SharePoint 2010 Enterprise

I'm using SharePoint Designer OOTB approval workflow and I have question regarding the Initiation form parameter (Approvers and Expand Groups) and how the assignment stages parallel/serial and expand groups work.

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I started with "Approval Process" workflow and created two initiation parameters "Approvers" and "Expand Groups" and published the workflow and attached it to a list.

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On the initiation form I have added two assignment stage with first stage having 2 users and Order is "All at once(parallel)" the second stage have one user and order is "All at once(Parallel)". I didn't check the expand groups check box.

1) When I started the workflow I noticed that the workflow is assigned to all the users in both the assignments stages. I was hoping that it will be assigned to first stage(even if one user approves it) and after approval would move to next assignment stage. Why the workflow is assigned to all the stages?

2) If I change the approvers to SharePoint groups and change order to serial for both stages with expand groups unchecked then the workflow proceeds in serial. Is the workflow assigned to all the approvers in first assignment stage if I select serial in that stage.

3) Does the Approval workflow has any built-in functionality to interpret "Expand Groups" variable?

1 Answer 1


Sure, Start Approval Process workflow activity consumes Expand Groups variable by setting ExpandGroups property.

Depending on whether ExpandGroups property is enabled or not:

  • Group is expanded into individual users (Contacts) using Contact.ExpandGroups method and task is created per every User
  • or Task is created and assigned per Group
  • I want to assign task to every member of the group and if it is approved by anyone in the group it should move to next assignment stage. Do I need to choose order as serial or parallel. Aug 17, 2014 at 2:25
  • As parallel for that case Aug 17, 2014 at 7:17

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