Creating a Workflow for Drupal Users

This week’s tutorial is the second of a two-parter. We’ve had several students in our classes looking to build websites with multiple content authors … blogs, newspapers, university sites and more. A common request is to improve Drupal’s default handling of nodes.

In the first part we covered how to give people easy to a list of their own nodes, using a module called workspace.

In this second part we’re going to create a workflow, allowing you to choose who has control over a node. A newspaper website is a great example – a writer may submit an article which is then passed to the copy-editor for checking and then to the editor for approval and publication.

In Part 1 we used the “Workspace” module. This time we’re using the “Workflow” module.

Installing Workflow to Your Drupal Site

  • Step 1: Visit to download the latest version of “Workflow”.
  • Step 2: Extract the files into a folders on your desktop. The folder will be called “workflow”.
  • Step 3: Login to your site’s files via FTP and navigate to /sites/all/. If there isn’t a folder called /modules/ here, create one.
  • Step 4: Upload the “workflow” folder to /sites/all/modules/
  • Step 5: Go to Administer >> Site building >> Modules and enable Workspace.

Configuring Workflow

Go to Administer >> Site building >> Workflow and click “Add workflow”. You’ll be at the start of the process:

  • Workflow name: Enter a name for your workflow.
  • Workflow states: You’ll be asked for the different stages of the workflow. They example used by the module is “if you were doing a meal workflow it may include states like shop, prepare, eat, and clean up.” Ideally you’ll have several states. This is an example that a newspaper might use: 

Drupal Workflow

  • Nodes: You can then choose which nodes your workflow applies to:

Drupal Workflow

  • Moving Through the Workflow: Click “Edit” next to your workflow and you’ll be able to choose which user groups are in control at which stage. The workflow moves from left to right and you are choosing who can initiate the transition from one stage to the next.  

Drupal Workflow

  • Managing Nodes in the Workflow: At the very bottom of this page you can decide what control people have over the articles in each state: Drupal Workflow
  • Tab: Mid-way on this screen you’ll find “Workflow tab permissions” and you can control who sees the “Workflow” tab when they’re looking at a node. This is how your users will move article through the workflow. At the top of the nodes they will see this added tab:
    Drupal Workflow
  • Using the Workflow: Once users click on the Workflow tab, they’ll be able to change the state of the article and decide when:
    Drupal Workflow

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