Vault allows Admins to configure workflows for single and multiple documents to include collaborative authoring sessions. These workflows require you to add the authors as participants and create workflow steps for checking in and checking out a document. Collaborative authoring workflows are useful when a document workflow requires multiple authors to edit a document at the same time.

Configuring Collaborative Authoring Workflow Actions

You can use workflow and lifecycle actions to automatically start, end, and cancel collaborative authoring sessions from a document workflow. The actions include:

  • Check Out to Microsoft Office
  • Check In From Microsoft Office
  • Cancel Editing in Microsoft Office

To configure these actions on a workflow, you must add a System Action step. The System Action drop-down displays each action for you to select. You can also configure these actions as entry actions on document lifecycle states. These actions are available in workflow configuration by default, but you cannot activate workflows containing one or more of these actions if your Vault is not configured and verified for collaborative authoring.

When the workflow enters a lifecycle state or workflow step configured with one of these actions, Vault immediately executes it for any document in the workflow. For example, if the In Authoring state is configured with the Check Out to Microsoft Office entry action, Vault checks any documents in the workflow out to Microsoft Office 365 as soon as the workflow enters In Authoring. The user who starts the workflow is considered the owner of the collaborative authoring session.

Vault executes these actions asynchronously. You may need to refresh your browser if the action’s results do not immediately appear on screen.

If a document is already checked out when the workflow or lifecycle action runs, Vault will take no collaborative authoring action. The Workflow Owner also has the ability to check in while the document workflow is in progress. If a document is checked in before the workflow is completed, Vault will take no collaborative authoring action. If the workflow is configured to automatically check in and check out documents through the workflow or lifecycle actions, workflow owners should not manually check in documents while the workflow is in progress. Doing so could cause other collaborators in the workflow to lose their changes in the document.

The workflow and lifecycle actions streamline the process by removing the need for workflow owners to manually check out each individual document.

About Notifications for Collaborative Authoring Workflow Actions

Admins can configure a summary notification to send out upon completion of a collaborative authoring workflow action. If the action is configured on a System Action step, the notification is sent to the workflow owner. If the notification is configured on an entry action, a notification is sent to the user who initiated the state change. Select one of the following options from the Send Notification upon (action) Completion drop-down:

  • Always: A notification is always sent after the action completes.
  • Only upon failure: A notification is sent if the action fails.
  • Never: A notification is never sent for the action.

The notification includes the following information about each document in the workflow:

  • Total number of documents that failed and succeeded
  • Name of the specific action
  • Date and time in your Vault’s time zone the action started
  • Duration in hours, minutes, and seconds

The total number of failed and successful documents displays as a link that downloads the results to a CSV file. Use this file to view additional information, such as error descriptions when an action fails.