I have to create a custom workflow on a document library for a group of users, and I'm having trouble figuring out how to go about creating it. The document library has the following extra columns: Last Review Date, Next Review Date, Reviewer, Approver. The following are the workflow steps:

  1. Using an Information Management Policy, start the workflow on a document at Next Review Date - 1 month
  2. Send an alert to the reviewer that the document is up for review
  3. Wait for the reviewer to finish
  4. Once the review is complete, notify the editor (a defined person for all documents) that a reviewed document is ready for final editing
  5. Wait for the editor to finish
  6. Notify the approver that the document is ready for final approval
  7. Once approved, update the Last Review Date and Next Review Date fields.

I'm guessing I want to turn content approval on for the document library, using both major and minor versions. Updating the fields with the workflow is simple enough. Mostly, it's just tracking what stage the workflow is in, and how the users can update when their stage is complete.

Anyone have any suggestions for me? Prefer to keep this to a designer based workflow, but I can do it with VS2010 if need be.

1 Answer 1


You can take care of this easily with a SharePoint Designer workflow and a customized Approval Task Process or Custom Task Process activity. SharePoint workflows are organized around creating tasks for users for the various review steps and approvals, and you will need to associate a column with the workflow to keep track of the current status of the workflow (divide into a set of steps).

I don't think you necessarily need to use content approval (which is really designed more for content publishing) but you certainly can use it if you want to.

  • I agree. Really you'd only need a status column in the document library to track the approval status instead of versioning (unless historical data is required). Once the workflow starts, put it in Draft Status. Once finished, put it in pending approval status. When the approver OKs it, put it in Final status until the workflow starts over. May 17, 2011 at 15:47
  • That's somewhat the point. Version tracking is required, and only those involved in the review process should see the draft/minor versions (ie. all reviewers are allowed to see drafts for all documents). I was thinking of using content approval so that the editor could mark the doc as a major verions, and only require the approver to sign off on it. As for the tasks, I looked at the Approval Task Process and Custom Task Process, and they look good. However, I'm having trouble figuring out how to create "good" custom tasks from scratch. Got any links for some tutorials on this?
    – Evan M.
    May 19, 2011 at 17:59

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