I have published an Infopath form that creates a custom content type for a site. Using SharePoint Designer, I have created a workflow for the list that the content type is associated to. So why can I not access the fields of the Content type from the workflow?

  • Are you promoting the fields out to site columns in your site?
    – Lori
    May 5 '11 at 2:33
  • Yep. All the fields I need have been promoted and show up in the content type
    – Mike T
    May 5 '11 at 4:52

InfoPath promoted columns are not treated like normal columns in SharePoint. They don't show up in Workflows, they don't show up for calculated columns, you can't use them for lookup columns, and they can't be edited in the SharePoint list forms, etc. In 2007 there was a special checkbox to promote the columns as read/write that could make them full columns, but I think they removed this in 2010.

I will check this tomorrow to see if there are any publishing options in 2010 to promote full columns.


Chris is correct, you cannot write to these columns as the form moves through your workflow as these columns are simply displaying the data from within the XML file. In order to work with the data and manipulate it, you would have to add custom extensions to write to nodes within the XML schema itself. However, you can use the data within workflows in ways like waiting for the field to change or as conditions to move through the process.

  • Creation of a content type from SharePoint will act the same way with workflows. I still need the InfoPath angle. I've seen InfoPath deal with these content types differently. I will start creating the solution from the SharePoint end and see what happens.
    – Mike T
    May 5 '11 at 17:23
  • Mike, you could consider creating the SharePoint list and then customizing the form using InfoPath if that would help your situation.
    – Lori
    May 6 '11 at 1:05
  • That's exactly what I was thinking. the problem with that is Libraries don't have an obvious way to do that. Lists give you that option however both from the browser and through SP Designer. I don't really want to break into VS as it would complicate administration just for this one little issue. I will if I have to though!!!!
    – Mike T
    May 6 '11 at 16:02
  • Why would you need a library if you are going to customize a list form? It would not be necessary at that point. The form itself will not need to be uploaded to a library, the form then becomes just a way to validate/control entry of information into a list.
    – Lori
    May 9 '11 at 13:33
  • Good point. As i reflect on how the data will be used, I admit that a list might have been a better choice. You are correct that the data is structured in nature. However, at this point I don't want to rewrite the whole process. This also doesn't address workflow. Seems like I would run into the same issues if I had started with a List instead of a Library. They are in essence the same with regards to how a workflow sees them. A Library derives from List classes.
    – Mike T
    May 9 '11 at 16:20

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