Approval Workflow in SharePoint 2010 Server / Office 365

Long-time no-blog – but yes, I am still alive  Smile  Just a quick post on something I’ve been fighting with for most of this morning.  We’re helping a new client implement Office 365, and specifically I’m adding a document library with workflows to handle a multi-step approval process.  SharePoint Server 2010 includes an OOTB Workflow (Approval – SharePoint 2010) for this functionality.  However, when I went to add a workflow to my document library, I only had two workflows listed:  Disposition Approval and Three-State – I was missing three other OOTB workflows (Approval, Collect Feedback, & Collect Signatures).  Reviewing the list of workflows under Site Settings –> Site Administration –> Workflows, I noticed the missing workflows were showing a status of Inactive.  Searching for the issue, I found forum threads where other people were also experiencing the same issue, and with on-premise SharePoint 2010 Server, not just Office 365. 

Most threads offered the same basic advice of making sure the Workflows feature was activated under Site Settings –> Site Collection Features, and our feature was activated.  One post in another thread indicated that the Approval workflow was dependent on the SharePoint 2007 Workflows feature – which was disabled.  However, after enabling the SharePoint 2007 Workflows feature under Site Settings –> Site Collection Features, the missing workflows were still not showing up as available options when adding a new workflow to a list or library.   Reviewing the workflow list again under Site Settings –> Site Administration –> Workflows, the missing workflows were now showing as Active.

I finally resolved the issue – and the best I can tell is that there is a dependency in the order that Site Collection Features are activated in order for these workflows to appear.  I had tried simply deactivating and reactivating the Workflows feature with no effect – which was after the SharePoint 2007 Workflows feature was activated.  The trick for me was to deactivate the Workflows feature, deactivate the SharePoint 2007 Workflows feature, then reactivate the SharePoint Workflows feature, and finally reactivate the Workflows feature.  In my experience at least – the SharePoint 2007 Workflows feature needs to be activated before the Workflows feature for these additional OOTB workflows to be available.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>