Umbraco Workflow Release Top Hero For Com 1500X500px 1@2X 80

Umbraco Workflow Release

The Content Approval Workflow Engine for Umbraco CMS

Nathan Woulfe Headshot
Written by Nathan Woulfe

Ensuring content is correct and compliant can require detailed process and a number of people. Umbraco Workflow, the brand new add-on for Umbraco 11, will help you implement workflow and review process directly in the backoffice. It comes with a multitude of features, is easily configurable, highly customizable and works with any Umbraco site out-of-the-box. Let's take a look at what you get with Umbraco Workflow.

Update 2023-01-18: Umbraco Workflow has been made available for Umbraco 10 (LTS). This means you can now upgrade from Plumber on Umbraco 10 to Umbraco Workflow. See the marketplace listing or product page for more information.

What is Umbraco Workflow?

Large sites with multiple editors can require a more controlled approach to content management. Umbraco Workflow integrates with the Umbraco backoffice to add multi-stage approval processes for content publishing. This allows organizations to adopt a distributed publishing model with full confidence that the right people are approving content updates prior to publishing. 

Along with the workflow mechanism, Umbraco Workflow adds helpful dashboards for your editors and managers, and a full-featured backoffice application, with detailed analytics, documentation, and configuration options.

Flows for Reviewing and Approving Content

The main feature of Umbraco Workflow provides the ability to set up workflows for approving and publishing content. You define how many stages the workflow contains and who has access to approve, reject, or cancel an active workflow. This is all handled through the Workflow Content App which is added to all content items with an assigned workflow.

Umbraco Workflow 11 Content App 1450X652px

When a workflow is active, instead of using the standard actions for content (Save, Publish, Unpublish, etc.), changes are sent to the next stage in the workflow via the Content App. You can even write comments to go along with the proposed changes, which can be helpful for the person reviewing the content. Alternatively, changes can be rejected and sent back to an earlier stage in the workflow, should they require additional work or updates from a specific person or group in the organization.

Umbraco Workflow 11 Approve Reject Cancel 1426X546px

How exactly the review process works is up to you. You have full control over how many stages are added to a workflow, who can approve the changes, and how the people involved are notified. You can set up separate workflows depending on whether it is a new content item or changes to an existing one, and you can even add specific workflows for individual content items. 

See the Umbraco Workflow Content App documentation for more information.

This is all handled with Umbraco workflow’s granular permission model for users and detailed configuration of workflows for content.

Permissions and Approval Groups

So how do you decide who has access? This is done in the new Workflow section added to the Umbraco backoffice when you install the Umbraco workflow. Here you have access to create new Approval Groups and assign the users, or User Groups, that are part of the Approval Group. 

Aside from using Approval Groups to ensure the right people have access to the right stages of one or more workflows, you can also configure how they are notified, enable offline approval (no need for backoffice access, get an overview of the currently assigned workflows, see the workflow history, and more.

See the Umbraco Workflow Approval Group documentation for more information.

Setting Up Workflows

With all the features and options available in Umbraco Workflow, you of course need a place to configure all of this. This is also done in the Workflow section under the aptly named Settings menu. Here you have access to general settings for all workflows as well as the ability to create workflows for new content items or Document Types (content items of a specific type).

The general settings allow you to enable features such as locking content to prevent changes at a certain stage, allowing Media attachments, configuring behavior for unpublishing and scheduling content, and more.

Umbraco Workflow 11 General Settings 1915X957px

Adding a workflow for new content items is as simple as adding stages with one or more Approval Groups, and the general settings combined with group settings will handle the rest.

For more granular control, you can add workflows to all content of a specific type (Document types). You have more options here for setting permissions for unpublishing and/or publishing content, assigning languages for multi-lingual sites, and adding conditional stages.

Finally, you have the option of excluding content from workflows. This is useful for pages that require frequent and quick updates or parts of a site that do not fall under the review requirements. 

See the Umbraco Workflow Settings documentation for detailed information.

Notifications and Content Reviews

A good content approval and review process can be even more successful with helpful notifications and reminders. With Umbraco Workflow you can configure if and how emails should be sent to Approval Groups and members when it is their turn to take action and you can send reminders for inactive tasks and stages. Email templates are editable allowing you to include good and relevant information, and maybe even nicely branded. 

See the Umbraco Workflow Notification and Email Template documentation for more information.

Aside from notifications for workflow activities, Umbraco Workflow also includes the ability to schedule content reviews. This can help ensure that content is always up-to-date and compliant.

Umbraco Workflow 11 Content Requires Review 1898X936px

This powerful and highly configurable feature is also available from the Workflow section. Content Reviews will add reminders in the backoffice as well as allow for sending email reminders for reviews. Again you have the option of creating review rules on a Document type level or for specific content items. 

See the Umbraco Workflow Content Reviews documentation for more information. 

Dashboards for a Brilliant Overview

To tie all these great features together Umbraco Workflow adds multiple dashboards to the backoffice giving you the best possible overview. No matter if you’re looking at the status for a single piece of content or a general overview of content updates and review processes Workflow has it covered. 

Each user has their own User Dashboard available in the Content section. This dashboard contains all the information about ongoing workflows and pending content reviews pertaining to the user.

Umbraco Workflow 11 User Dashboard 1904X958px

Workflow administrators can access a full overview of all workflow and content review activity in a site. Useful for optimizing processes and pinpointing bottlenecks. You can change the period to review and see the data presented with visual graphs to help decode the data. This information is available on the Admin Dashboard in the Workflow section. 

Umbraco Workflow 11 Admin Dashboard 1898X1144px

For an overview of all ongoing workflows on the site, the Active Workflow dashboard is available, also found in the Workflow section. Similar to the User Dashboard, you get a nice visual presentation of each individual workflow currently active. This makes it possible to quickly review all ongoing and comes complete with filtering options and more.

Umbraco Workflow 11 Workflow History 1863X932px

Last but not least, a full audit trail for all workflow activities is available. You have multiple filtering options and can drill down in detail for individual content items. 

Getting started with Umbraco Workflow

Update 2023-01-18: Umbraco Workflow has been made available for Umbraco 10 (LTS). This means you can now upgrade from Plumber on Umbraco 10 to Umbraco Workflow. See the marketplace listing or product page for more information.

Umbraco Workflow is an add-on package for Umbraco CMS and is available in a free version with limited features and number of Approval Groups groups. It is possible to try out the full licensed version with a trial license.

You can always add a license to an Umbraco Workflow installation to get the full suite of features available. See the Umbraco Workflow product page for more information.

Installing Workflow

Umbraco Workflow is available for Umbraco 10 and 11+, and as with all our add-on products, you can get it straight from the Umbraco Marketplace

The process is the same for projects on Umbraco Cloud and on-premises installations. See the Installing Workflow documentation for all the details and options available. 

A version of Umbraco Workflow will be made available for Umbraco 10 to make sure you can get your workflows set up on the LTS version of the CMS.

Upgrading to Workflow

For Umbraco 8, 9, and 10 projects Umbraco Plumber, the predecessor to Workflow, is still available. 

It is easy to upgrade from Plumber to Umbraco Workflow and we make sure all your configuration and workflow progress will be migrated. Be aware that if you have a licensed version of Plumber you will need to get a new license for Umbraco Workflow. Please use the contact form on the product page to contact us. 

Get off to a great start with Umbraco Workflow documentation

Umbraco Workflow comes with full documentation describing all the features and configuration options mentioned above and more in detail. All docs are accompanied with screenshots and videos to give you the best possible start.

See the Umbraco Workflow documentation.

For issues and feature requests, please refer to the Umbraco Workflow issue tracker.

Umbraco Workflow Release Top Hero For Com 1500X500px 1@2X 80

Start using Umbraco Workflow today

I hope this all has piqued your interest. Umbraco Workflow really is a full workflow suite for Umbraco CMS. Whether you’re looking to add approval processes or ensure content is always up-to-date it’s all available. The installation process is straightforward and configuration can be as simple or complex as you, and the people working with content, need it to be.

There is a growing demand, especially in larger companies, for having detailed and clearly defined processes in place. In these situations, we think the answer is clear and easy: Umbraco Workflow. 

And even if you’re not in the market for this feature set right now, it is still worthwhile testing Umbraco Workflow out, so you can confidently answer this question for future projects and clients. 

Get Umbraco Workflow today

Loved by developers, used by thousands around the world!

One of the biggest benefits of using Umbraco is that we have the friendliest Open Source community on this planet. A community that's incredibly pro-active, extremely talented and helpful.

If you get an idea for something you would like to build in Umbraco, chances are that someone has already built it. And if you have a question, are looking for documentation or need friendly advice, go ahead and ask on the community forums.

Want to be updated on everything Umbraco?

Sign up for the Umbraco newsletter and get the latest news and special offers sent directly to your inbox