime of the workflow.
You can use the Log to History List SharePoint Designer workflow action to write messages to the workflow history list during the lifetime of a workflow.
These messages can serve as a way to report the status of the workflow back to the user. You can also use the Log to History List SharePoint Designer workflow action to debug a SharePoint Designer workflow or to find out whether a workflow is returning the values you expect it to while it’s running. Click on … to write, here we initiate by giving a message as “LeaveRequestWFStarts”.
Basically, when a user sends a leave request he/she should receive an email after sending the request to their respective seniors so for that click on the orange line and then click on the action “Send an Email”, Click on these users.
You can see an email layout appears, As we are not going to hardcode the email address of the sender click on “To” you can see from the left “Or Select from existing Users and Groups:” choose User who created current item click on “Add>>” and then on “ok”. the current user who will create the leave request will be sent a mail. In the Subject field, you can add a subject like “Leave Request Submitted”.
In the same way, you can frame the body of the mail like, write Hi then click on Add or Change lookup where the string builder opens and from the data source drop-down select Current Item and in the field from source choose Created By.
By this we are passing the created by a string which will display the name of the crater of the item in the leave approval list then click on “OK” and write a simple text as “Your leave request has been Submitted Successfully”.
Click on the orange bar than from the ribbon click on Action, From action drop-down choose “Start a task process”.Immediately task appears to click on “These users” As discussed above in “participants” add the groups and members like managers and team group who should be aware of the leave request and the approvers who will approve the request.
In “Task Title” write “this is a leave request for” and then use a string builder to pass created by. in the “Description” you can write as “This is a leave request”.
Expand the “Task option” and give criteria as “Wait for a percentage of a response” and mark required percentage as 60% and required outcome as “Approved”.
So when the response is60% approved by the Participants workflow ends. After this click on “OK” click on Variable and set a variable, here I have set variable as the variable: Outcome2
Then click on the orange bar and then click on Condition from the ribbon to choose “If any Value equals value” and click on Value and choose “Variable: Outcome2 equals Approved”.
Add an Action “Send an Email” then in “To” field choose User who created a current. In the “subject” field add “your leave request is accepted by [%Current Item: Modified By%]”.
In the body, you can use some normal string and string builder and write this “Hi [%Current Item: Created By%]
Your leave request from[%Current Item: LeaveDateFrom%] to [%Current Item: LeaveDateto%] has been accepted by [%Current Item: Modified By%]” which means who so ever will accept the request the creator will receive the mail as the request has been accepted by which manager or member.
from the ribbon choose “Else Branch” and then from “Acton” choose “Send an Email” here we are going to send the leave requester an email if it is not getting approved by any of the managers.
“To” field choose User who created the current item. In the “subject” field add “your leave request is Rejected. And in the body, you can write as “Hi [%Current Item: Created By%]
Your Leave request from [%Current Item: LeaveDateFrom%] to [%Current Item: LeaveDateto%] has been canceled. “
Here comes to the end of the Workflow in “Transition to stage” click on Go then “End of workflow”. then click on “Save” from the Ribbon and then on “Publish”.
You can see a column is added to the list as the workflow name which we have created and given the name as “LeaveApprovalStartataskProcessWF”. below is the complete workflow image for reference.
Test Leave Request Workflow
Go to the SharePoint list which is “LeaveApproval” and click on add item where you can fill all the details like, in title give the reason or the leave type in LeaveApprover column provide any of your manager’s names and then Leave from and to date.
Click on “Save” the items will be saved and the creator will receive a mail that “Your leave request has been Submitted Successfully”. And approvers will receive a mail which means the workflow has started.
Approve and see the SharePoint Designer Workflow status of the current item:
From the email sent to recipients or the participants click on the task where a page appears on that page, you can see the “Edit Item”.
In the below screenshot, Click on approve to approve the request or click on reject to request. Then click on Save.
Here you can see the Task Status of the item a which is present in the Tasks that the task is not started yet.
After the task is approved, It will show you the “Workflow Status” page, Here the “Internal Status” is “Completed”. That means now the Workflow process is ended here after giving the Employee request as approval.
You may like following SharePoint workflow tutorials:
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- Hide SharePoint Online/2013/2016 content type dropdown in task list edit form using jQuery
- SharePoint online task list form Approve Reject button disappears visual studio 2015 workflow
- Copy Document SharePoint Designer 2013 Workflow Action
- Collect Signature Workflow in SharePoint Online
- SharePoint designer workflow: Create Laptop Request Approval Workflow
- Save my email attachments to a SharePoint document library Power Automate or Flow
Here in this SharePoint workflow tutorial, we discussed an Action on “Start a task process workflow” in SharePoint Designer workflow and platform as SharePoint 2013 with an example, creating a workflow for “leave Approval” process. Same steps can be followed to create workflows in SharePoint 2013 and 2016.
Hello Everyone!! I am Bhawana a SharePoint MVP and having about 10+ years of SharePoint experience as well as in .Net technologies. I have worked in all the versions of SharePoint from wss to Office 365. I have good exposure in Customization and Migration using Nintex, Metalogix tools. Now exploring more in SharePoint 2016 🙂 Hope here I can contribute and share my knowledge to the fullest. As I believe “There is no wealth like knowledge and no poverty like ignorance”