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Start a workflow instance (SharePoint Server 2010)

 

Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010, SharePoint Foundation 2010

Topic Last Modified: 2011-03-09

After you activate a workflow and add it to a list, document library, or content type, an authenticated user can run the workflow on an item in the list or a document in the library. After activating a site workflow on a site, users can run that workflow on the site. When you add a workflow, you specify whether you want the workflow to run automatically or manually. If a workflow is configured to start automatically, the settings that are specified in the workflow association are always used when the workflow begins. A user can modify the default settings of a workflow that is configured to start manually if the workflow specifies settings such as workflow participants and due date, as allowed by the workflow template. Workflows that are associated with a list, library, or content type run on items in the list or documents in the library with which the workflow is associated. Site workflows run on the site to which they are associated.

Permissions needed to start a workflow By default, users who have the Edit Items permission can start a workflow. If you specify that Manage List permissions are required to start the workflow, only list administrators (that is, anyone with Manage Lists permission or the Design permission-level) can start an instance of the workflow. Most workflows do not require this restriction. However, you can use the Manage Lists option for workflows that contain tasks, such as workflows that delete documents, which you want only certain people to perform.

The procedure for starting a workflow depends on whether it was configured to start manually or automatically and whether you start it from Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, a 2007 Microsoft Office system client application, or a Microsoft Office 2010 client application. Choose one of the following procedures to start your workflow depending on its configuration and how you want to start it.

In this article:

If a workflow is set to start automatically, the workflow starts to run immediately when a trigger event, such as adding a document to a library, occurs.

Use this procedure to start a site workflow.

To start a site workflow
  1. Verify that you have the following administrative credentials:

    • You must be a member of the Site Owners SharePoint group on the site that you are configuring.

  2. Browse to the home page of the site to which a site workflow is associated.

  3. In the Quick Launch, click All Site Content, and then click Site Workflows.

  4. On the Workflows page, in the Start a New Workflow section, click the name of the workflow that you want to start.

    noteNote
    If workflows are not listed in the Start a New Workflow section, no workflows have been associated with the site.
  5. If a Start button appears, click Start.

Use this procedure to manually start a workflow that is associated with a list or library.

To start a workflow manually in a list or library
  1. Verify that you have the following administrative credentials:

    • You must be a member of the Site Owners SharePoint group on the site that you are configuring.

  2. Browse to the site where you want to start a workflow that is associated with a list or library.

  3. Browse to the document library or list where you want to start the workflow.

  4. From the SharePoint document library or list, point to the item on which you want to start the workflow, click the arrow that appears, and then click Workflows.

  5. On the Workflows page, in the Start a New Workflow section, click the workflow that you want to start.

  6. If the Start button appears, specify required information, such as the participants and due date. Configure the other workflow-specific settings as necessary, and then click Start to start the workflow.

Use this procedure to start a workflow in a list or library from an Office client application.

To start a workflow manually in the 2007 Office System
  1. Verify that you have the following administrative credentials:

    • You must be granted the Contribute permission-level on the list or library that contains the workflow.

  2. Open the file from a library in SharePoint Server 2010 on which you want to start a workflow.

    noteNote
    The document must be saved to the list or library before you can start a workflow on the file.
  3. From a 2007 Microsoft Office system client application, click the Microsoft Office Button, and then select Workflows.

  4. From the list of available workflows, click Start for the workflow that you want to start.

  5. If a workflow form appears, provide the required information, for example the participants and the due date, and then click Start.

To start a workflow manually from Office 2010
  1. Verify that you have the following administrative credentials:

    • You must be granted the Contribute permission-level on the list or library that contains the workflow.

  2. Open the file from a library in SharePoint Server 2010 on which you want to start a workflow.

    noteNote
    The document must be saved to the list or library before you can start a workflow on the file.
  3. From an Office 2010 client application, on the File tab, click Save & Send.

  4. In the Workflows section, click the workflow that you want to start.

  5. In the right pane, click Start Workflow.

  6. If a workflow form appears, provide the required information, for example the participants and the due date, and then click Start.

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