This article explains the Start Workflow step type, which controls the fields that appear for a user on the workflow start dialog. The user who starts a workflow (workflow initiator or workflow owner) uses the start workflow dialog to set all details needed for the workflow, including the due date, who to assign to workflow tasks, and which optional tasks to exclude. Vault automatically adds a Start Workflow step to every workflow. You cannot remove this step.

Once you’ve finished configuring the start step, you can configure other step types.

How to Edit Workflow Start Step Details

To view and edit the Start Workflow step, click on the step name. You’ll see the following fields:

Field Description
Name Step name associated with the start step; this value only appears in workflow configuration pages.
Description (Optional) Description of the start step; this value only appears in workflow configuration pages.
Type Determines the purpose of the step; Vault automatically creates the start step and sets this field to Start Workflow. The value is not editable.
Next Step(s) Determines the step that begins when this step complete; by default, the start step points to the end step. You should replace this with the appropriate next step.

To create a placeholder next step, click the Create Step button. Vault prompts you to enter a name for the new step, but allows you to define its options later.

How to Define Display Options

The Display Options settings control the information and fields that appear on the workflow start dialog. To define these options:

  1. Under the Always or Or with these conditions heading, click edit. (Learn about defining conditional options below.)
  2. Enter Instructions to appear for the workflow initiator. You can include the ${docName} token.
  3. Optional: Select the Set Next State Entry Properties checkbox and select a lifecycle state. This option ensures that the workflow start dialog also prompts for the entry criteria for the document’s next lifecycle state.
  4. Use the +/ icons to add or remove controls. Select a type (user, date, etc.) for each control and fill in details. Note that there is no way to change the order of controls, so be sure to add them in the correct order. Learn about user, date, and electronic signature controls below.
  5. Click Save.

User Controls

To add a user control, which allows the workflow initiator to choose one or more users to participate in the workflow, select either User Control (Single) or User Control (Multiple) from the control drop-down list. Selecting a single control allows the workflow initiator to select only one user in the user selection field. Selecting multiple users allows the workflow initiator to select multiple users or groups as workflow participants and enables additional options. There can be any number of user controls on each workflow start dialog, but each user control should be associated with a different document role.

By default, the maximum number of participants that can be assigned to any workflow participant control is 5,000. To configure a limit between 1 and 5,000, navigate to Admin > Settings and enable Limit workflow participants selected by workflow initiator. Provide a Max number of participants per participant control. The workflow initiator will encounter an error if they attempt to assign more participants than the configured limit.

Note that you cannot reassign the Owner role from the workflow start dialog.

The following fields are required when adding a user control:

Field Description
Control Label This is the label of the user control field to be displayed on the workflow start dialog.
Assign to role This grants a specific document role to the participants that are entered by the workflow initiator. Custom roles that are defined for the lifecycle are also available for selection.
Default users from sharing settings This option auto-populates the user control with users currently in the role on the document. If your Vault has lifecycle role defaulting configured, this option will bypass the configured default users, as long as at least one user is already in the role on the document.
Replace existing users in role This option replaces the users in the document role each time the workflow is executed. For example, if there were multiple rounds of reviews, the first round of reviewers would be added to the Reviewer role in the document sharing settings at the beginning of the first round. When the next round of reviews began, having this option selected would remove all users that have Reviewer access and replace with the users specified when the workflow starts. This ensures that only the people that are actively reviewing the document have Reviewer access.

This setting does not work with the document's Owner role and replaces the existing user only at the start of the workflow, not after the workflow begins.

Add participants to other document roles This allows workflow participants to be added to other roles beyond what is needed to execute the workflow. For example, it can be helpful to copy workflow participants into the Viewer role. This ensures that even if the user loses Reviewer access, they are still able to see the document.
Ways to assign tasks This control determines what options the workflow initiator has when starting a workflow. Note this is only shown for multiple user controls.

Choosing Every user sends tasks to every user specified for the role on the workflow start dialog.

Choosing Any user makes tasks "Available" to all users specified for the role on the workflow start dialog. Any of these users can claim the task, at which point it become unavailable to other users. Note that Vault assigns all users selected for an "any user" task to the Viewer role. When a user claims the task, Vault assigns that user to the role associated with the task.

Alternatively, the administrator may wish to allow the workflow initiator to determine the best approach at run time.

Note that when a group is selected for an Any user task in a re-executed workflow, and Replace existing users in role is enabled, users in both the original group and the newly selected group are not removed from the role.

Start Dialog Display

This indicates whether the selected user control on the workflow start dialog is required, optional, or controlled by a set of workflow participation rules.

If a user control is Required, users must assign the role when starting a workflow. If Optional, users can choose to exclude the role. Whether or not a user control is required or not is controlled by the Allow Task to Be Optional checkbox in the Workflow Task step. Learn about starting workflows.

If Participation Rules is displayed, the lifecycle role selected in Assign to Role has been configured with participation rules. This means the user control is only displayed when certain document field criteria are met and the specified role must be assigned before starting the workflow. Click the Participation Rules link to see the Workflow Role Setup records. Learn more.

Date Controls

To add a date control, select Date Control as the control type. You can add multiple date controls to a single start dialog, but you can only use one as the workflow due date. For date controls that are linked to document fields, you can only use each document field once in the workflow dialog.

You must populate the following details for all date control items:

Field Description
Control Label This is the label of the date field to be displayed to on the workflow start dialog.
Date attribute options Set as workflow due date: The date provided by the end user will become the workflow due date and appear wherever tasks and workflows are displayed.</p>

Update document field: The date provided by the end user will populate a specific document field. Only date fields appear in the picklist, and these are restricted to the fields that apply to the document types associated with the workflow's lifecycle. If a user updates the workflow dates later, Vault also updates the selected document field. Note that when updating the workflow dates, the user does not need document role-based permissions to edit document fields because the system makes these updates, rather than the user.

None: This option captures the date provided by the end user, but does not use it as a controlling date for the workflow or to populate a document field. Depending on the workflow configuration, users may be able to select this date later in the workflow as a task due date.

Electronic Signature Controls

Some workflows require the workflow initiator to provide an electronic signature before the workflow can start. To add this control, select Electronic Signature as the control type.

You can provide the following details for an electronic signature control:

Field Description
Include eSignature Reason Code This prompts the user not only for their electronic signature but also for a signature meaning code in accordance with health authority guidance on electronic signatures. If this is selected, the label for the reason code picklist should be provided, as well as the relevant values the user can choose from.
Reason Code Label If using reason codes, this is the label of the reason code picklist field.
Reason Code Values Enter each reason code that will appear in the picklist. You can rearrange the order of options within the picklist by clicking and dragging the options.

About Conditional Display Options

By default, the same Display Options settings apply to all documents when a user starts the workflow.* However, Vault allows you to make these settings conditional based the value of a Yes/No (boolean) document field. Using this would cause Vault to display different start dialogs for Yes and No values. Admins may use this option when the workflow will take a different path based on a field value, and the dialog should prompt the workflow initiator for the minimum information required.

For example, the document field Multiple Reviewers Needed could control which start dialog appears. If the field is set to Yes, the start dialog has multi-select user controls. If the field value is No, the start dialog has single-select user controls.

To set unconditional Display Options settings, click the edit link under the Always… heading.

To define Display Options settings based on a field value, click one of the edit links under the Or with these conditions… heading. Select the document field on which to make the settings conditional. The list of fields displays only those for a document type associated with the workflow’s lifecycle. Note that if the controlling yes/no (boolean) field is blank, Vault treats it the same as the No value.

To change the option between conditional and unconditional, click the edit link under the other heading.

Note that if field-level security is configured on your document, the Yes/No document field must not be hidden for the user who starts the workflow.

*When Advanced Workflow Role Configuration is configured in your Vault, the workflow start dialog display options can be controlled by other document fields, such as the document type, country, product, and others. Learn more.