How do I create an alert workflow?

This article shows how to create a simple workflow that alerts users about an item ready for approval. The concepts and steps in this article can be applied to creating other, and more advanced, workflows throughout the EPM Live System.

1. Create New Field in EPM Live

Prep List App as needed for the Workflow. If creating a workflow that will reference a specific field, add that field to the List App. For example, the workflow in this article will reference the field Review Status. So, create the field "Review Status" in the Project Center List App.

  1. Name: Follow field naming best practices by naming the field "ReviewStatus" (all one word). Then, later go in and add the space to the field name.
  2. Description and Choices: Enter the field description and choices that the users will select for this field. Note: The workflow will be triggered to start based off the values of this field.
  3. Default Value: Remove any choices so the default value is blank.

2. Launch SharePoint Designer

Launch SharePoint Designer 2013 on your Desktop.

3. Open Your Site

If you've used SharePoint Designer before, your EPM Live site may be listed under the Recent Sites section. If not, select Open Site.

3.1. Enter your Site Name

  1. Copy/Paste your EPM Live Site App URL into the Site Name field. Do not include the community name or the .aspx at the end of the URL. For example: not
  2. Click the Open button.

4. Sign In to your Site App

If prompted, sign in to your site with your username and password.

5. Create New Reusable Workflow

  1. Site Name and Information will show.
  2. Under the Site Ribbon Tab, select Reusable Workflow.

6. Enter Workflow Name and Description

  1. Name: Enter the Name of the Workflow. You can later enter a different name if needed for what the users will see.
  2. Description: Enter the Description of the Workflow.
  3. Content Type: Select All. This will allow the workflow to be used on all content types when published to the Site App.
  4. Platform Type: Depending on your SharePoint Server, you may or may not have the SharePoint 2013 Platform Type. If not, select SharePoint 2010 Workflow.
  5. Click OK.

7. Using Lookups in Workflows

Throughout the rest of creating this workflow and in other workflows, there will be lookups. Lookups allow for the content to change dynamically based on values of specific fields. You may use the Data Source Current Item if the field you want is one of the following, since the following fields are standard across all items in EPM Live (SharePoint).

  • Content Type
  • Created (Date & Time)
  • Created By (Person)
  • ID
  • Modified (Date & Time)
  • Modified By (Person)
  • Title

Note: In some lists, you will see that the following field names are the internal name, though the display name may be changed. Ex: In Project Center, the Title field has a display name of Project Name.

If you want another field other than those listed above, you would select the List App as the Data Source, and then select the desired field. If you do so, you will also need to select which item in the list to select. For example, select the item that has the same ID as the current item's ID.

8. Add New Condition

  1. Workflows are built using conditions and actions. The condition in this case will determine when to start the workflow.
  2. Select the Condition drop down box. Select If any value equals value.

8.1. Select the Project Center Review Status Field

Select the link for the first 'Value.' With the following selections, you are setting the workflow to look at the Project Center field Review Status. Then, you are setting the workflow to look for the item in that list who's ID is equal to the current (selected) item's ID. Thus, you are telling the workflow to start on the item selected.

  1. Click the Function (fx) button.
  2. Data Source: Select Project Center.
  3. Field from Source: The fields from the selected Data Source will show. Select Review Status.
  4. Now that the List App is selected, the next section will determine which item to select. Field: ID.
  5. Value: Click the Function (fx) button.
  6. Select Current Item.
  7. Select ID.
  8. Click the OK button.

8.2. Select the Review Status Field Choice

  1. Select the second 'value.'
  2. The drop down will show the choices available from the Review Status field. Select Ready for Review.

Now the condition is configured. The next step is to specify what should happen (what action should take place) if that condition is met.

9. Add a New Action

  1. Click in the box below the Condition statement. An orange line will blink where you click.
  2. Select the Action button.
  3. Under Core Actions, select Send an Email. Note: As you use SharePoint Designer, the recently used actions will be listed at the top.

10. Open Email

Select the link for These Users to launch the email window.

10.1. Configure the Email To Field

Type in a recepient's email address or click the Address Book icon.

10.2. Select Who Will Receive the Email

  1. Type the name of the EPM Live User or Security Group Name.
  2. Click the Add button.
  3. SharePoint Designer will validate the User or Group Name and list it on the right under Selected Users.
  4. Enter additional names, select the user who created the item, or use a workflow to look up to whom to send the email.
  5. When finished, click the OK button.

10.3. Configure the Email Subject

  1. Select the ... (dot dot dot) button to open the String Builder.
  2. Type out the desired subject text. Example: New Project Ready for Review.
  3. For specific content that will change dynamically, use a lookup to look up the details. Click the button for Add or Change Lookup.
  4. Data Source: Select Current Item. Field from Source: Select Title. Click the OK button.
  5. Click the OK button to close the Subject's String Builder.

10.4. Configure the Email Body

The email body can contain a mix of fixed text as well as lookups.

  1. Click the cursor where you want a lookup. Then, click the Add or Change Lookup button.
  2. Select the Data Source: Current Item and Field from Source: Title. Then, click the OK button.

10.5. Add Lookup to a Person in the Email Body

  1. Click the cursor where you want a lookup. Then, click the Add or Change Lookup button.
  2. Since the lookup field is a People & Groups field type, there are options for how to return the value. For example, the user's Display Name, Email Address, Login Name, or User ID Number. In this example, select Display Name. Then, in a later step, you will add a hyperlink that will have the link to email that user.
  3. Select the Field for the item, whose ID equals the Current Item's ID.
  4. Click the OK button.

10.6. Add Hyperlinks to Text in the Email Body

  1. Select the text to which you will add the hyperlink.
  2. Click the Hyperlink button.
  3. Address: Click the Function (fx) button.
  4. Data Source: Workflow Context. Field from Source: Current Item URL. This will link the user back to the item's view form in EPM Live. Note: There are a number of other pre-built workflow context options as well.
  5. Click the OK button.

10.7. Add Another Hyperlink to Text in the Email Body

  1. Select the text to which you will add the hyperlink.
  2. Click the Hyperlink button.
  3. Address: Click the ... (dot dot dot) button to open the String Builder.
  4. Type in "mailto:". This will set the workflow to know to pop open a new email window to the recipient.
  5. Click the Add of Change Lookup button to look up the recipient's email address.

10.8. Add Lookup to Email Address

  1. Data Source: Project Center. Field from Source: Project Manager.
  2. Return Field As: Email Address.
  3. Select item whose ID equals the current item's ID.
  4. Click the OK button.
  5. Confirm the email string is mailto:[%Project Center:Project Manager%].
  6. Click the OK button.

10.9. Confirm Link Address Populates

Click the OK button.

10.10. Confirm Email Content

Confirm the email content. Click the OK button to close.

11. Add Action to Stop the Workflow

Note: This is a very important step. You must always stop the workflow, otherwise it will keep running on the server. Even if nothing is happening with the workflow, it would still be in a running mode.

  1. Click on the outside of the boxes, so that the orange line is at the bottom of the workflow.
  2. Click the Action drop down button.
  3. Under the Core Actions heading, click Stop Workflow.

11.1. Enter Stop Workflow Message

  1. Click the link for this message.
  2. Enter the message to save in the workflow history when the workflow is complete. Ex: Email sent. If needed, you can use the string builder and/or the function (fx) buttons to make the message more dynamic.

12. Save the Workflow

Click the Save button.

13. Workflow Settings for When to Start

  1. After the workflow is saved, the Ribbon will update. Click the link for Workflow Settings.
  2. Select the Start Options. Since this workflow will start based on a condition being met, the workflow should not be started manually. When adding the workflow into a specific list, your options will show on the List App's Workflow Settings page. The options will or won't be available based on what is selected here.

14. Save Workflow

Click the Save button to save the workflow again.



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