Mike Skutta Blog

Sitecore How-To: Creating Custom Workflows

Matt Weeks and Mike Skutta


This is an article in a series of Sitecore how-to articles. These articles are meant to be quick guides to accomplish various tasks within Sitecore. The how-to articles have proven to be very helpful internally at One North Interactive https://www.onenorth.com. These articles assume working Sitecore knowledge. I just wanted to share the articles with the community. Hopefully you find them helpful.


Creating a custom workflow in Sitecore might be useful in a scenario where just publishing the item is not enough. In my case, I needed to publish a sub item, then publish its parent entity, and finally publish a related item on the initial sub item.

Step-by-step guide

  1. Create a new workflow item in the
    1. location /sitecore/system/Workflows/
    2. template /sitecore/templates/System/Workflow/Workflow
  2. Under that item, add two workflow states.
    1. template /sitecore/templates/System/Workflow/State
    2. Draft State, make sure the final check box is not selected. Workflow Draft
    3. Publish State, make sure the final check box is selected. (This is the final workflow state) Workflow Publish
  3. Using the workflow created in step 1, set an Initial state.
    1. Workflow
    2. The initial state should point to the Draft state created in step 2.1.
  4. Under the Draft state item created in step 2.2, add a Workflow command.
    1. template /sitecore/templates/System/Workflow/Command
    2. Set the Next state field to the Publish state created in step 2.3. Workflow Draft Command
  5. Add the publish action to publish the initial item; this uses the publish action from the Sitecore kernel.
    1. the type should be “Sitecore.Workflows.Simple.PublishAction, Sitecore.Kernel”
  6. After the publish action, add a custom action; in my case it is titled Publish Parent Entity.
    1. Workflow Custom Action
    2. Notice the Type string is set to a class contained in the website project.
    3. The code below gets the item being published, it then finds its parent item and publishes it.
     using Sitecore.Data.Items;
     using Sitecore.Workflows.Simple;
     using Website.Logic.Common.Extensions;
     namespace Website.Logic.Common.Workflow
         public class PublishParentEntityAction
             public PublishParentEntityAction()
             public virtual void Process(WorkflowPipelineArgs args)
                 Item dataItem = args.DataItem;
                 var parent = dataItem.Parent;
                 if (parent != null)

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