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Is Contribute permissions required to start a workflow?

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Ryan Dennis
New Contributor

I have tested and confirmed on multiple SharePoint 2016 environments, all with Workflow Manager 1.0, the following issues for users who do not have contribute permissions to the parent web/site:

  • Users cannot see workflow subscriptions on a document/item
  • Users cannot initiate a workflow set to start automatically, that is, a workflow set to start on item creation will not start if the uploading user does not have contribute rights to the parent web

It does not seem to matter if the user has contribute rights to the list/library itself, they must have those permissions at the web level. If I increase the user permissions to contribute at the parent web, workflows are now enumerated for the user - and they are able to initiate a workflow set to start automatically.

 

Note that this behavior only affects the 2013 Workflow (WFM 1.0) platform, not 2010-based workflows.

 

Is this behavior by design/to be expected, or is this a bug? 

 

I have included some screenshots to help illustrate the issue:

 

Before granting Contribute rights - no workflows visible, nothing to start

Workflow_Before.png

 

After granting Contribute rights, same item - can now start workflow and see the previous (errored) workflow

Workflow_After.png

 

Uploading a new item after given Contribute rights - WF starts automatically and completes

Workflow_After_AutoStart.png

4 Replies
It seems so...I recommend you read this post that contains a possible workaround for what you are seeing: https://sharepointcreations.wordpress.com/2014/02/18/sharepoint-2013-workflow-cancels-automatically/ It's for SP 2013, so it's valid for SP 2016 too

Thanks for the reply! I can confirm that by manually editing permissions on the Workflow History list, users can initiate a workflow which is set to start automatically on item creation. However, they still cannot enumerate available workflows, and they cannot manually start them.

Hi Ryan,

I am also experiencing same problem with my reusable workflows.
Unless i give contribute(in particular Edit items permission)permissions for the users at the site level, users are not able to see the list of workflows available to start manually.
However workflows that are set to run automatically when item is created or changed are running fine without any issues though users are not able to see the workflows

Did you manage to find solution for this issue?, if so, please help me also...

Hi Yaswanth

 

This is most likely by design and you will have to use the workaround of workflows start automatically. you could always make another yes/no column "start workflow" then put a condition of the workflow when it automatically starts to check this is a yes. 

 

The only other solution would be to add the users to the web with contribute and break permissions on all other lists and remove them. This would not be a great solution.

 

Kind Regards

Alex Bunning

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