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Manually Initiating Workflows on Documents

Initiating a workflow can be done by anyone with Document Publisher or higher permissions as long as they have access to the document(s). Once initiated, workflows are considered complete when all activities are completed, the workflow is canceled, or the document is not approved.

Workflows can only be initiated on the latest version of a document and the file must be checked in. Workflows can be initiated:

  1. Manually on:
  1. Automatically initiated depending on how the schema was configured by the Library Administrator.

Workflows can only be initiated on the latest version of a document and the file must be checked in. Workflows can be initiated manually on documents once added to the library or they can be automatically initiated depending on how the schema was configured by the library administrator. See Automatically Initiating Workflows for more information.

Users can only initiate workflows from the list of workflow templates that are associated with the document's schema. The templates are not created by the user; they are created by the library administrator. However, the library administrator can create an “ad-hoc” template that leaves all fields to be defined by the initiator.

You can have up to 20 activities (review or approve) in a workflow template. You can create workflow templates in both the Web Client and the FileHold Desktop Application (FDA).

The following users and roles can initiate workflows:

  • The document version owner – The owner of the document version who has Document Publisher role or higher. If the user who owns the document is not the user who is initiating the workflow, enable the permission setting “Allow non document version owners to initialize workflows” in the System Administrator area.
  • Cabinet owner – A Cabinet Administrator can initiate a workflow on any cabinets that they have ownership of.
  • Senior Library Administrator or higher role – Can initiate a workflow on any documents in the system.

If someone other than the document owner initiates the workflow, the document owner may be an observer if the Library Administrator has configured the workflow to allow this in the template.

Workflows cannot be initiated on the following files in the document management system:

  • A document with an existing workflow instance associated with it.
  • Documents with a status of “checked out”.
  • Shortcuts to documents located elsewhere in the document management system.
  • The user does not have correct permissions to initiate the workflow.

Initiating Workflows on a Single Document

To initiate a manual workflow on a single document

  1. Right-click on a document that is associated with a schema workflow and select Workflow > Initiate Workflow name.
  • Alternatively, in the Web Client, select the check box next to the document name and select Initiate Workflow from the menu bar and select the template name from the list.
  • OR in the Web Client, right-click and select Workflow > Initiate <workflow template name>.

Note: The if the document is not associated with a schema with a workflow template applied to it, this option will not be available.

  1. The workflow template opens. In the FDA, click on the coloured areas to expand and contract the different areas of the workflow template. The Web Client does not have a graphical view for the workflow templates.
  1. If the Library Administrator created an ad-hoc workflow template, you may fill in some or all the following fields, depending on how the administrator configured the template. See Creating Workflow Templates for more information on the fields in the template.
  1. Click OK. A message will display confirming initiation of the workflow.

Initiating a Workflow on Multiple Documents

In some workflow instances, multiple documents may need to be either reviewed or approved together as a “package”. In this case, multiple document workflows can be used. Multiple document workflows must be initiated manually. Once a group of documents are selected, a workflow can be initiated to create a single workflow instance. In order for the workflow initiation to be successful, all of the documents must meet all the requirements such as belonging to a schema that uses the same workflow template and must be accessible by all participants listed in the template.

Note that your library administrator may have configured the system so that a single workflow is initiated when more than one document is selected (single workflow containing multiple documents) or a separate workflow is initiated for each selected documents (multiple workflows initiated). You may also receive a prompt asking if you’d like to initiate one workflow on multiple documents or a separate workflow for each document. See your library administrator for details.

When a workflow is initiated on multiple documents, these documents are called the “main documents” meaning that all the documents in the package must be approved and/or reviewed together. Main documents can have only one active workflow at a time; they cannot be in another active workflow. Once the documents in the package have been reviewed and/or approved, all of their statuses are changed to the same status such as “reviewed” or “approved”.

Main documents can be added or removed from the workflow after it has been initiated. Notifications are sent to workflow participants when documents are added or removed from the workflow. If a document is removed, the approval status is changed to “Not submitted for approval” and the effect of the “Hide last version…” setting (if applicable) is removed from the document. Documents that have been checked out under the workflow cannot be removed.

Multiple document workflows can also have “supporting documents”. Supporting documents are added to the workflow instance to assist in the review and/or approval process of the main documents. Supporting documents do not have their status changed, the Sign Off Sheet is not updated, and they are not affected by the “Hide last version…” setting. Supporting documents can be added or removed from an existing workflow after the workflow has been initiated for the “main documents”. A supporting document can participate in multiple active workflows; however, it has to be a supporting document. It cannot be a main document in another workflow. A supporting document cannot be checked out or deleted while under the workflow process.

Main and/or supporting documents can be added to the workflow after it has been initiated.

An example workflow on multiple documents and supporting documents is displayed below.

Multiple Document Workflow Example

The Library Administrator can determine how workflows are initiated when multiple documents are selected:

  • A separate workflow is initiated for each selected document resulting in multiple workflows being initiated.
  • A single workflow is initiated containing multiple documents.
  • A prompt for the user each time a workflow is initiated on multiple documents allowing them to choose an option.

To initiate a workflow on multiple documents

  1. Select all of the documents to go through the workflow as a “package”. You can locate the documents through a search, a virtual folder, My Favourites, document tray, etc.
  • In the FDA, use the CTRL + click or SHIFT + click to select multiple documents.
  • In the Web Client, select the check boxes next to the document names .
  • TIP: Remember that all documents in the package are reviewed and approved together as a single unit. All documents are considered “main documents”.
  1. Do one of the following
  • Right-click and select Workflow > Initiate Workflow template name.
  • In the Web Client, select Initiate Workflow from the menu bar and select the template name from the list.
  • OR in the Web Client, right-click and select Workflow > Initiate <workflow template name>.

TIP: Remember that all documents must have the same workflow template as a part of its schema. If all documents do not have the same workflow template in their schemas, then an error message appears stating that the workflow cannot be initiated.

  1. If prompted, select one of the following options:
  • Create a single workflow instance associated with all selected documents.
  • Create a separate workflow instance for each selected documents.
  1. The workflow template opens. In the FDA, click on the coloured areas to expand and contract the different areas of the workflow template. The Web Client does not have a graphical view for the workflow templates.
  2. Depending on how the workflow template is configured, you may be able to modify some or all of the template details. See Creating Workflow Templates for more information on the fields in the template.
  3. Click OK to start the workflow.
  4. You will receive a message stating that the workflow has been successfully initiated. Click OK.