Change the workflow settings for a site content type

The default workflows that are included with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 consist of some settings that are common to all workflows and other settings that are specific to the individual workflow. This article describes how to configure the settings that are common to all workflows.

What do you want to do?

Open the Change a Workflow page

Identify the task list

Identify the history list

Set up the workflow start options

Update list and site content types

Open the Change a Workflow page

Use the following steps to open the page on which you can make changes to the workflow settings. Each of the subsequent procedures starts on the Change a Workflow page.

  1. On the site collection home page, on the Site Actions menu, point to Site Settings, and then click Modify All Site Settings.

  2. On the Site Settings page, in the Galleries section, click Site content types.

  3. Select the content type with which the workflow is associated, and then click Workflow settings.

  4. Select the workflow that you want to modify, and then use the information in the following sections to make the changes you want.

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Identify the task list

Within each workflow, tasks are assigned to individuals or groups or both that enable the workflow to be completed. For example, in an Approval workflow, you assign individuals or groups the task of approving items by a certain date. By default, all tasks are stored in the Tasks list, where you can view the task status and other properties. Storing the workflow tasks in the default Tasks list makes it easier to manage numerous tasks in one place. It also makes it easier to synchronize the tasks with Microsoft Office Outlook 2007.

In some situations, you might want to consider creating a unique task list for a workflow:

  • For security and privacy, you want to keep a specific task list separate from the main Tasks list. For tasks that involve sensitive data or data that should remain private, you can give the task list a unique name.

  • If you have numerous workflows, or if your workflows contain numerous tasks, you may want to maintain separate task lists for each workflow to maintain optimal performance. Keeping task lists and history lists to fewer than 2,000 items ensures that the lists do not interfere with site performance.

  • Open the Change a workflow page.

  • In the Task List section, leave the default Tasks list displayed, or type a name for a unique task list that is separate from the main Tasks list.

    If you already created multiple task lists, they will be available in the Enter a task list name box.

    Note: If instances of the workflow are running, you will see a warning if you choose to change the association's task list.

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Identify the history list

As with the task list, you can create a unique history list if sensitive data is being logged in the comments/description field. A unique history list is also useful when workflows are generating thousands of items. In these situations, it is beneficial to separate the workflow histories.

  1. Open the Change a workflow page.

  2. In the History List section, leave the default Workflow History list displayed, or type a name for a unique history list for this workflow.

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Set up the workflow start options

The features in the Start Options section enable you to determine how to activate the workflow. The default selection is Allow this workflow to be manually started by an authenticated user with Edit Items Permissions. This option enables users to start the workflow by selecting Workflows from the menu that is displayed when the user clicks an instance of the content type. When the user selects Workflows, the Workflows page opens, and the user can select the workflow from the Start a New Workflow section of the page.

Two automatic start options are available for workflows that must be run in order to enforce a policy or for other reasons that make the workflow mandatory.

  1. Open the Change a workflow page.

  2. Select the permission to restrict the workflow to specific permission groups:

    • The Edit Items permission is the default. It is not available to change on the workflow templates that are provided with Office SharePoint Server 2007, because these templates require the Edit Items permission or higher. These templates cannot be set to a lower permission.

    • To set more restrictions on who can start a workflow, select the Require Manage Lists Permissions to start the workflow check box.

  3. If desired, select an automatic start option.

    • Select the Start this workflow when a new item is created check box if you want the workflow to start automatically whenever a new item is created in a list or library, regardless of whether or not a user manually starts the workflow. For example, you might want a workflow to start whenever an item of this content type is created in a library or list.

    • Select the Start this workflow when an item is changed check box for workflows that you want to run automatically whenever an item is modified. For example, in a retention-policy workflow, the expiration date might need to change when the item is changed.

      Note: The two automatic start options can coexist with the default setting to allow a workflow to be manually started by a user.

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Update list and site content types

On the Change a Workflow page, in the Update List and Site Content Types section, you can specify whether you want all the content types that inherit from this content type to also use the workflow.

  1. Open the Change a workflow page.

  2. In the Update List and Site Content Types section, click Yes to have these workflow settings inherited by all content types that have been created from this content type.

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