I have recently taken over a Sharepoint system in the last 3 months. Honestly I have never worked on Sharepoint before and most of my knowledge is via google and reading lots and lots of articles/blogs.

Recently I was looking into a workflow deployed in the system. This workflow was developed on Sharepoing Designer and deployed to a Sharepoing library that hs an infopath form as a template. As this workflow is custom and because the guy who worked on this has left the company I have no idea if my assumptions are correct or not.

My question is: Are workflows created in sharepoint designer sequential? Reason: The workflow that is currently developed does not seem to follow the sequential pattern. Let me give an example of what the workflow is doing

Step1: Entry User
if status = new form submit then
email entry user
email authorizer
set status to waiting_authorizer

else if status = resubmit form then
email authorizer
set status to waiting_reauth
end step1

Step2: Authorier
if approve and status waiting_reauth then
email scrutinyDesk
set status to waiting_rescrutiny

else if approve then
email scrutinyDesk
set status to waiting_scrutiny

else if reject then
email entry user
set status to rejectAuth
end if
end step2

Step3: ScrutinyDesk
if waiting_scrutiny or waiting_rescrutiny and "something_is_wrong_with_data" then
email entry user, CC: authorizer
set status to resend_entry_user
close workflow
end if
end step3

Dry run:

  • A new form is submitted by user
  • The workflow is initiated
  • Step1 passes and goes on to step2
  • Authoriser approves form
  • ScrutinyDesk marks "something_is_wrong_with_data" on form
  • Workflow sets status to resend
  • Entry user makes changes on form and resubmits

At this point will the workflow go back to step1?


The workflow is sequential, but it can start again from step 1 if a user updates item (there is such settings in workflow association, which allows to start it automaticaly on item update).

Probably, your WF is set up to start automaticaly on update and this moment confuses you, but really it is not a state machine workflow, but start of the same WF on update. To check it you can take a look at WF association and see whether it starts automatically on update. This article should help you in that.

You are right, SPD2010 WFs are sequential (you can create State Machine WFs using VS, but this approach is not recommended as it is deprecated and SP2013 use another approach for WFs). There are some workarounds how you can implement state machine WFs in SPD2010, but this is not your case (you WF doesn't use these workarounds).

Hope it helps. If so, please don't forget to upvote and mark as answer :).

  • Yes you are right. There are several options to what starts the worflow listed in the library settings to which this WF is associated with. Just had an additional question. Once the WF goes back to step1 on the updation of form, does the history log of the worflow of that document refresh? I seem to be missing WF log history steps for a few of the "restarted" workflows – Sameen Ali Apr 15 '13 at 17:41

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