Tag Archives: Nintex Workflow 2013

Remove Spaces from Text Strings with Nintex Workflow

You can easily remove all spaces in text strings in Nintex Workflows. Follow these steps:

  1. Insert a Regular Expression action into the workflow.
  2. Configure it with the following settings:
    1. Pattern = \s
    2. Replacement text = Keep this empty
    3. Input text = Insert your text string
    4. Store result in = Text workflow variable
  3. You can then use the workflow variable as you need it.

Speaking at SharePoint Saturday Atlanta 2014

I am honored once again to have been chosen to speak at SharePoint Saturday Atlanta 2014 on June 21, 2014. This year I will be speaking on “Advanced Workflow Design Techniques with Nintex Workflow”. Find out more and register for this free SharePoint conference at the SharePoint Saturday Atlanta site.

Be sure to attend my session and say hello at the conference!

Advanced Workflow Design Techniques with Nintex Workflow

In an era where doing more with less is expected, companies seek SharePoint solutions that are innovative, more efficient, and cost saving. Workflow designers are always looking for ways to meet those goals by adding power and flexibility to the automation of their business processes. This session explores advanced features and design techniques used to build complex workflows with Nintex Workflow. You will leave this session having added powerful concepts and skills to your tool belt that you can do simply using drag-and-drop actions.

Prime Conditions: Start a Workflow Conditionally

Workflows can be started a number of different ways: manually, upon item creation or upon item change. One little known setting for starting a workflow is the Conditional start option. This option requires a condition to be met before the workflow runs. If the condition is not met, then the workflow never actually runs.

Follow these steps to configure the Conditional start of a workflow:

  1. Open the workflow in the Nintex Workflow Designer.
  2. Click on the Workflow Settings option in the Ribbon menu.
  3. ​In the Workflow Options section, click on the drop down menu for the “Start when items are created” or “Start when items are modified” setting in a SharePoint list or the “Start when items are modified” setting in a SharePoint library.​

    Note: The Conditional Start is not available as an option for the “Start when items are created” menu in a document library.

  4. Select the Conditional option, and click on the Conditions button.
  5. Build the desired start conditions query, and click the Save button.
  6. Click the Save button to save the changes to the Workflow Settings.

Enable a Nintex Workflow to Start from the Item Menu

Nintex Workflow includes an option in the Workflow Settings to add an option on a list or library item menu to manually start a workflow.

Add an option on the item menu to start a workflow:

  1. Open the workflow in the Workflow Designer.
  2. Click on the Workflow Settings dropdown in the Settings section of the Ribbon.
  3. Choose the “Workflow Settings” option.

    StartNintexWorkflowItemMenu1

  4. Go to the Workflow Options section and click the box for “Enable workflow to start from the item menu” option.
  5. Add information for the following options:
    • Menu item label – Workflow label displayed in the item drop down menu.
    • Menu item image URL – URL for the workflow icon displayed in the item drop down menu. Can be an absolute or relative address.
    • Menu item position – Position of the workflow start option in the item drop down menu. Use the options below for placement in a normal SharePoint list:
      • 0 – Top Position
      • 200 – Second position
      • 255 – Third position
      • 898 – Fourth position
      • 900 – Fifth position
      • 1000 – Sixth position
      • 1050 – Seventh position
      • 1100 – Eighth position
      • 1175 – Ninth position
      • 2000 – Last position
  6. Click on the Save button in the ribbon to save your changes to the items to the Workflow Options section.
  7. Publish the workflow to enable the start option in the item drop down menu.

    StartNintexWorkflowItemMenu2

Start the workflow from the item menu:

  1. Go to the item and open the item drop down menu by clicking on the three dots (…).
  2. Click on the workflow start option in the item menu.
  3. Click on the Start button on the Start Workflow page to kick off the workflow.

StartNintexWorkflowItemMenu3

Error Occurred. Unable to Preview Workflow

Received the following error on the Workflow Progress screen when reviewing the history of a Nintex Workflow:

Error occurred. Unable to preview workflow.

I resolved this issue by deleting workflow actions that were disabled in the workflow. The specific actions I deleted were the “Copy to SharePoint” and “Create new item” actions. Once I deleted them and republished the workflow, I was able to preview the workflow on the Workflow Progress screen.

Terminate a Site Workflow Instance

Ran into an issue where a Nintex site workflow was running and appeared to get stuck. The workflow status via the “View Workflow History” link was displaying as Completed, but the workflow still seemed to be running. So, I needed to cancel the site workflow.

To terminate 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 for which you want to terminate a site workflow.
  3. In the Quick Launch, click View All Site Content and then click Site Workflows link at the top of the page.
  4. On the Workflows page, click the name of the workflow that you want to cancel in the My Running Workflows section.
  5. On the Workflow Status page in the Workflow Information section, click “Terminate this workflow now”.
  6. In the dialog box that appears, click OK.

Troubleshoot “The name is in use elsewhere” When Importing a Nintex Workflow

​If you’re importing a Nintex workflow and you’re greeted by a message saying that you can’t use the name you’re trying to publish it as, you probably fall into one of the following cases:

  1. A workflow already exists somewhere on the site with the specific name. You should either remove or rename the existing one, or publish the imported one with another name.
  2. A workflow with the same name was used in a library that has been deleted. Deleted items move to the recycle bin. For as long as the items remain in the recycle bin, they are considered as valid items. That is why you will still not be able to use the name. In case you need to restore the item that is in the recycle bin. You will have to remove the library from the recycle bin. And check the rest of the points.
  3. Everything removed from the end-user’s recycle bin move to the second stage recycle bin. The same laws that govern the first stage recycle bin apply to the second stage recycle bin. You will need to remove the library from this recycle bin as well, if you want to free up the name you’re attempting to use. And, check the next option.
  4. If you’ve done all of the above and you still can’t use the specific name for your imported workflow, you’ve probably fallen into a rare case. You must have used a Nintex workflow with the same name (as the one you’re trying to use now) on a library that you have already deleted. If you’ve deleted a library that was using a Nintex workflow, you can’t access the workflow properties in order to rename it. However, Nintex Workflows have their own little library inside your site collection, where they store copies of their .xoml (and other types) files. Each workflow is being stores in a folder of the same name (as the workflow name) in a document library called NintexWorkflows. You can access it and delete the folders you need at http://serverName/siteCollectionName/NintexWorkflows.

Do keep in mind that if you go ahead and delete the folder, when you go back to publishing the Nintex Workflow you wanted to publish in the first place, you might come across errors. Specifically, Nintex might inform you that you’re attempting to access corrupt memory.

The type initializer for nintex.workflow.workflowconfig2010 threw an exception. Attempted to read or write protected memory. This is often an indication that other memory is corrupt.

I don’t know whether it would have helped if I had renamed the folders instead of deleting them. However, if you disable the Nintex Workflow features on your site collection and then enable them again (throw in an IISRESET as well, just to be sure), you should be able to publish your imported Nintex Workflow without issues.

I found this solution here​.

Build a Better Nintex Workflow “Assign To-Do Task” Form

The “User Interaction” category of workflow actions in Nintex Workflow provides extremely useful functionality for human interaction with workflows.  These actions handle assigning tasks, prompting for information, and sending alerts to users.

The “Assign To-Do task” workflow action assigns a workflow task and sends a notification to one or more users to complete.  The task assignee must perform the task and mark it as complete via a workflow task form before the workflow can continue.  The action configuration allows workflow designers to use an existing or create a new content type that inherits from the “Workflow Task” parent content type.

The workflow task form that is generated for the “Assign To-Do Task” action uses the default SharePoint workflow task form, even if you create a new content type via the Nintex user interface. In order to complete the task, a user must change the Status field to “Completed” (see the images below).  My experience so far is this process is not very intuitive and often confusing to assignees. And let’s face it, this is a pretty ugly form that also contains several unneeded fields.

SharePoint 2010 complete task form

SP 2010 task form

SharePoint 2013 complete task form

SP 2013 task form

Design a Better Form

In this post, I want to share with you how to create an “Assign To-Do Task” workflow task form that the assignee can complete by just clicking a button and that has only relevant fields.  In order to accomplish this, we need to create a new content type via the “Request Data” workflow action that we can use in the “Assign To-Do Task” workflow action.  So let’s get started!

  1. Create a new list or library workflow.
  2. Add a “Request Data” action to the Workflow Designer and configure it with the following settings:
    • Collect data from – Add a user (I would suggest using yourself).
    • Content type – Select the “Create new” option and enter a name for your content type (for example, “Complete To Do Task”).
    • Content type fields – Do not add any fields. Select the other settings you would like, such as “Only show fields with variables assigned”, “Display link to workflow item on the task form”, “Display the item properties panel on the task form”, and “Allow attachments”.
    • Task name – Enter what you would like (for example, “Complete this task”).
    • Leave all the other fields as they are defaulted.
      Nintex Workflow 2010 Request Data action

      Nintex Workflow 2010 Request Data action

      Nintex Workflow 2013 Request Data action

      Nintex Workflow 2013 Request Data action

  3. Click the Save button in the General tab of the Ribbon menu to save your changes to the “Request data” action.
  4. Publish the workflow – In order for the new content type to be created, you must publish the workflow.
  5. Add an “Assign To-Do Task” action to the Workflow Designer and configure it with the following settings:
    • Assignees – Add a user (I would suggest using yourself).
    • Task description – Add some content.
    • Content type – Select the “Use existing” option and choose the new content type you created in Step 2.
    • Content type fields – Do not add any fields.  Select the other settings you would like, such as “Only show fields with variables assigned”, “Display link to workflow item on the task form”, “Display the item properties panel on the task form”, and “Allow attachments”.
    • Task name – Enter what you would like (for example, “Complete this task”).
    • Leave all the other fields as they are defaulted.
      Nintex Workflow 2010 Assign To-Do Task action

      Nintex Workflow 2010 Assign To-Do Task action

      Nintex Workflow 2013 Assign To-Do Task action

      Nintex Workflow 2013 Assign To-Do Task action

  6. Click the Save button in the General tab of the Ribbon menu to save your changes to the “Assign To-Do Task” action.
  7. Disable or delete the “Request Data” action – This action was only used to create the new content type when you published the workflow in Step 3, so it is not needed at this point.
  8. Publish the updates to the workflow.
  9. Test the workflow by starting it on an item in your list/library.
  10. The workflow will assign you a “To Do” task to complete, so open it in your browser.
  11. Complete the task by clicking on the “Complete task” button.
    Nintex Workflow 2010 Complete Task Form

    Nintex Workflow 2010 Complete Task Form

    Nintex Workflow 2013 Complete Task Form

    Nintex Workflow 2013 Complete Task Form

  12. That’s it! The new “Assign To-Do Task” form is much simpler to complete.

Follow these steps if you would like to edit the “Complete To Do Task” content type you just created.

  1. Add a “Request Data” action to a workflow and configure it.
  2. Click on the “Edit the content type” link under the choice in the “Content type” selector.
  3. Click OK when you receive the message that says “Changing the content type may break other applications. Are you sure you want to continue?”.
  4. Make the appropriate changes to the content type. You can add, edit, or remove fields in this content type.
  5. Click the Save button in the General tab of the Ribbon menu to save your changes to the “Request data” action.
  6. Publish the workflow – In order to apply the changes to the content type, you must publish the workflow.

This solution applies to both the Nintex Workflow 2010 and 2013 versions.

Nintex Workflow Tips and Tricks eBook

I can officially now say that I’m published! Be sure to download the “Nintex Workflow Tips and Tricks” eBook that I authored. Lots of great hints and best practices for Nintex Workflow.

Get the Nintex Workflow Tips and Tricks eBook

Remove Spaces from Text Strings with Nintex Workflow

You can easily remove all spaces in text strings in Nintex Workflows.  Follow these steps:

  1. Insert a Regular Expression action into the workflow.
  2. Configure it with the following settings:
    1. Pattern = \s
    2. Replacement text = Keep this empty
    3. Input test = Insert your text string
    4. Store result in = Text workflow variable
  3. You can then use the workflow variable as you need it.