SharePoint Help: How do I create a SharePoint 2010 Approval workflow for a document?

Creating an Approval Workflow in SharePoint 2010

When a document is uploaded to a document library in SharePoint 2010 the content that is published on your corporate intranet might need approval. Without an approval process users can upload a limitless amount of documents into the portal. There are many reasons for this process:

  • Limiting the amount of content that is uploaded into SharePoint
  • Governance around content that might be offensive or inaccurate

This blog post will cover a step by step process in how to create an approval workflow in SharePoint 2010. The first step is to go a document library. Select Library Tools and then select the Library tab, once the ribbon appears select Workflow Settings.  Within the drop down select Add a Workflow.

SharePoint 2010 Approval Workflow Start

You will be given a prompt that will allow you to select the items in which the workflow will run on. For this example we are attaching an approval workflow to documents that are uploaded into SharePoint, select Document. The Workflow type is Approval – SharePoint 2010. There will be a description of each workflow to the right of the selection. The next section will allow you to select the name of this particular workflow. For the Task List section we will select Tasks from the drop down. Keep the Workflow History selected. The Start Options section allows you to customize SharePoint to indicate when the workflow will start. For this document approval workflow we will select Allow this workflow to be manually started by an authenticated user with Edit Item permissions, Require Manage Lists Permissions to start the workflow, Start this workflow when a new item is created, and Start this workflow when an item is changed. This will allow the approval workflow to be started whenever an item is being added. Once these are selected, click Next. Please refer to the image below for each step explained above.

SharePoint 2010: Approval Workflow Prompt 1

The next prompt within this workflow will allow you to assign the approves in the process, the message that appears in an e-mail request to approvers, the due date for tasks, the duration of the task and the rejection process. These steps are vital to an approval workflow within your SharePoint Implementation. For the approvers section in this example we will select the manager of the authored group, let’s call him Training User 14, SharePoint will check your directory in which you have configured to make sure that the person exists. SharePoint will prompt you if the person is not in the directory. You can add additional approvers if necessary. In the request section you can type a message that will appear in an e-mail to the approver of the document.  The e-mail will contain a hyperlink to the document within SharePoint. Due to the fact that documents will be uploaded at any time we will leave the due date blank. We will put the duration of the workflow at 1 day and CC Training User 13 on this workflow. We selected each of the following boxes to indicate which steps will reject the workflow. Click Save when this is complete.

SharePoint 2010: Approval Workflow Prompt 2

The workflow is now saved and will be initiated based on the conditions we have selected within the first prompt to customize your SharePoint intranet approval process.

SharePoint 2010: Approval Workflow Prompt 3

If you need to customize SharePoint further there are many different workflows that can be created. The one in the blog is a simple and a quick way to set up an approval workflow for documents being uploaded onto SharePoint. This SharePoint help should get you over the easy stuff but when it comes to move advanced workflows SharePoint Designer, Visual Studio, and Third Party Workflow products might be a better fit. Ask someone at IncWorx Consulting for help if you are still stuggling with this.


Comments for SharePoint Help: How do I create a SharePoint 2010 Approval workflow for a document?

Name: supavat
Time: Tuesday, May 10, 2011

so good i want creat work flow on sharepoint
thank you very much

Name: Michael Mayes
Time: Tuesday, May 10, 2011

You are very welcome.

Name: Imran Akram
Time: Friday, February 10, 2012

Hi Michael, I have a strange issue here. When I go into Add a workflow link it's showing me Disposition Approval and Three-state workflow templates but not the approval but not the approval workflow type. Any ideas where I can enable it?

Name: Imran Akram
Time: Friday, February 10, 2012

Just found the solution to the problem I mentioned earlier. Cheers!

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