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Oracle® Fusion Middleware User's Guide for Oracle WebCenter Spaces
11g Release 1 (11.1.1.4.0)

Part Number E10149-06
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43 Working with Workflow-Enabled Content

WebCenter Spaces includes the following types of workflows:

The following sections describe how to work with workflows on content in a Space:

Audience

This chapter is intended for WebCenter Spaces users who want to assign and manage workflows on folders in a Space when the connected content repository is Oracle Content Server.

43.1 What You Should Know About Content Workflows

Workflows on content in WebCenter Spaces are available only when the connected content repository is Oracle Content Server and your WebCenter Spaces administrator has completed the prerequisite configuration.

A workflow specifies how to route content for review and approval before it is released to the system. The workflow notifies users by e-mail when they have a file to review.

In WebCenter Spaces, you define workflows by assigning a workflow to a folder in a Documents service task flow. Once you assign a workflow to a folder, WebCenter Spaces automatically assigns the workflow to every file subsequently checked in or uploaded to the folder. Documents service task flows and the Oracle Workflow Queue portlet from the Universal Content Management Portlet Suite provide access to the workflow-enabled content.

In all Documents service task flows, any user with privileges to view the contents of a folder that is assigned a workflow can view the files while they are in a workflow. The Content Presenter task flow, and REST APIs, show only the latest released version of a file, and do not show any unreleased versions of files that are in workflow.

The following sections provide conceptual information about workflow on files in WebCenter Spaces:

43.1.1 Understanding Workflow Types

WebCenter Spaces provides three built-in workflows for content in a Space. These are single-step workflows that allow one or more approvers to approve, reject, or edit a file in workflow:

  • AllApprover: A single-step workflow that requires all assigned approvers to approve the document to release it from workflow. Approvers are not able to edit the file, unless they are the file owner.

  • AllReviewer: A single-step workflow that requires all assigned approvers to approve the document to release it from workflow. Approvers may optionally edit the file.

  • SingleApprover: A single-step workflow that requires only one assigned approver to approve the document to release it from workflow.

For more information about configuring Oracle Content Server to enable the built-in workflows, see "What You Should Know About the WebCenterConfigure Component" in Oracle Fusion Middleware Administrator's Guide for Oracle WebCenter.

43.1.2 Understanding Workflow Steps

The three workflows provided with WebCenter Spaces each contain a workflow contribution step and an approval step. Different users will typically participate in each of the steps.

Table 43-1 Workflow Steps

Step Type Description

contribution

This is the initial step of a workflow. In this step, the user who participates as the contributor is the WebCenter Spaces user who is submitting the document or editing an existing document in a folder that has workflow enabled on it.

ApprovalStep

Approvers can approve or reject the file. Editing is only allowed by an approver during the approval step if the workflow selected is AllReviewer.


43.1.3 Understanding Workflow Process

The workflow process is as follows:

  • A document enters the workflow approval step by exiting the initial contribution step as a result of a new document upload or the editing of an existing document that was previously uploaded into a workflow enabled folder. See Section 43.1.2, "Understanding Workflow Steps."

  • If any approver rejects a revision, it goes back to the most recent contribution step for editing.

  • When approvers approve a revision in the workflow, the content item is released to the system.

43.2 Assigning a Workflow to a Folder

With appropriate permissions, you can assign a workflow to a folder in a Documents service task flow when the connected content repository is Oracle Content Server. Once you assign a workflow to a folder, WebCenter Spaces automatically assigns the workflow to every file subsequently checked in or uploaded to the folder.

If you create a subfolder in a parent folder that is assigned a worfklow, the subfolder automatically inherits the workflow assignment of the parent folder.

To assign a workflow to a folder:

  1. On the Documents page or in a Documents service task flow in a Space, create a new folder (see Section 41.9, "Creating a Folder"), or click in the row of an existing folder.

    Note:

    The Documents page is exposed in a Space only with Oracle Content Server 11g. If the connected content repository is Oracle Content Server 10g, you can create a page in a Space and add Documents service task flows to the page (see Section 41.4, "Adding a Documents Service Task Flow to a Page").
  2. Click the View menu and choose Properties, or right-click to display the folder's context menu and choose Properties.

    The Basic properties pane for the folder opens (Figure 43-1).

    Figure 43-1 Folder Properties

    Folder Properties
  3. From the File menu, choose Workflow Settings.

    The Workflow Settings dialog opens.

  4. In the Workflow Settings dialog, select from the Workflow Name list (Figure 43-2) to apply a workflow to the folder.

    Figure 43-2 Workflow Settings Dialog

    Workflow Settings Dialog

    For information about the built-in workflows, see Section 43.1.1, "Understanding Workflow Types." Additional workflows may be listed if they have been defined in Oracle Content Server and added by the system administrator. For more information about defining workflows, see the "Working with Workflows" chapter in Oracle Fusion Middleware User's Guide for Content Server.

  5. After selecting a workflow name, click Add Approvers (Figure 43-3).

    Note:

    WebCenter Spaces does not support group names as approvers.

    Figure 43-3 Workflow Settings Dialog

    Workflow Settings Dialog

    The Select User window opens.

  6. In the Select User window, search for and select users to whom to assign the workflow. Click OK.

  7. In the Workflow Settings dialog, click OK to save the workflow.

Every assigned approver receives a mail message to notify them that they are assigned to the workflow as document approvers. The format and contents of the mail message are controlled by how the system administrator installed and configured the Oracle Content Server.

With a workflow established on a folder in a Space, WebCenter Spaces automatically enters every file that is subsequently checked in or uploaded to the folder into workflow. If you want to assign the workflow to a file previously contained in the folder, you must reupload the file from Oracle Content Server into the folder in order for the file to inherit the workflow properties of the folder. See Section 41.11.1, "Uploading New Files."

A workflow icon alongside a file in a Documents service task flow indicates that the file is assigned to a workflow (Figure 43-4). For more information, see Section 43.3, "Viewing Workflow Assignments."

Figure 43-4 Workflow Icon

Workflow Icon

43.3 Viewing Workflow Assignments

You can identify the files that have workflows assigned, and view workflow details in either a Documents service task flow or in an Oracle Workflow Queue portlet:

43.3.1 Viewing Workflow Files in a Documents Service Task Flow

On the Documents page or in a Documents service task flow in a Space, a workflow icon alongside a file in a Documents service task flow indicates that the file is assigned to a workflow (Figure 43-5).

Figure 43-5 Workflow Icon

Workflow Icon

Note:

The Documents page is exposed in a Space only with Oracle Content Server 11g. If the connected content repository is Oracle Content Server 10g, you can create a page in a Space and add Documents service task flows to the page (see Section 41.4, "Adding a Documents Service Task Flow to a Page").

To view a file that is in workflow:

  1. Click the file name to open the file in the Document Viewer preview pane.

    The Document Viewer preview pane shows that the file is in a workflow (Figure 43-6).

    Figure 43-6 Properties Pane of FIle in a Workflow

    Properties Pane of FIle in a Workflow

    Note:

    To enable the availability of workflow details in the Document Viewer preview pane, both of the following two requirements must be met:
  2. If you are on the approver or reviewer list for the file, click Approve or Reject to indicate the result of your review of the file. These links are active only when the file is pending approval. If you reject the file, enter the justification for your rejection. For other ways to approve or reject a file, see Section 43.6.1, "Approving or Rejecting a File in Workflow."

  3. To view further details about the workflow, click Details to display the workflow information in Oracle Content Server.

43.3.2 Viewing Workflow Files in a Workflow Queue

If you have Content Portlet Suite installed, you can add the Oracle Workflow Queue portlet to a page to list the files in workflow, along with details about each workflow.

To add the Oracle Workflow Queue portlet to a page:

  1. Create a new page in a Space or go to the page where you want to add the portlet, and open the page in edit mode.

  2. Click Add Content to open the Resource Catalog.

  3. Locate the Oracle Workflow Queue portlet in the Resource Catalog.

    Tip:

    The presence or location of this section depends on how the Resource Catalog is configured. For example, in the default Resource Catalog, click Portlets, then <Host> Portlets to locate the Oracle Workflow Queue portlet.
  4. Click Add next to the Oracle Workflow Queue portlet to add it to the page, then Close the Resource Catalog.

On the page, the Oracle Workflow Queue portlet (Figure 43-7) displays a list of all the files in workflow assigned to you to approve or reject.

Figure 43-7 Oracle Workflow Queue Portlet

Oracle Workflow Queue Portlet

In the Oracle Workflow Queue portlet, you can perform the following actions if you have appropriate permissions:

  • In the Title column, click a file name to open it in its native application.

  • In the Workflow Info column, click the link to the Workflow Step Information pane, which provides steps required to complete the workflow, the current step, the number of approvals required, and the remaining reviewers. For more information, see Section 43.4.1, "Viewing Detailed Workflow Status."

  • In the Actions column, click Approve or Reject to indicate the result of your review of the file. These links are active only when the file is pending approval. If you reject the file, enter the justification for your rejection. For other ways to approve or reject a file, see Section 43.6.1, "Approving or Rejecting a File in Workflow."

  • In the Info column, click the Content Information icon to display the Content Info pane, which provides access to actions you can perform, file metadata information, and revision history. For more information, see Section 43.4.2, "Viewing Content Information and Actions."

43.4 Viewing Workflow Status and File Information

As an approver or owner of a file in workflow, you may want to get more information about the current state of the workflow, details about the file itself, or perform file management actions to update or share the file to advance its approval:

43.4.1 Viewing Detailed Workflow Status

To view the details of the workflow status of a file:

  1. Go to the Oracle Workflow Queue portlet that lists the file.

    To add an Oracle Workflow Queue portlet to a page, see Section 43.3.2, "Viewing Workflow Files in a Workflow Queue."

  2. In the Workflow Info column, click the workflow step link to display the Workflow Step Information pane (Figure 43-8), which includes the steps required to complete the workflow, the current step, the number of approvals required, and the remaining reviewers. For information about workflow steps, see Section 43.1.2, "Understanding Workflow Steps."

    Figure 43-8 Workflow Step Information

    Workflow Step Information
  3. Click Back to return to the Oracle Workflow Queue portlet.

43.4.2 Viewing Content Information and Actions

To display a Content Info pane that provides details about a file in workflow and perform file management actions to update or share the file to advance its approval:

  1. Go to the Oracle Workflow Queue portlet that lists the file.

    To add an Oracle Workflow Queue portlet to a page, see Section 43.3.2, "Viewing Workflow Files in a Workflow Queue."

  2. In the Info column, click the Content Information icon to display the Content Info pane (Figure 43-9), which provides access to actions you can perform, file metadata information, and revision history. For more information, see "Content Information Page" in Oracle Fusion Middleware User's Guide for Content Server.

    Figure 43-9 Content Info Pane

    Content Info Pane
  3. Optionally, from the Actions list, choose any of the following actions:

    • Check Out to check the file out so that you can lock it from changes by other contributors while you are making updates.

    • Update to display the Info Update Form, where you can update editable metadata of the file without creating a new revision of the file. Only the WebCenter Spaces administrator, Space members with Manage Configuration permissions, or file owners can edit the file properties. For more information, see "Info Update Form" in Oracle Fusion Middleware User's Guide for Content Server.

    • Check in Similar to display the Content Check In Form, where you can update editable metadata of the file and check the file in to Oracle Content Server. Only the WebCenter Spaces administrator, Space members with Manage Configuration permissions, or file owners can edit the metadata properties. For more information, see "Content Check-In Form" in Oracle Fusion Middleware User's Guide for Content Server.

    • Send link by e-mail to open your e-mail application with a new message that contains a link to the URL of the web-viewable file, which you can mail to other users with requests for input or review to further the approval of the file.

  4. Click Back to return to the Oracle Workflow Queue portlet.

43.5 Changing or Deleting a Workflow

With appropriate permissions, you can change or delete the workflow assigned to a folder in a Documents service task flow when the connected content repository is Oracle Content Server.

To change or delete the workflow assigned to a folder:

  1. On the Documents page or in a Documents service task flow in a Space, click in the row of the folder.

    Note:

    The Documents page is exposed in a Space only with Oracle Content Server 11g. If the connected content repository is Oracle Content Server 10g, you can create a page in a Space and add Documents service task flows to the page (see Section 41.4, "Adding a Documents Service Task Flow to a Page").
  2. Follow the steps in Section 43.2, "Assigning a Workflow to a Folder":

    • To change the workflow. choose a different workflow from the Workflow Name list, and optionally add or delete approvers.

      Note:

      If you change the workflow assigned to a folder, the files that were previously in that folder remain assigned to the prior workflow. Only files that are subsequently checked in or uploaded to the folder are assigned the new workflow.
    • To delete the workflow, choose <None> from the Workflow Name list.

      Note:

      If you delete the workflow assigned to a folder, the files that were previously in that folder remain assigned to the prior workflow. Only files that are subsequently checked in or uploaded to the folder are not assigned to workflow.

43.6 Participating in a Workflow

The workflow process is as follows:

The following sections describe how to work with a file through the workflow process:

43.6.1 Approving or Rejecting a File in Workflow

As an assigned approver for a workflow, you will need to review and either approve or reject the files to which you are assigned. Depending on the workflow type (see Section 43.1.1, "Understanding Workflow Types"), the file will be released from workflow when it is approved.

To approve or reject a file in workflow:

  1. View the files for which you are an assigned approver in any of the following ways:

  2. Click Approve or Reject to indicate the result of your review of the file. These links are active only when the file is pending approval. If you reject the file, enter the justification for your rejection

43.6.2 Working with a Rejected Revision

If a file in worfklow is rejected, it returns to the original submitter in the contribution workflow step. The contributor can then revise the file and save it. Upon execution of the save, then file will automatically move back into the workflow approval step again.