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I'm working on a reusable workflow in SP 2010 that moves documents through our management chain, where each member of that chain provides metadata input that can't be seen by those lower in the chain. I have currently implemented four document libraries for each management level where the document is copied on approval to the next document library. Here is a little background information on how I have my content types set up.

Document<-ManagementApprovedApplication (has 10 or so fields) <- SpecificInstanceOfApplication (about 30 different types of these)

My problem is that I don't want to use the space to keep four separate documents, when the document itself doesn't change after the first library, only the metadata. I would like to use a link to the document type tied to the document in the original library to save space. This runs into inheritance issues as it needs to keep the same fields and often carry over the same values as the original SpecificInstanceofApplication document.

So far I have been able to implement this workflow strictly in Designer, so a solution that uses inheritance in designer would be excellent.

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