What are workflows?

A workflow is a sequence of steps describing the life cycle of a document.
Workflows can automate your business processes such as reviewing documents, approving invoices and publishing company policies to your intranet.

In AODocs, each workflow step is called a workflow state.
Library administrators configure workflow transitions to define how documents can switch from one workflow state to another. Workflow transitions can be triggered manually by a specific user or automatically depending on a set of rules based on date, time, duration or properties.

In each workflow state, you can:

  • send workflow emails to the workflow participants or to other users
  • configure workflow permissions and define which users have read and/or write access to the document and its properties

Workflows can also integrate automated version control: check-out, check-in and creation of a new version.

Automatically generated table of contents

Basic workflow example 

You want an AODocs workflow to manage contracts.
Each contract you create has to follow a validation process. You can define a workflow to track the validation of the contracts and their signature, as shown below.


In this example, the contract can be in one of the following workflow states:


The contract is in progress.
When the first draft of the contract is written, it can be submitted for approval.


The contract has been written and is waiting for approval.

The participants can approve image08.png the contract: it switches to the To be signed state.
The participants can also reject image05.png the contract: it switches back to the Draft state.


The contract has been approved and is waiting for final signature by the head of the Finance department.

Only the Finance department can sign Sign.png the contract.


The contract is signed and effective.

When the contract enters the Signed workflow state, the signed version of the contract is available in read-only for a large audience.


30 days before its expiration date, the contract automatically switches to the Soon to be expired state.

A notification email image09.png is sent to warn editors that the expiration date of the contract is close.


The document has expired.

After the expiration date, the contract automatically switches to the Archived state. Only library administrators can see the document.

Workflow example with version control

You want to manage your company’s procedures.

Each procedure needs to follow a validation process. The content is shared domain-wide at the end of the validation process. When the content of procedures is being revised, basic users mustn't see the updates until the procedure is validated again.

You can define a workflow to manage the validation and revision of your procedures, as shown below.



A new procedure has been created. The procedure is automatically sent to the manager in the Draft state for editing.

The document is checked out Check-out.png before entering the Draft state.


In the Draft state, the document is checked out. It has two versions:

  • the draft version where the manager writes the procedure
  • the main version which is in read only and where updates to the draft version don’t appear

The manager writes the procedure and then submits it to the director for approval.


The director reads the draft version of the procedure.

The director can approve image08.png the procedure: it switches to the Approved state. The document is checked in check-in.png before entering the Approved state.
The director can also reject image05.png the procedure: it switches back to the Draft state.


The procedure has been approved. In the Approved state, the document has been checked in. The draft version of the document becomes the new main version of the document and the previous main version of the document becomes an old version.

The main version and the older versions of the document are now visible to the whole company.

At the expiration date (custom property) Expiration_date.png, the procedure automatically switches to the Draft state for revision. The document is checked out Check-out.png before entering the Draft state. The document will go through the same validation steps (Draft – To be approvedApproved) as before.

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