I read the earlier thread here: Custom Approval workflow Expand Groups, but I haven't had success in trying to include my own ExpandGroups field.

I'm using SP Designer 2013, trying to create a 2010 list approval workflow on a document library. I'm using the Start Approval Process task with a custom initiation form which has a 'Person or Group' field to collect the workflow participants, as well as one of type 'Yes/No (check box)' named "ExpandGroups". When I open the generated form in InfoPath, there is a field named ExpandGroups of type Boolean set to a default value of "TRUE".

As a sanity check, when the task process starts I've included in the Email to the workflow initiator the bit "ExpandGroups = [%Parameter: ExpandGroups%]", and this is rendering in the message as "ExpandGroups = True". However, it still doesn't appear to be actually causing the group to be expanded because the group name is what is being assigned the task when reviewing the workflow status, not the individual members. And the latter is what I believe is supposed to happen, at least when I test using the default global reusable approval workflow (I enter the group name in the initiation form and its individual members are assigned the task).

So what exactly is the workflow engine looking for coming back from the form so that the "Start Approval Process" activity is getting what it expects for ExpandGroups? Thanks in advance!

1 Answer 1


Since I did finally figure out the answer, I guess I should post it here for posterity ...

Using SP Designer, open the workflow, and under Customization, click "Edit workflow", which opens the text-based workflow designer. I position my mouse over the Start Approval Process entry, which exposes a drop-down (I may be using awkward terms to describe what you see, so apologies), and when I click the down arrow, one of the options is Properties. This brings up a dialog for "Start Approval Process Properties", and one of the choices is ExpandGroups, which defaults to "No". Changing this to "Yes" results in the right value being sent to the web service so any groups entered as the workflow participants are expanded and each member receives the task individually.

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