Reject back to owner action on workflow approvals

b-ambrose's Avatar


10 Oct, 2011 08:11 PM

I am using the "one-step-approval" workflow available at github ( and am having a problem with email notification on the Reject action. Whenever a page edit occurs, "Approvers" are notified. An Approver can either "Approve and Publish", "Reject and send for changes", or "Edit the page yourself". On the Reject action, there are two triggers -one to assign the workflow back to the owner (person initially editing the page) and one for email notification. However, the step being executed after this action (an Edit step), requires a default assignment of either a "User" or a "Group". This assignment appears to override the "assign-to-owner" trigger, and thus the workflow originator does not get notified the Approver has sent the workflow back to them for further edits.

Any suggestions? I would like to keep this workflow generic enough that it could be used for any user making a page update.

  1. 1 Posted by b-ambrose on 10 Oct, 2011 08:53 PM

    b-ambrose's Avatar

    Just noticed my attachment of the github one-step-approval xml could not be opened so I'm trying it as a text file. The original xml file at github has "Workfow Will Assign" as the default-user on the "Owner making changes" step, which gives an error when the workflow is executed. I therefore replaced it with the group "Administrators", hoping the "assign-to-owner" trigger on the previous step would control the email notification.

  2. 2 Posted by Lee Roberson (F... on 13 Oct, 2011 03:45 PM

    Lee Roberson (Function Digital LLC)'s Avatar


    I don't have any time to dig into workflow XML right now and debug it, but maybe you do. =)

    Here's ours, it sounds basically identical to what you are trying to do, and it works. I created this years ago so I don't remember the "whys" of how we did a few things but I do know I was annoyed that it was necessary to create an interstitial system step for "notifications". I think it had to do with this problem you're seeing, maybe, and it definitely had to do with the workflow history in e-mails not showing the most recent comments (it always showed up until only the previous step's comments).

    One thing to always look for when this happens no matter what is that the user you expect to be notified actually has an e-mail address in their user object.

    If you wish to test this workflow just replace the two group names with your groups.

  3. 3 Posted by b-ambrose on 14 Oct, 2011 04:18 PM

    b-ambrose's Avatar

    Thanks for the workflow code. It works great! It even solves the problem of sending off a workflow before the original editor had finished all the desired changes. One question though, in your implementation does everyone in the group "NUIT-MAIN-Contributors" receive a workflow notification when a page edit occurs? I replaced that group with my account (for testing), but wanted to know what to expect if I assigned to a group instead.

    Thanks again for all your help.

  4. 4 Posted by Lee Roberson (F... on 14 Oct, 2011 04:51 PM

    Lee Roberson (Function Digital LLC)'s Avatar

    Hey Bill,

    Once someone in the contributors group triggers this workflow, then, on the workflow menu chooses "submit to for publishing", the entire list of people in the NUIT-MAIN-Managers group gets an e-mail. Someone in that group will go into Cascade and look at the workflow screen, then click "assign to me" if they intend to take ownership of the review process. The reviewing manager then can edit, send back, or go straight to publishing.

    If the manager makes some changes themselves in an edit operation no one is notified, but they do have a chance to provide comments on what they changed in the workflow edit step so that the contributor can see it if they want to later.

    If a manager sends the asset back, the person who sent in the first edit is notified along with the manager's comments (but not the whole group). Once the revisions come back from the original user for 2nd review, I'm pretty sure the e-mail goes only to the person who took ownership and sent it back in the first place.

    I believe once the manager finally sends the asset for publishing the original contributor user will get an e-mail letting them know the workflow was approved+finished. If I remember right the completion e-mail is the simple one with one sentence, so they'd have to go back into an old e-mail or something to see what changed. If you wanted a different behavior at this part you might be able to play with the email trigger a little bit and maybe you could put the type to 'notify' instead of 'complete', or maybe add both, depending on your preference.

    [so... because of the sticky ownership of the review process, if someone sent back an asset for revisions then went on vacation for 2 weeks there would be no way for the workflow to complete and the user's changes to get published. it's a downside but it might happen maybe once per year for the 2000+ page site this applies to. there may be workarounds like using automatic workflow escalation options but the severity of the issue hasn't warranted extra work to solve]

    ...Also, the contributor menu you praised for not notifying managers until an asset is really ready/done is solely the creation of the fact that there is no "save draft" button when you are under workflow mode and creating a new asset. For create workflows, Cascade basically forces the user to finish what they are doing AND advance to the next step, so this was needed.

    Hope that answers your question.

  5. 5 Posted by b-ambrose on 17 Oct, 2011 08:29 PM

    b-ambrose's Avatar

    The information you provided was very helpful. It is exactly the way I'd want the workflow to process.
    I appreciate your help and thanks again for responding to my inquiry.

  6. b-ambrose closed this discussion on 17 Oct, 2011 08:39 PM.

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