Configuring Workflow

CM1 makes it easy to manage a large pool of content contributors while enforcing editorial standards and brand consistency, and to grant access to only those who should have it. Workflows and permissions are designed to be easy to set up and adjust, and to be very granular. Content can be advanced through multiple stages of approval, saving comments and versions of your page at each step.

Percussion includes a default workflow that routes content through an approval process before being available for publishing to the website. You can modify this workflow and/or create additional workflows depending on your requirements. Multiple workflows are valuable if you have multiple websites or collections of content where the approval processes are different from each other. For example, you may have a section of your website that needs to be reviewed by the Legal department before is it published. In that event you would create a separate workflow that includes a legal review step in addition to an editorial review and would apply that workflow to that content.  

Creating a workflow includes the following steps:

1. Define the roles of your workflow. See Managing Roles for more detail. 

2. Define workflow steps

3. Define permissions for each step of the workflow

4. Apply workflow to content. 

Note: Applying a workflow to content can be a long running process and runs in the background. You can monitor the status of the process on the Dashboard using the Process Monitor gadget.  It is recommended that content contributors be out of the system when making workflow changes. If a given page is open for editing when the workflow is changed, the item will be skipped and an error will be logged.  

Defining Workflow Steps

Use the following steps to create a new workflow.

1) In the Navigation Bar, select Administration.

2) The Workflow tab is selected by default.

3) Click the plus icon next to Workflows.

4) Enter the workflow name and click Save. The new workflow appears in the workflow list.

5) Click the plus icon between the Draft and Review steps to include additional steps in the workflow.

Defining Permissions for Workflow Steps

For any step in the workflow, either custom or standard, you can define which roles can perform which actions at each step of the workflow. Which permissions are available depends on the step of the workflow. Below are the possible workflow permissions. 

  • Submit allows the user to submit the content to the next step in the workflow.
  • Approve allows the user to approve the content so that it will be published on the next full or incremental publish. 
  • Reject allows the user to send the content back one step in the workflow. 
  • Publish grants the user access to on demand and scheduled publishing for this item. 
  • Archive grants the user access to remove the content from the published web page. 
  • Resubmit allows the user to send the content back through the entire workflow process.  

Note that the Admin and Designer roles are required to be able to perform all actions at every step of the workflow. You cannot disable either of these roles from a specific step. 

In addition, you can designate which roles will receive an email notification when the content is sent to this step in the workflow. See Configuring Email Notifications to ensure the system is set up to send workflow email notifications. 

You can control who is allowed to create content by limiting who has access to the Submit permission in the Draft step. If a user does not have permission to Submit content at the Draft step, that also means they will not have permission to create new content. For example, if you want to create a group of people that have access to create blog posts, you would first create a Blog role and assign it to those users. You would then create a Blog workflow and in the Draft step, assign the Blog role to the Submit permission.  

Apply Workflow to Content

Once you have defined your workflow and permissions, you can determine what content the workflow applies to. Until content is assigned to a specific workflow, it is assigned to the Default workflow.  Workflow is associated with content at the folder level, not the individual page or asset level. As such, you need to make sure all content in a given folder should go through the same workflow. If using the example above you needed to create a workflow for legal documents, the ideal scenario would be to place those pages in the same folder. If they are scattered throughout the site, you would need to create folders for each of the pages or assets that need to be in the legal workflow. 

When assigning workflow to folders by default it will concatenate that workflow to subordinate folders. However, you can deselect subordinate folders. As new folders are created, they will inherit the workflow of the parent folder.  

Use the following steps to apply workflow in bulk:

1) Open the Workflow tab and select the workflow to be applied.

2) Click the plus icon to the right of Assigned to view the sites and assets folder for applying workflow.

3) Click the checkboxes to the left of the individual site, section, or folder.

Note: This will select the checkbox in the right column, which indicates that a change is being made on that selection. This makes it easier to identify changes you are making when deselecting items or performing bulk operations. 

5) Click Save.

Again, assigning content to a workflow can be a long-running process. It is recommended to make large workflow changes as a scheduled out of hours task,

Changing a folder's workflow

To modify which content a workflow applies to, you would follow the steps above, and at step 2 deselect the checkbox to the right of the folder you wish to reassign. This will assign the content back to the default workflow. Use the Process Monitor on the Dashboard to make sure that process is complete. Once that is done the content can be assigned to a different workflow using the steps above.  

Tip: avoiding workflow conflicts

If you are establishing multiple workflows for sites and assets, it is possible to create workflow conflicts. For example, you might have a workflow for content contributors and editors that is used on a blog, and a separate workflow for approving images that will be displayed on your website. If a blog author includes an image in their blog post, that post could be approved and published, but the image would not appear on the published page if it wasn't approved. 

Typically, when a page is approved, all assets on that page are approved, but if the workflow for the asset differs from the workflow from the page, then this scenario is possible.  As you create your workflow and governance process, look for those circumstances that could result in conflict.