What Are Workflows?
How can they be used to achieve the most efficient editing experience?
Workflows are a Sitecore Feature which allow content to proceed through a number of predefined steps that reflect the work processes and procedures for creating web content in your organisation.
This feature is highly useful as it allows content to be managed in various different ways (based on the organisations needs) in order to ensure the most productive form of management.
Workflows are applied using a Role, each role can be tailored to your organisation's needs - A common example of this is having a role for an Editor type, and a seperate role for a Reviewer/Publisher type.
Sitecore is highly configurable so that no matter your organisational structure the most efficient method of management for your users can be achieved.
Below is an example of the Default Sitecore Workflow Process, Showing the defined states which content must progress through in order to be Approved and Published.
What are the benefits?
Using the Workbox, Content under a workflow can be specifically sorted and reviewed by the state, providing an additional method to audit/edit content for users.
The Locking Mechanism enforced by Workflows ensures multiple users cannot be editing content simultaneously which could cause accidental unwanted confusion and/or overwritten data.
The Workflow process records the changing state, the user and the comment they've provided. This allows any changed content to be easily reviewed including through the use of Sitecore's version comparison functionality.
Content managed under workflows will make automatic use of the Sitecore versioning system, allowing for content to be easily rolled back and reviewed in the case of any mistakes.
Workflows provide a default validation step, where content cannot be Approved unless it passes the field validation for the related item, this ensures the data is correct and that no content can be published with invalid or incorrect data which may cause errors or display issues.
Workflows are important to have when using automated publishing as otherwise all content will be published - with Workflows in place, only items in the approved state are published, This prevents any potential item/content being published automatically where it may be undesirable.
The combination of both functionalities also allow content and specific versions to be automatically scheduled, allowing for users to ensure content is updated when unable to manage directly
- As is often the case for Christmas or other seasonal promotions.
Sitecore and the Workflow system are highly configurable, developers are able to alter almost any aspect of the system, including adding additional functionality/roles, further workflow steps, custom user notifications and much more.