Workflow Actions

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Workflow Actions

Workflow Actions

Workflow Actions are the main working component in a SharePoint Designer workflow. SharePoint Designer is limited to being able only to do things that are defined in an Action. However, SharePoint comes with a wide range of Actions out-of-box. The following is a grouped list of Actions available in a default installation of SharePoint Server 2013:

  • Core Actions
    • Add a Comment
    • Add Time to Date
    • Do Calculation
    • Log to History List
    • Pause for Duration
    • Pause until Date
    • Send an Email
    • Set Time Portion of Date/Time Field
    • Set Workflow Status
    • Set Workflow Variable
    • Stop Workflow
  • Document Set Actions (not available in SharePoint Foundation)
    • Capture a version of the Document Set
    • Send Document Set to Repository
    • Set Content Approval Status for the Document Set
    • Start Document Set Approval Process
  • List Actions
    • Check In Item
    • Check Out Item
    • Copy List Item
    • Create List Item
    • Declare Record
    • Delete Item
    • Discard Check Out Item
    • Set Content Approval Status
    • Set Field in Current Item
    • Undeclare Record (not available in SharePoint Foundation)
    • Update List Item
    • Wait for Field Change in Current Item
  • Relational Actions (not available in SharePoint Foundation)
    • Lookup Manager for a User
  • Task Actions
    • Assign a Form to a Group
    • Assign a To-do Item
    • Collect Data from a User
    • Start Approval Process (not available in SharePoint Foundation)
    • Start Feedback Process (not available in SharePoint Foundation)
  • Utility Actions
    • Extract Substring from End of String
    • Extract Substring from Index of String
    • Extract Substring from Start of String
    • Extract Substring of String from Index with Length
    • Find Interval Between Dates

Some of the actions listed are not available with SharePoint Foundation 2013.

Additional Actions can be purchased, downloaded for free, or created by in-house developers and installed in SharePoint and then configured with SharePoint Designer just like out-of-the-box actions.

SharePoint Designer workflows are created by combining as many Actions as necessary to get the job done.

The following walk-through will show you how to add and configure a couple of actions to the workflow that was created in the previous walk-through.

  1. Add a Log to History List action to the Workflow Demo-WF.
    1. Click the Action drop-down button from the Workflow tab toolbar and select the Log to History List action. Workflow Actions
    2. Click the this message link inside the Log to History List action added from the previous step. Workflow Actions
    3. Type "Hello from workflow" inside the text box field. Workflow Actions
    4. Hover and click the orange bar below the Log to History List action. Workflow Actions
    5. Type "Set Field" in the text box that appears when you start typing and press the Enter key to have SharePoint Designer insert the Set Field in Current Item action. Workflow Actions

      This is just another way to add an action to a workflow. You could also use the Workflow tab's Action drop-down button like you did with the Log to History List action.

    6. Click the field link inside the Set Field in Current Item action. Workflow Actions
    7. Choose the Workflow Output field from the drop-down list. Workflow Actions
    8. Click the value link inside the Set Field in Current Item action. Workflow Actions
    9. Type "This field was set by the Workflow Demo-WF" in the value text box.
  2. Click the Publish button in the Workflows tab toolbar to publish the workflow to our SharePoint site. Workflow Actions
  3. Create a new item in the Workflow Demo list and start an instance of the Workflow Demo-WF on it.
    1. Switch back to the browser window and click the Workflow Demo link in the sites Quick Launch menu.
    2. Click the new item link inside the list.
    3. Type "Item One" for the Title field and click the Save button.
    4. Click the ellipsis button to the right of Item One and select Workflows from the drop-down.

      This is just another way to add an action to a workflow. You could also use the Workflow tab's Action drop-down button like you did with the Log to History List action.

    5. Click the Workflow Demo-WF link on the Workflows page. Workflow Actions
    6. Click the Start button on the workflows initiation page.
  4. Verify the workflow actions outcome.
    1. Verify the list now has a column titled Workflow Demo-WF and the Item One item's value for the column is Completed.
    2. Verify the Workflow Output column has the text we wrote to it through the workflow. Workflow Actions
    3. Click the Completed link in the Workflow Demo-WF column.
    4. Verify the Workflow History area has the output from our workflow action. Workflow Actions
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