How To Create A Custom List Workflow

Today, we are going to see the process to create workflow. 

What is workflow?

As its name suggests, workflow is “the flow of work” or “the flow of tasks”. In other words, workflow is nothing but the way to automate business processes. It can also be defined as a sequence of steps like flowchart, arranged in such a manner that finally, it produces an outcome.

SharePoint site also includes some built-in workflows like approval, feedback, publishing approval workflow etc. These are common workflows generally used in industries to simplify their tasks.

Today, we are going to see how to create a custom list workflow, how to associate it to a list, get it running, and see the output etc. Follow these steps.
  1. The first and the basic step is to log in to your SharePoint site.
  2. Navigate to Site Contents and create a list named Workflow_Demo, as shown in figure .1
  3. Also, create a column by the name Wokflow Output.


  4. Now, open the same site in SharePoint Designer.

  5. Now, in the left navigation panel, click on Workflows. And then, click List Workflow dropdown menu and select the list we just created, i.e., Workflow_Demo. Please refer the figure .2 

    Figure .2 Select list to create workflow

  6. The following window will be opened. Give the name to workflow and description if you want to. In the Platform type, select SharePoint 2013 Workflow and click OK.

    Figure .3 Create List Workflow – Workflow_Demo window

  7. Click on the orange ribbon that is appearing in the Stage 1 as shown in figure .4

    Figure .4 First Window of workflow

  8. And type "log" and press enter. This action will insert the log action. 

    Figure .5 Log to history list – 1

  9. Now, click on message and type any message you want to log to history list. Let’s type message as Welcome to Demo Workflow!!! Refer to the following figure .6 

    Figure .6 Log to history list - 2 

  10. Click on the orange ribbon again (just hover below Log action and the above Transition to stage, you will see orange ribbon). Type "set field" and press Enter, which will add the Set Field in Current Item action. 

  11. Click on field which will open a dropdown menu, select the field we have created having the name Workflow Output. 

  12. Click on the value to set Workflow Output to some value. For now, just type “This is output of workflow” in the value field which will be displayed in the Workflow Output column. Refer to the following figure .7

    Figure .7 Set field to some value

  13. In the Transition to stage click on the orange ribbon again and type go to stage or just go. Press Enter.

  14. Click on a stage and select End of Workflow.

  15. Now on the toolbar click on Workflow Settings to set Workflow Start Options i.e when to start workflow. Here we are going to start workflow manually. Refer to the following figure .8 

    Figure .8 Set Start Options 

  16. There are three start options,

    1. Click first option if you want to start workflow manually.
    2. If second option is clicked then workflow will be triggered when an item is created.
    3. If third option is clicked then workflow will be triggered when an item is changed or updated.

      You can select all three options. 

  17. Click save workflow before proceeding further. And now Publish workflow. 

    Figure .9 Publish the workflow  

  18. Now go to your list in SharePoint Workflow_Demo and create a new item.

  19. Click on item you just created and then click on the three dots next to item title. Please refer to figure .10

    Figure .10 Starting workflow process window – 1

  20. Hover mouse over More and select Workflow. You will get following window see figure .11 

    Figure .11 Starting workflow process window – 2

  21. We can see our workflow name Workflow Demo with description. Click on Workflow Demo to start it.

  22. Starting workflow will automatically open list. Refresh the page once.

    Figure .12 Output

  23. In the column Workflow Output you can see the value which we have set while creating workflow.(See figure .7)

  24. For more details about workflow status click on Stage 1 in the column Workflow Demo. Workflow Demo column gets automatically created when we publish workflow. 

    Figure .13 Workflow Status

That’s all. This is the basic workflow. User can customize it according to their needs.

Thanks for reading.