SharePoint Online is a cloud-based collaboration and content management platform that allows organizations to share and collaborate on documents, lists, and workflows. With SharePoint Online, you can create automated workflows to streamline business processes, increase efficiency, and reduce errors. In this article, we will discuss how to create a basic workflow in SharePoint Online.

What is a Workflow in SharePoint Online?

A workflow in SharePoint Online refers to a series of automated steps that help manage and streamline business processes. This process is designed to help users collaborate and work more efficiently by automating and standardizing repetitive tasks. SharePoint Online provides tools for creating workflows that can be used to automate tasks such as document approval, task assignments, and more. Workflows can be created using tools such as SharePoint Designer, Power Automate, or third-party tools. Workflows help to improve business processes, increase productivity, reduce errors, and save time.

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Basic Workflow in SharePoint Online

Create a new list or library: To create a workflow, you need a list or library to attach it to. Go to the Site Contents page in SharePoint Online, click on “New,” and select “List” or “Library.”

Open SharePoint Designer: SharePoint Designer is a free tool that allows you to create and customize workflows in SharePoint Online. Download and install SharePoint Designer on your computer.

Connect to your SharePoint site: Open SharePoint Designer and click on “Open Site.” Enter the URL of your SharePoint site and click “Open.”

Create a new workflow: Click on “Workflows” in the left-hand navigation pane and select “List Workflow.” Choose the list or library that you want to attach the workflow to and enter a name for your workflow.

Add workflow steps: Click on “Add or Change Steps” to add workflow steps to your new workflow. You can choose from a wide range of workflow actions, such as sending an email, creating a task, or updating a list item.

Configure workflow actions: Click on each workflow action to configure it. For example, if you choose the “Send an Email” action, you will need to enter the recipient’s email address, subject line, and message body.

Publish your workflow: Once you have created and configured your workflow, click on “Publish” to save it to your SharePoint site.

Test your workflow: To test your workflow, create a new item in the list or library that the workflow is attached to. The workflow should automatically trigger and execute the configured actions.

How to Create a Workflow for a List or Library

Managing a list or library can be challenging, especially when dealing with multiple items or documents. Creating a workflow can help streamline the process and make it more efficient. In this article, we will discuss how to create a workflow for a list or library, step by step.

Understanding Workflows

Before we dive into the specifics of creating a workflow, it’s essential to understand what a workflow is and how it can benefit your list or library. A workflow is a series of tasks that need to be completed to achieve a specific goal or outcome. In the context of a list or library, a workflow can help automate repetitive tasks, ensure consistency, and provide a clear path for items or documents to follow.

Step 1: Identify the Objective of the Workflow

The first step in creating a workflow is to identify the objective or goal of the workflow. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve with the workflow. Some common objectives include approving items, assigning tasks, or moving items or documents to different stages in the process.

Step 2: Determine the Trigger for the Workflow

The next step is to determine the trigger for the workflow. The trigger is the event that starts the workflow. For example, the trigger could be when a new item is added to the list or when a document is updated.

Step 3: Define the Workflow Stages

Once you have identified the objective and trigger for the workflow, the next step is to define the workflow stages. Workflow stages are the steps that items or documents need to go through to achieve the objective. For example, if the objective is to approve items, the workflow stages could be “Pending Approval,” “Approved,” and “Rejected.”

Step 4: Create the Workflow

Now it’s time to create the workflow. In SharePoint, workflows can be created using SharePoint Designer or Microsoft Power Automate (formerly known as Microsoft Flow). Start by selecting the list or library for which you want to create the workflow, then choose the type of workflow you want to create.

Step 5: Configure the Workflow

After creating the workflow, the next step is to configure it. This includes setting up the trigger, defining the workflow stages, and adding any actions or conditions. For example, if the trigger is when a new item is added to the list, you can configure the workflow to send an email notification to the approver.

Step 6: Test the Workflow

Once you have configured the workflow, it’s essential to test it to ensure it’s working correctly. Create a test item or document and ensure it goes through all the workflow stages as expected.

Step 7: Deploy the Workflow

After testing the workflow, the final step is to deploy it. This involves activating the workflow on the list or library and ensuring that it’s running correctly.

How to Create a Simple Approval Workflow in SharePoint

Creating a simple approval workflow in SharePoint can help automate the process of approving items or documents in a list or library. Here are the steps to create a basic approval workflow:

  1. Open the list or library for which you want to create the workflow in SharePoint Designer.
  2. Click on “Workflows” in the navigation pane on the left-hand side.
  3. Click on “List Workflow” or “Reusable Workflow,” depending on your requirements.
  4. Give your workflow a name and select the platform type.
  5. Select the trigger for the workflow, which could be when an item is created or changed.
  6. Define the approval process by adding an “Approval” action.
  7. Configure the approval action by selecting the approver(s), message, and deadline.
  8. Add any additional actions, such as sending an email notification.
  9. Save and publish the workflow.

Once the workflow is published, it will automatically run whenever an item is added or changed in the list or library. The workflow will send an approval request to the designated approver(s), who can approve or reject the item. If the item is approved, it will move to the next stage in the workflow.

Creating a simple approval workflow in SharePoint is a straightforward process, but it’s essential to test the workflow thoroughly before deploying it to ensure it’s working correctly. Additionally, you may want to consider adding more complexity to the workflow, such as parallel approvals or conditional branching, depending on your requirements.

How to Create an Email Notification Workflow for a SharePoint List

Creating an email notification workflow for a SharePoint list can help keep team members informed about changes or updates to the list. Here are the steps to create an email notification workflow:

  1. Open the list for which you want to create the workflow in SharePoint Designer.
  2. Click on “Workflows” in the navigation pane on the left-hand side.
  3. Click on “List Workflow” or “Reusable Workflow,” depending on your requirements.
  4. Give your workflow a name and select the platform type.
  5. Select the trigger for the workflow, which could be when an item is created or changed.
  6. Add an “Email” action to the workflow.
  7. Configure the email action by selecting the recipient(s), subject line, and message body.
  8. If desired, use workflow variables to personalize the email message with information from the list item.
  9. Save and publish the workflow.

Once the workflow is published, it will automatically send an email notification whenever an item is added or changed to the list. The email notification will include the specified recipient(s), subject line, and message body, as well as any personalized information from the list item.

How to Create an Elevated Permissions Workflow for SharePoint Online

Creating an elevated permissions workflow for SharePoint Online can help automate processes that require elevated permissions, such as updating a list or library that has restricted access. Here are the steps to create an elevated permissions workflow:

  1. Open the site for which you want to create the workflow in SharePoint Designer.
  2. Click on “Workflows” in the navigation pane on the left-hand side.
  3. Click on “List Workflow” or “Reusable Workflow,” depending on your requirements.
  4. Give your workflow a name and select the platform type.
  5. Select the trigger for the workflow, which could be when an item is created or changed.
  6. Add an “Impersonation Step” action to the workflow.
  7. Configure the impersonation step by entering the credentials of an account with elevated permissions.
  8. Add any actions that require elevated permissions to the impersonation step.
  9. Save and publish the workflow.

Once the workflow is published, it will automatically run whenever an item is added or changed in the list or library. The impersonation step will execute any actions that require elevated permissions using the specified account credentials.

Best Practices for Creating Workflows in SharePoint Online

  • Keep it simple: Start with a basic workflow and add complexity as needed.
  • Test thoroughly: Test your workflows thoroughly before deploying them to production environments.
  • Get user feedback: Involve end-users in the design and testing of workflows to ensure they meet their needs.
  • Document your workflows: Document your workflows and keep them up to date as changes are made.

Conclusion

SharePoint is an incredibly powerful platform that can be customize to fulfill various purposes. Acquire knowledge on utilizing fundamental workflows to initiate the automation of distinct procedures within your SharePoint online site. This will lead to the conservation of valuable time and enhance efficiency at work.

Creating a basic workflow in SharePoint Online is a simple process that can help you automate business processes and increase efficiency. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can create your workflows and start streamlining your business processes today.


Like it? Share with your friends!

TheQBase

0 Comments