Workflows and the Workbox

Current version: 9.3

A workflow is a series of predefined states that reflect the work processes and procedures for creating web content in your organization. For example, your workflow states could correspond to the creation, review, and approval stages that items must go through before they are published on your website.

Workflows enable you to have control over the content approval and publishing process, ensuring that only content that has been approved is published.

Workflows consist of three elements – states, commands and actions.

A workflow can contain any number of workflow states and be as simple or complex as required. Items do not necessarily have to move through all the workflow states that you have defined. Some states can be optional or only applicable to certain kinds of content.

The Workbox is a tool in Sitecore that displays information about the items in a workflow such as editing history or the number of items that you can find in each workflow state. In the Workbox you can find all items in a workflow.


In Sitecore, you can implement any number of different workflows. As a minimum, each workflow must contain two workflow states – the initial and final workflow state. You can only publish an item in a workflow if it is in the final workflow state.

An example of a workflow:

A diagram of workflow states, commands and actions

In this example, the workflow consists of three states; Editing, Reviewing and Published.

All of the following workflow items are stored in the content tree:

  • Workflows – the parent item that contains all the subitems that make up the workflow.

  • States – the basic building blocks of the workflow. The workflow states represent the different stages in your content creation process.

  • Commands – move content items from one workflow state to another. When the command is executed, the item is moved to the workflow state that is defined in the command item.

  • Actions – the actions that are automatically performed on the items when they are in particular workflow states or when particular workflow commands are executed.

  • Note

    An administrator can overwrite any workflow state and move an item through the states or publish the item at any given time.

The Workbox

The Workbox gives you an overview of all items that are in workflows and enables you to manage these items.

In the Workbox, you can see the editing history of items in the workflow, each item's workflow state, and the number of items in each workflow state.

For each item in a workflow state, you can preview, open and compare different versions of the same item. You can also set up an RSS feed, which enables you to receive a notification when there are changes to an item or when a version of an item enters or leaves a specific workflow state.

You can open the Workbox from the Launchpad.

The Workbox

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