Crownpeak Employee
Crownpeak Employee

Adding a New Workflow State

Within the CMS, assets can belong to different states. The states of an asset essentially describe the step of a workflow that an asset is in. This workflow, in turn, can control what happens to an asset when the asset enters that particular state. For example, a CMS workflow usually contains a Draft, Stage, Live, Retired and Archived state. The Draft state essentially indicates that an asset is new or still being worked on by a content editor where as an asset in the Live state has been reviewed and published to a production server for public consumption. When an asset is out of date, it may then be moved the Retired state which would then remove the asset from the server. In certain scenarios, you may want to add new states to your workflow to accommodate certain business processes. This article will be a step by step guide on how to add a new workflow state.

1. Navigate to /System/States and verify the state that you want to add is available as an asset.
2. If the state is not available, clone one of the existing state assets and give the clone a new state name. Next, edit your clone and choose the state's color and add a help message describing the state.


3. Navigate to Settings > Workflow > Workflows
4. Click the clone workflow button


5. Give the new workflow a name and description

6. Click on the Edit Steps tab


7. Click on Add Workflow Step Button


8. Choose the state from Steps 1 and 2 for the "Status" Dropdown and select the same asset for the "Access" field.


9. Give the state a title and a description.


10. Check off the following boxes accordingly


Below is a description of what each checkbox does:

Enable publising on this step - Check this if you are planning on having an asset publish to a server when an asset enters this state.
Include step in Edit menu - This controls whether the state is visible in the workflow menu under the Send To section:


Set asset in this step as Deleted - When checked, an asset that enters this state is deleted from the CMS
Set asset in this step as Hidden - When checked, an asset that enters this state is hidden from the file view.

Next, we'll want to define how an asset can enter and exit your new workflow step. For example, you could add a transition for assets in the Draft state to your <New State> and then from your <New State> to another state like Live.

To add transitions into your new state:

1. Click on the source step under the Edit Steps tab. We'll use Draft as an example.


2. Click on the Add Transition button. A new expand panel will appear.



3. Make sure the "User Command" option is chosen for the Transition Trigger dropdown.
4. Type in a value for "When a user selects...". This value will show up in your workflow menu.
5. Select your new state in the "...Got to Step" dropdown.


To add a transition out of your new state, it would essentially be the same as above except you start off with your new state and you define a transition out of it.

1. Click on your new state under the Edit Steps tab.
2. Click on the Add Transition button. A new expand panel will appear.
3. Make sure the User Command option is chosen for the Transition Trigger dropdown.
4. Type in a value for "When a user selects...". This value will show up in your workflow menu.
5. Select your destination state for the "...Got to Step" dropdown.

Once your states and transitions are setup, you can Reorder the steps under the Reorder Steps tab. Just drag and drop steps to their desired location in the workflow.


Click on the Overview tab to review the entire workflow. You can hover over the lines with your mouse to get additional details on the transitions into and out of each state. In the upper left corner you can also expand the panel to get a full screen view of the entire workflow.


If everything looks good, make sure to click on the Save button on the upper right to save your changes.

You now have a new workflow but the new workflow won't take effect until you've assigned it to all of your assets. To be on the safe side, it is recommended that you disable publishing through your publishing packages before attempting to assign the new workflow to any assets. Also, you may want to incrementally apply the workflow to a few assets first to ensure that the state of the asset does not change when it is applied. Generally if an asset belongs to a state that does not exist in the new workflow, it will be routed to the Draft state or the first state of the workflow. Disabling publishing first will prevent the CMS from pulling the asset off of the server if this were to happen and will allow you time to correct the issue if the asset does end up in the wrong state.

To Disable publishing, edit your publishing package under Settings > Publishing > Packages and uncheck "Enabled." You'll want to do this for all of the different packages (eg. Dev, QA, Stage, Live, etc..).



To assign your new workflow to an asset:

1. Select the asset in file view.
2. Navigate to Properties > Workflow


3. Select your new workflow from the dropdown and hit save.



Note that the Workflow panel also has a "Apply to additional assets" button. Once, you have verified that assigning the workflow to several random assets does not cause any adverse affects, then you can use this option to apply your changes in bulk.


Use the Neighborhood dropdown selection to pull up assets that belong to the current folder and subfolders. You can further filter by using the Workflow Status Dropdown.

Check off all assets that you want to apply the workflow to and then click "Save changes for: X assets(s)"


Finally, don't forget to re-enable publishing and test out your workflow.


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