Using SharePoint Designer Workflows to Check-In an Item

At EndUserSharePoint I noticed that he encountered a bug when checking in files, so I responded with a little fix I created that involves a SharePoint Designer Workflow.  Here is a link to his blog post: http://www.endusersharepoint.com/?p=127.  It looks like a few people want to know how you would use SharePoint Designer to Check-In Items.  So here is a little walk-through (will be adding screen shots as this post has been moved):

  1. For starters you need to open up Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer
  2. Now click on File-->Open Site and type in the url of the document library you want to add the workflow
  3. After you type in the url click Open
  4. Now on File-->New Workflow
  5. The Workflow Designer window will pop up
  6. There should be a textbox where you can name the workflow whatever you would like and a drop down that says What list should this workflow be attached to?
    Choose the document library from the drop down menu.  If it was chosen right site in step 2, then it should appear.
  7. The next item says Select workflow start options for items in Documents:
    At this point choose Automatically start this workflow when a new item is created and Automatically start this workflow when an item is changed
    What these options will do is set off the event that will be added a few steps later anytime the Properties are changed or anytime a document is added or changed.
  8. Click on the Next button
  9. A screen should appear that says Specify details for Step '1', then Choose and conditions and actions that define the steps of the workflow. and below that you will see Conditions and Actions
    In this workflow only one action will be needed and no Conditions, because the document needs to be checked in every time an item is changed or addedCli
  10. Click the Actions button and you will see many options, such as Send an E-Mail or Pause for Duration.  These are all actions that you could fire when an item is added or changed in the document library.  For today we want to choose Check In Item.  If you do not see this option on the menu, then click More Actions and a window will appear. 
    Scroll down the list until you find this option, then highlight it and click Add.
  11. An item will now appear next to Actions that says Check in a item in the list with comment: comment
  12. Click on this list and a box should pop up that says Current Item.  This will choose the current item that is changed or added to the document library by the user.  Click Ok.
  13. Now click on Comment and an area to type in some text will appear.  It does not matter what is typed into this field.  It is only for the record of the workflow.
  14. At the bottom of the screen there will be a Finish button.  Click on this button.  A progress bar should appear quickly and then close out.  The workflow is now ready and should check in documents within your library.

If anyone has any comments or questions about this post please let me know and I will try to get back to you when I can.
After experiencing numerous issues with random bolding and the inability to add screenshots in an easy manner I am considering mirroring this blog to another hosting company.  I hope you guys enjoy this post have a nice day all.

Re-posted from old blog

Print | posted on Friday, February 22, 2008 4:57 PM

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# re: Using SharePoint Designer Workflows to Check-In an Item

Left by Mark Miller at 2/26/2008 10:05 PM
Gravatar Becky - Thanks for the update. I'm going to try to find the time to put it into a screencast within the week.

The only shortcoming I can see here is that of mandatory metadata. If the files are automatically checked in, what happens to columns that must contain data? Is there an error message? Does it check it in anyway? Does it refuse the check in without the metadata?

I'm going to find out on my own, but if you've already run into this, maybe you've got the solution.

Regards,
Mark
EndUserSharePoint.com

# re: Using SharePoint Designer Workflows to Check-In an Item

Left by MOSSLover at 2/27/2008 7:32 AM
Gravatar You could add a few a conditionals in the workflow. Then maybe for this scenario tell it to write this data to the list, etc... I believe that one of the choices in the out of the box SharePoint Designer Workflows is writing list data to the current item. I have done this before also or just make it write something default and change the columns later perhaps? The problem comes when there is no real pattern I'm assuming.

# re: Using SharePoint Designer Workflows to Check-In an Item

Left by Liz at 3/5/2008 6:46 PM
Gravatar Sounds like something I'm going to have to try.

Just wondering whether this workflow (with updates to metadata as per above comment) could be applied to bulk uploads of documents? ie. where all metadata would be same for document set?

If not, does anyone know a way to get the 'upload multiple documents' feature to prompt the user for metadata/list data?

Many thanks,
Liz

# re: Using SharePoint Designer Workflows to Check-In an Item

Left by MOSSLover at 3/6/2008 10:17 AM
Gravatar Yeah you can update the metadata if it is all the same. You could add another when you hit Step 10 that will write to a list and then choose what columns and values you would like to write to the list.

# re: Using SharePoint Designer Workflows to Check-In an Item

Left by Ashu at 6/2/2008 5:12 PM
Gravatar This is great, but i am having a problem. regardless of how the workflow is kicked off it fails because the file needs to be checked in before the workflow can run... sounds like a chicken and egg thing.

# re: Using SharePoint Designer Workflows to Check-In an Item

Left by Chander at 6/28/2008 6:36 AM
Gravatar Hi All,



I have custom workflows for a SharePoint custom list.



The workflows are not triggered for reason unknown even though I checked the "Automatically start options for every item that is added / changed" in the SharePoint designer.



The workflows work fine when it is "set to manual option"



Could somebody help....



I have recently installed the SP1.



The following resolution option does not work for me..



http://wsswiki.com/KB947284



It's urgent guys!!

# re: Using SharePoint Designer Workflows to Check-In an Item

Left by same issue at 7/9/2008 7:46 PM
Gravatar I had the exact same issue after I changed some service account around. It's now fixed, but I can pin point the failure. I think it had to do with permissions for either the application pool account, or the account that is running the sharepoint timer service. Both of these accounts I gave full control in the policy for web applications section on the central admin. site. My workflows then worked shortly after that.

# re: Using SharePoint Designer Workflows to Check-In an Item

Left by Vivek at 7/10/2008 6:21 AM
Gravatar Hi,
I tried the same solution of application pool security things...but still its not working...is there any other settings we have to do...

# re: Using SharePoint Designer Workflows to Check-In an Item

Left by Drew at 7/22/2008 11:01 AM
Gravatar Thanks for the post, its very helpful.

I have a questions, is it possible to use SPD to Check OUT a document to a specific user? I want to assign a task to UserA, and then check the document out to UserA within the workflow.

# re: Using SharePoint Designer Workflows to Check-In an Item

Left by MOSSLover at 7/22/2008 11:44 AM
Gravatar It is possible if you create a custom action for SharePoint Designer Workflows. You cannot do it out of the box.

# re: Using SharePoint Designer Workflows to Check-In an Item

Left by MOSSLover at 8/6/2008 3:58 PM
Gravatar I've had a bit of issues with workflows and checking in items since this post. So my new solution is to check in the item on the itemupdating event receiver. If you want some help creating a solution send me an e-mail and I can help you out.

# re: Using SharePoint Designer Workflows to Check-In an Item

Left by darkknight at 9/16/2008 10:12 AM
Gravatar Hi MOSSLOVER..i am trying to create a simple workflow in SP Designer by choosing Automatically start this workflow when a new item is created, but it is not working for me. It doesn't work for me at all. PLeaseee let me know if there is any options that i have missed(contributor settings or something). It works manually though!!

# re: Using SharePoint Designer Workflows to Check-In an Item

Left by MOSSLover at 9/16/2008 11:20 AM
Gravatar Does your farm have SP1 installed? There was some type of issue with SP1 and workflows starting up. Out of the box it should work, but it could be a bug that people were having. I'm going to look around for the hotfix.

# re: Using SharePoint Designer Workflows to Check-In an Item

Left by Ed at 10/10/2008 7:23 AM
Gravatar Hi,
I'm new here. But very interested in a solution for this problem. I have encountered a similar one. When checking out an Office 2003 document with some required meta data fields, editting it and checking it back in, it will not be checked in automatically. Checking in asks attention on the required fields. After setting a value to these fields it is possible to check the document in. I have a farm with SP1 installed.
Thanks for any assistance.

# re: Using SharePoint Designer Workflows to Check-In an Item

Left by MOSSLover at 10/11/2008 1:08 PM
Gravatar I am going to revisit this issue since so many people have posted comments. I am going to write something up about how to create an event receiver in the next few weeks.

# re: Using SharePoint Designer Workflows to Check-In an Item

Left by Fernando at 10/27/2008 3:54 AM
Gravatar Looking forward to your solution. This has been driving me crazy for a while now.
Appreciate your help.

# re: Using SharePoint Designer Workflows to Check-In an Item

Left by rocafort at 11/27/2008 9:17 PM
Gravatar Hi MOSSLover,

I created a workflow using a SP Designer. The first step I created is to update a custom column in the list. When I used a content type to create an entry on the list, MS Word, it works fine. However, when I used Upload option, I error message displayed.

Go back to site
Error

The file Workflow Document/WordTemplate.doc has been modified by SHAREPOINT\system on 28 Nov 2008 11:23:48 +0800.
Troubleshoot issues with Windows SharePoint Services.

What would be the cause of the error I've encountered. Please help me to fix this.

Thanks in advance.

# re: Using SharePoint Designer Workflows to Check-In an Item

Left by nbkz at 2/5/2009 4:27 PM
Gravatar
I want to start a worlflow when the documento is
checkout but , the workflow doesn't trigger when the document is checked out

I am using moss

Any sugestion

# re: Using SharePoint Designer Workflows to Check-In an Item

Left by cg at 3/5/2009 2:15 PM
Gravatar At first I was recieving an Error: Unknown error
. Then I added a condition with checked out to field is not empty, but now I don't recieve an error and the workflow is marked as Completed. But the document is clearly still Checked-Out. I don't know what I should do or look at now??

Thanks

# re: Using SharePoint Designer Workflows to Check-In an Item

Left by Nelson at 4/23/2009 4:16 PM
Gravatar Very interesting your article...but I have a question..I'm doing a workflow but I have used the check in and check out twice...look at the next sentences

then check out...
then set..
then check in...
copy list item...
then check out..
then set...
then check in...

Is it OK??...maybe It'll take more time...what do you think

# re: Using SharePoint Designer Workflows to Check-In an Item

Left by Umakanth Nelige at 1/6/2010 9:11 AM
Gravatar Above work flow works if you do not have a required field column on a custom edit/new form. If exists at least a single required field column, none of the events/workflows get triggered.

Default edit/new forms with a required field works good.There is a problem with the edit forms that were customized using SharePoint Designer.

# re: Using SharePoint Designer Workflows to Check-In an Item

Left by Nowshad at 9/20/2010 2:42 AM
Gravatar How to check a group in workflow condtion?
Like a mail should be sent if tat particular user belongs to a particular group.

How to check this?

# re: Using SharePoint Designer Workflows to Check-In an Item

Left by Gretchen at 9/29/2011 9:11 AM
Gravatar The problem I am finding with this is that the workflow will not start if an item is checked out. It will remain in Starting state (at least in 2007).

# re: Using SharePoint Designer Workflows to Check-In an Item

Left by Tshepo at 10/28/2011 7:32 AM
Gravatar Very juicy, post...how can I move some documents/folder containing documents from one document library to another?, do I need to created a workflow?

# re: Using SharePoint Designer Workflows to Check-In an Item

Left by Anjalee at 12/15/2011 2:37 PM
Gravatar Hi,

I did tried the workflow but I am having the problem as workflow remain in Starting state only.

If you could please provide some hint or workaround would be appreciated.

Thanks,

# re: Using SharePoint Designer Workflows to Check-In an Item

Left by vijay at 8/10/2012 4:47 AM
Gravatar I have created a workflow for the document library which is having the Mandatory fields. So the workflow is not firing and it is showing status as "Starting" only..

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