Best Practices from Oracle Development's A‑Team

Best Practice: WebCenter Sites Workflow Start Step

Michael Sullivan
Principal Cloud Solutions Architect

One of the key features of WebCenter Sites is its built-in workflow capabilities. While some see workflow as "onerous", for auditing purposes it can't be beat. For the majority of projects, we recommend clients adopt workflow for managing their web content as it will clearly identify who/what/when when it comes to who made the edit, what they did, and when they did it. And it should be noted that workflow can be as simple as a two or three-step process: i.e. edit/update, review, & post-publish.

While there is a lot of information regarding workflow in the Admin Guide, one thing I think many people get wrong is the very first step, a.k.a the "Start Step". This is the focus of this "quickie" blog post.

By default (at least as documented in the examples that ship with the product) to start a workflow, one must assign an asset to oneself. Most clients I have talked to over the years ask: "But why do I need to do that? After all, I'm the one editing the asset -- there is no need to assign it to myself!". I think they have a point. In general most people think of assigning as something you do to another.  For example to review an article when one is finished creating/updating it.

To be fair, WC Sites does not require you to assign it to anyone on the first step -- it just has become part of the legacy of the way workflow is taught. The "fix" is super simple: when defining the Start Step, where it asks about Assignment Method, just select "No assignments; control actions with function privileges" (see screenshot) and then save your workflow process (also be sure to add the workflow to the Start menu for that asset). That's it.


Now when an editor selects "New Article" they can just start editing right away without having to assign it to themselves. Please note that while the editor did nothing special, the asset is in fact "in workflow" because you added the workflow to the Start Menu. When the editor's article is ready for review they can then select "finish my assignment" and assign it to a reviewer. Easy peasy.


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