Friday, October 21, 2016

Forcing Workflow on the Components | Things you should know

We implemented workflow using bundles with Tridion version 2013 SP1 HR1. Customer really liked the overall functionality but when a component updated outside of the workflow or a new component created, component was set to approval status 'undefined'. With this 'undefined' approval status there was no restriction on publishing those components at all, means the content which was yet to be approved by workflow process could be published. Certainly we didn't want this as this takes away one of the main purposes 'Content Auditing' of having the workflow.

So we needed some way to mitigate this risk and force the workflow on the items before they are set to publish.

Tridion provides a OOB option to force workflow on items, for this use the checkbox “Any changes made to a Component based on this Schema require approval by a Bundle Workflow Process” in the Component Schema as shown below:

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How does it work in concept 

If the check box is checked in the schema, components based on the Schema cannot be checked-in except by workflow. The process would be, you add the items to a Bundle and when you are ready for all of the items inside to go through workflow then Start Workflow on that Bundle.
If someone updates/creates components outside of workflow, Instead of being checked-in, the components will be "Waiting for Workflow" before you add it to a Bundle and start the workflow on it. Components could be unlocked, so other people can continue editing it, with the condition that they need to take over all previous changes too (so if they Undo Checkout, they throw away all changes, not just their own). The CME and Experience Manager will prompt you to "take ownership" when you attempt to edit such a component, The workflow doesn’t give that prompt and assign the previous changes to the current user of the activity.

Porting content using Content Porter tool:

The content porting remains the same in principal with this workflow enforcement, below are few points worth highlighting:
a. Components could be updated/created outside of workflow for the first time, a  minor version will be created with the updates and then components will be locked and waiting for workflow. (Further updates to the components are possible manually but not with the content porter. In manual case user will have to “Take Ownership” of the previous updates).

b. Subsequent updates could only be made If the components are in workflow, the workflow activity is assigned to the user doing the porting. OR once the items have gone through the workflow (components have latest major versions).


We are supporting translation inside workflow and we faced a issue related to translation after enabling the workflow enforcement as asked here.

So we had a “Send For Translation” workflow activity to send the content for translation. This activity creates a translation job of type “Push” and sends components for translation. when the translation job is sent, the component is localized and checked-out in target publications. When the translation is retrieved by the translation management system it's checked back in. (This works like this when we don't force the workflow in the components).
But after forcing Bundle Workflow Process on Components using the checkbox in the schema, Once translation is complete, the components are NOT localized with the local content in the target publication.

I guess, this could be because when TMS tries to localize and update the component, it can’t because Tridion expects the component to be locked by a “Bundle Workflow Process”. And so the component is not localized and remains untranslated.

This issue is with 2013 sp1 and as it mentioned in one of the answers, there is a a hotfix for this issue "TT88491".
But there are workaround for this issue without this hotfix.
  1. Localize the schema at local publication level and uncheck the checkbox.
  2. Disable workflow for local Publication.
I've not tested it but expert says that this issue is fixed in web 8.

That's it chaps, it's really a cool feature do try it.

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