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Problem: A SP 2013 WF set to start when an item is changed on a Contacts list does not start automatically if a field for that list item is updated by another workflow; however, it does start automatically if a user edits the list item.

Set-up: I have three lists (Tasks, Contacts, and Payments) and two main workflows that work in this order.

  1. Task list: When an item task status is changed manually by a list user, a SP 2013 WF determines whether the task is newly completed. If so, it will add 1 to the total number of completed tasks and update the total on the Contacts list for user to whom the task was assigned. This WF is working FINE.
  2. Contacts list: When an item is changed, a SP 2013 WF is supposed to add a task to the Payments list when the user's completed task total reaches 1, 3, and 6. This WF works fine if the user edits an item , but does not start when the item is updated by the WF running on the Task list.

What I've found and tried: I've read threads that seem to indicate that the workflow on the Contacts list won't run because the item is being updated by the System Account, but I don't know how to confirm that or how to work around it. I haven't tried rebuilding this as a 2010 workflow, but I have tried enabling the Site Feature "Workflows can use app permissions" and putting the update item on the Contacts list action inside an "App Step" as suggested here, but it doesn't make a difference.

I think this tread seems to address the same issue, but is unresolved. And I don't even know what this one is talking about, but it also seems related: SharePoint event receiver ItemUpdating event behaves differently when a list item is updated through Workflow

  • Can u check modified by in Contact list for items modified by Workflow? – Ankitkumar Malde Feb 19 '16 at 4:14
  • @AnkitkumarMalde I just tried it again, and the Modified By field on the Contacts list shows my name. It also shows this when I check the Version History on this item. Despite this, the workflow on the Contacts list did not start. On the same item, I just edited the same field, pressed Stop editing, and the workflow started automatically. In both cases, I was listed in the Modified by field. – AmishRob Feb 19 '16 at 13:49
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This scenario can be achieved using a combination of both 2013 and 2010 Workflow. For your scenario you have to create 2010 workflow for Task list for updating total in contact list. Then Contact list 2013 workflow will automatically start.

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