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SharePoint 2010 Workflow Basics - Steps and Conditions (Part 1 of 3)

Posted by Sue Hernandez on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 @ 09:08 AM

Workflow Basics – Steps and Conditions (Part 1 of  3)

Steps, Conditions, and Actions are the building blocks for any workflow using SharePoint Designer 2010. 


Steps are simply a group of one or more actions and conditions which logically go together in a single unit.  New in 2010 is also the concept of an “Impersonation Step”, which will run the step in the context of a user with higher privileges.

Steps can be nested within other steps to create Sub Steps (except Impersonation Steps - they can't be nested).

TIP:  Try to limit each step to only one Logical Set of actions.  For example, don’t Send an Email and Set a Field in the same step; however do use a Utility Action (such as a string function) and Send an Email in the same step.


I think of Conditions as being like Rules in Outlook.  Conditions are one or more limitations you would put on running the particular action.  For example, you might wish to say Originator is domain\joeUser AND the field Authorizing Manager is Equal To domain\bossUser.

There are several types of conditions available for you to use:

  • Comparing to a field in the current list or library
  • Comparing any two data sources internal to the site
    • Does not include external data sources, such as XML files or Web Services
  • Checking the title for a specific keyword
  • Checking the created and modified, and created by and modified by fields for certain date ranges or certain people, respectively.
  • Checking to ensure the user is a valid SharePoint user
  • When workflow is created on a Document Library
    • Checking the file type
    • Checking the size of the file
  • When inside an Impersonation Step
    • Checking list item permission or permission levels


Part 2 and 3 of SharePoint 2010 Workflow Basics to be continued this week...



Topics: SharePoint Designer, SharePoint, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint Designer 2010, Workflow