Plan workflows for document management

Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007

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Topic Last Modified: 2016-11-14

Workflows implement business processes on documents, Web pages, forms, and list items in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. They can be associated with libraries, lists, or content types. For an overview of workflows, see the topic Plan workflows.

In document management, use workflows to route documents from person to person so they can each complete their document management tasks, such as reviewing documents, approving their publication, or managing their disposition. Also, use custom workflows to move documents from one site or library to another. For example, you can design a workflow to copy a document from one site to another when the document is scheduled to be archived.

Office SharePoint Server 2007 includes workflows that address the following document management needs:

  • Collect Feedback — Sends a document for review.

  • Approval — Sends a document for approval, often as a prerequisite to publishing it.

  • Disposition — Manages document expiration and disposition.

  • Collect Signatures — Routes a document for signatures.

  • Translation — Manages the translation of a document into one or more languages.

  • East Asian Document Approval — Routes a document for approval using stamp signatures and a group-oriented consensus process.

Associate a workflow with a content type when you want to make that workflow available whenever that content type is in use. For example, a purchase order content type could require approval by a manager before completing the transaction. To ensure that the approval workflow is always available when a purchase order is initiated, create a Purchase Order content type and associate the approval workflow with it. Then add the Purchase Order content type to any document libraries in which purchase orders will be stored.

To plan workflows for your document management solution, analyze each document content type you plan to implement and identify the business processes that need to be available to run on content of that type. Then identify the workflows you will need to make available for that content. For more information about planning content types, see the topic Plan content types (Office SharePoint Server).

Worksheet action

In the Plan Workflows section of the Plan a content type worksheet (, enter the name of each workflow and its purpose, and indicate if a new (custom) workflow is needed to implement the process.

Here is a sample table analyzing workflows for a contract content type:

Contract Process Contract Workflow New?

Review drafts

Collect feedback


Get manager's and legal counsel's approval



Resolve open issues

Issue tracking


Get signatures

Collect signatures



Use the following worksheet to record the information discussed in this article:

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