Using Workflow Conductor with SharePoint Content Types

Does Workflow Conductor work with Content Types? People have asked us this many times, and we're happy to report that yes, it does! Included in this article are two clever ways you can use Workflow Conductor to take advantage of Content Types in SharePoint:

  • Associating a workflow to a specific Content Type
  • Branching a workflow based on an item's Content Type

Associating a Workflow to a Specific Content Type

Being able to associate a workflow to a specific Content Type is yet another native SharePoint feature that Workflow Conductor seamlessly integrates with. You may want to associate a workflow to a Content Type if your workflow is only applicable to items created using that Content Type, or if you want different versions of a workflow depending on the Content Type of the item.

When you deploy a workflow in Workflow Conductor Studio, it will automatically be associated with the list or library you launched Conductor Studio from. The workflow will be available for all Content Types. To restrict the workflow to a specific Content Type, remove its association from the list or library and associate it with just the Content Type.

You can perform these two actions (removing the workflow's association from the list and adding the Content Type association) in any order.

To remove the workflow association for the list or library:

  1. In the list or library, go to Settings > Associated Workflows.
  2. Find the workflow in the list and click the Delete link.

    Delete Workflow Assocation

To associate the workflow to a Content Type:

  1. In the list or library, go to Settings > List Settings (or Settings > Library Settings).
  2. In the Content Types section of the Settings page, click on the name of the Content Type you want to associate the workflow to.

    Content Type Settings

  3. In the Settings section of the List Content Type page, click Workflow settings.

    Content Type Settings

  4. In the Change Workflow Settings page, click Add a workflow.

    Content Type Workflow Settings

  5. In the Add a Workflow page, select the workflow you want to add and configure workflow settings.

    Add a Workflow to a Content Type

    Note: The default Task List for Workflow Conductor is Workflow Tasks. You can change this in the Workflow Conductor Control Panel General Settings page.

  6. Click OK.

The workflow is now associated to the Content Type and will be in the list of available workflows for items created with that Content Type. If a user clicks the Workflow option for an item that uses a different Content Type, that workflow will not appear in the list of available workflows.

Note: Since the workflow is associated only to the Content Type and not to the list, the workflow will not appear in the Settings > Associated Workflows list or in the Settings > List/Library Settings > Workflow settings page. To manage the workflow, you must go to the Workflow settings page for the Content Type.


Branching a Workflow Depending on an Item's Content Type

Sometimes your workflow only has one or two steps that are Content Type-specific. In that case, you might not want a whole different workflow for each Content Type. Instead, consider branching your workflow using the Conditional Branch widget with a condition that checks for the item's Content Type.

First, add a Calculated column to your list or library with a value of =[Content Type], as shown below. Make sure to associate this column with all Content Types.

Calculated Column

The column will auto-populate with the name of the Content Type used to create the item. The column does not have to be included in any views, and it does not appear when you add or edit items.

Note: We realize that "Content Type" is a system column available in SharePoint when you have multiple Content Types associated with the list or library. Future versions of Workflow Conductor will be able to use this built-in column instead of requiring that you add another.

In your workflow, insert a Conditional Branch widget wherever your workflow needs to branch depending on Content Type. Configure at least one of the conditions for the widget to include checking the value of the Content Type column, similar to the example shown here:

Conditional Branch Widget Condition Builder

If you have more than two Content Types and your workflow takes a different action for each one, you can nest Conditional Branch widgets:

Nested Conditional Branch Widgets


Do you have a suggestion for more ways you'd like to use Workflow Conductor with Content Types? Post it in the comments below!