Multiple Visible Workflows

Apologies for the rather blunt question but what does it mean for a community to have multiple visible workflows?


Like most CM System objects, a Workflows must be associated with a Community so the users in that Community can access it. Each community may be associated with more than one workflow. In fact, it’s pretty much standard for each Community to have access to different Workflows since members of the Community will likely be accessing Content Types that have different Workflows.

It might be useful to think “accessible workflows” rather than “visible workflows”.


That’s interesting. We have many communities and each community has a corresponding workflow. As a result, each content-type has many associated workflows so that it can be used across the communities.
Are you suggesting that we should have workflows per content-type and then have multiple visible workflows per community? Rather than workflows per community and multiple workflows per content-type?
Hope that makes sense!


Generally, that is our recommended approach. The Workflow is a software model of the business process for your Content Items, and should be designed around that process. Then you an associate the Workflows with multiple Communities.

Moreover, mulitple Content Types can use the same Workflow. If the business process for several Content Types is similar, they can, and should, use the same Workflow. The FastFoward Implementation illustrates that model. We descibe this approach to design and implemention in Modeling and Design and in the Implementation Guide.

This approach results in a simpler implementation that is easier to maintain.


I think there is some oversimplification going on here that should be clarified. It may help to review HOW a Workflow is chosen. Content Types can have multiple “Allowed Workflows” and Communities can have multiple “Visible Workflows”. When a contributor creates a new item (e.g. a Press Release), we will look for the intersection of the “Allowed Workflows” and the “Visible Workflows”. This must be a single workflow for the system to work properly, and you may have seen an error along the lines of “A unique workflow could not be identified for Contenttype ### and Community ###”.

Either approach described above (Multiple workflows per Type or Multiple workflows per Community) can work if properly configured, and that being said, we in the Professional Services team do not recommend one approach over another from a Community/Workflow perspective, instead we’ll look for the best solution based on your Business Requirements.

For instance, if you have multiple communities (Marketing, Communications, etc…) which are both creating Press Release content items, and they have the same Workflow Approval Process (Draft > Approve > Compliance > Public…) then you can share a single Workflow across both the Marketing and Communications community.

Alternately, if the Marketing folks need to follow one workflow (Draft > Approve > StyleGuideReview > Public …) while Communications follows a seperate approval process (Draft > Approve > Legal Review > Public …), this would indicate that we’d have a Marketing Workflow (visible to the Marketing Community) and a Communications Workflow (Visible to the Communications Community) that were BOTH allowed for the Press Release items.

Both are acceptable solutions, but it’s the Business requirements that will drive the decision. There are also other factors which may influence this decision (do I have users that are Authors in Community A, but Editors in Community B?) which will also need to be taken into account from a design perspective.