I have a fairly large workflow, created using SPD 2013, which has a number of custom task processes in it. This is automating the management of a cross-functional business process that is repeated often. I seem to have hit a size limit when publishing to Office365.

My question is: is there any way that I can make use of the same task process repeatedly, to reduce both the size and tedium of entering the same actions in the same events over and over? Perhaps I can use the task process's content type in another? If so, will I be able to rename them?

Basically, these are just a bunch of to-do's but they require the ability to be reassigned and some of them allow change requests.

EDIT: Maybe I'm not being clear above, or maybe this is just a confusing topic. I have no need to reuse the workflow itself and if I did, I know how to do that. Nor do I have a need to repeatedly assign the same task. The issue is that I am creating many tasks for different purposes as custom task processes. Much of the logic in the custom task process is the same (such as logging, email notifications, etc), so I'd like to reuse that structure. It is very time consuming to recreate that logic over and over and over again and also makes the workflow huge, often to the point of failing to upload to Office365. What I need is to reuse the content type of the custom task process so that I can simply make small changes to represent the individual task and save time and resources.

Please understand what a "custom task process" is before offering an answer.



To more explicitly answer the question - the answer is no, you can not duplicate your task processes. They are however just workflow activities - so you can create multiple workflows with these different types and call them from a "Master" workflow as I've outlined below. You can't call workflows directly with an activity from O365 but you can use the web services activities to do so.

Additional alternatives are to:

  1. You may be able to build custom activities in Visual Studio that meets your goal.
  2. Look at a third party product like Nintex or K2.


You could however break it up. Use an initiating workflow to manage the request but have secondary workflow fire off that creates your tasks. You can then keep the task logic in the single workflow. You would need to define a trigger on your list that would cause that workflow to fire of course, and that trigger should only be set by your initiating workflow.

I typically handle workflows in this fashion and try to keep what they do specific to a certain task / department / etc. This creates more workflows, but usually they are shorter lived, than a large one that has to wait around. It also allows me to fix issues or make changes on running items without having to re-start the entire process - you just need to re-rerun the workflow that handles that particular action you are correcting.

  • 1
    Thanks Jesus, but I'm not sure this is what I'm looking for either. I'm not interested in repeatedly executing/assigning the same task. I'm interested in duplicating the structure of a custom task process so that a completely different task can utilize the custom logic I've built into it. What I'm doing currently is re-building the task process each time. This is extremely time consuming and also makes the process enormous, often to the point of failing to upload. It would be nice if I could reuse the task process's content type. – burfl Jul 18 '13 at 12:05

From: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint-designer-help/introduction-to-designing-and-customizing-workflows-HA101859249.aspx

Reusable List Workflows You can create a reusable list workflow (reusable workflow) in the top-level site in the site collection, and that workflow can be made globally reusable — meaning that the workflow can be associated to any list, library, or content type in the site collection. You can also create a reusable workflow in any subsite in the site collection; this workflow is available for reuse in that particular subsite.

You can also export a reusable workflow from one site and then upload and activate that workflow in a different site. For example, you can create a reusable workflow in a test environment, test it, and then export it to a production environment. SharePoint Designer 2010 supports exporting a workflow as a template.

Reusable workflows, by default, don’t have the context of a specific list or library. Therefore, by default, they provide only the columns that are common across lists and libraries, such as Created and Created By.

If your reusable workflow requires certain columns to be present in the list or library that you associated it to, you can add those columns as association columns. Association columns get added automatically to a list or library when a reusable workflow is associated to that list or library.

When you create a reusable workflow, you can alternatively choose to filter your reusable workflow to a specific content type. This enables you to work with the fields of the content type in SharePoint Designer 2010. For example, if a reusable list workflows is associated with the Document content type, you view and use in your workflow fields that are specific to the content type, such as Document ID. Then, in the browser, you can associate your reusable workflow either to a specific content type or to any content type that inherits from that content type. If you associate a workflow to a site content type, you make that workflow available for all items of that content type in every list and library on the site to which that content type has been added. You can even make it available for sites in a collection if the workflow is configured to be a Globally Reusable Workflow.

  • I appreciate your input, but this answers a completely different question. I asked how I can copy/reuse custom task processes and you told me how to reuse entire workflows. – burfl Jul 8 '13 at 19:05

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