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Forums / Developing with Sitefinity / Reviewing changes to documents when workflow is enabled

Reviewing changes to documents when workflow is enabled

7 posts, 0 answered
  1. clayman
    clayman avatar
    38 posts
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    23 Sep 2009
    22 Jan 2010
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    Once a document is loaded (as an example, think of a product brochure) it is categorized and tagged and is basically a permanent fixture in our CMS.

    Sometimes though, the document needs to be updated, so we will use the "re-upload" feature to update the document.

    We have workflow enabled, so the document is "sent for approval" and then needs to be reviewed before it can be approved.

    The problem is that we can't see the updated version of the document until it is published.

    I guess we could publish a new document every time, and then delete the old one, but that seems like a pain when in reality the document is the same logical document, just a newer version.

    This seems like something you must have seen before?  Do we have to modify the sitefinity admin tool to be able to preview content that hasn't been published in this scenario?
  2. Ivan Dimitrov
    Ivan Dimitrov avatar
    16072 posts
    Registered:
    16 Jun 2017
    24 Jan 2010
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    Hello clayman,

    You can implement comments with your workflow where the exact changes are described. Please take a look at Christmas Bonus - Workflow with comments in Sitefinity 3.x.
    Just to let you know using Workflow with Images and Documents module will cause database growing due to the type of data which is save to the database.

    All the best,
    Ivan Dimitrov
    the Telerik team

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  3. clayman
    clayman avatar
    38 posts
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    23 Sep 2009
    11 Mar 2010
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    That wasn't my question.

    My question is, why can my users not see the document they have updated until it is approved and published?

    Steps to reproduce:

    (1) upload "image a".
    (2) submit/approve/publish
    (3) re-upload "image a", using "image b" this time
    (4) submit - you still see image a in the editor
    (5) approve - you still see image a in the editor
    (6) publish - now you see image b in the editor

    So you cannot effectively use the workflow process in the re-upload scenario.

    Make sense?
  4. clayman
    clayman avatar
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    11 Mar 2010
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    Can I just disable workflow?  Are there any negative side-effects by doing so? 

    I don't think we can use it, given the way my users want to work with the content.
  5. Radoslav Georgiev
    Radoslav Georgiev avatar
    3370 posts
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    01 Feb 2016
    11 Mar 2010
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    Hello clayman,

    Thank you for the clarification.

    Unfortunately this is how workflow is designed. If you have enabled workflow public users will not be able to see the latest version of an item until it has been published. Till this stage they will see previous to latest version. I believe this the functionality that most users expect from workflow. Suppose that the you want to change an image that has already been approved, if it has been approved that this should mean that it is relevant and good for the public side. Then you re-upload this image, however this image is not relevant, and the content approver does not want this image to be published. Then it should not be displayed on the public side. Consider the Re-upload functionality the same as editing news items for example.

    Workflow can be disabled for a particular module, so if you wish to do so you can disable it only for the Images & Documents module. Working with workflow or not is entirely up to how the process of creating content for the website is defined in the given organization. To disable workflow for Images & Documents module you should set the allowWorkflow setting to false in the modules configuration in web.config file:
    <add name="Libraries" urlRewriteFormat="~/{Provider}/{LibraryName}/[Name].sflb.ashx" urlDateTimeFormat="yy-MM-dd" urlWhitespaceChar="_" visible="False" defaultMetaField="Name" applicationName="/Libraries" allowVersioning="False" allowLocalization="False" localizationProviderName="" allowWorkflow="False" securityProviderName="" versioningProviderName="" connectionStringName="GenericContentConnection" type="Telerik.Libraries.Data.DefaultProvider, Telerik.Libraries.Data" tagEditorTemplate="~/Sitefinity/Admin/ControlTemplates/Libraries/BatchTagsEditor.ascx" />


    All the best,
    Radoslav Georgiev
    the Telerik team

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  6. clayman
    clayman avatar
    38 posts
    Registered:
    23 Sep 2009
    11 Mar 2010
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    Thanks for the response - I will disable.

    To your point about a document that hasn't been approved not being viewed through the public site.  I totally agree.  That would be the expected functionality.

    However, as a content author, when you are working within the sitefinity content admin site, it is quite possible that the person reviewing/approving the content will actually want to see it before they approve it.  The admin part of the site is really not "public", and I think the admin part of the site should show the most recent version of the content.  I mean, how can you show workflow buttons without detecting that a newer version of the file exists?  By your explanation it would seem that the document, once approved, should not even be editable.  Of course it is, and it seems reasonable to take it a step further and display the newer "to be approved" version of the content within that same context.  This would not make the file visible on the public site, it would only be visible within the admin tool, where the content is administered.

    I would encourage you to think about that scenario.  I suspect many companies have a content schema in place and keeping a set of "placeholder" documents out there and re-uploading the content as new versions are available (and running them through approval) seems like a pretty common scenario.  Your workflow doesn't support that scenario and I think it is a major oversight (dare I call it a "bug" - my users sure do).

  7. Radoslav Georgiev
    Radoslav Georgiev avatar
    3370 posts
    Registered:
    01 Feb 2016
    12 Mar 2010
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    Hello clayman,

    Thank you for getting back to me with the additional information.

    I totally agree with you on the administration part situation. This is a problem of workflow for the Images and Documents and I acknowledge that this is not what users would expect to see. In other parts of the CMS which use workfow (pages, other generic content based modules) workflow works as expected, I have prepared sample images.

    Unfortunately the workflow for images and documents cannot be fixed so easily and I have to say that we will not be able to fix it for the upcoming SP. The problem is not only with workflow implementation but with the fact that the Images and Documents module uses handlers to retrieve content items from the database, and/or generate thumbnails. Those handlers do not know that the items in workflow process and only pull the available version. We are going to rework this however most probably the fix will make it in the next major version. 

    I apologize sorry for the inconvenience caused. If you have more questions or issues feel free to contact us.

    Kind regards,
    Radoslav Georgiev
    the Telerik team

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7 posts, 0 answered