Draft Workflow



Content approval workflow (also known as draft workflow) is a part of Campusuite that may or may not be enabled in your web site. With the multitude of users in the system, all with a range of roles and permissions, an approval/review process is often needed.

Administrators can choose to restrict the ability of content authors from freely publishing content on the organization's web site.? In this case, the Administrator specifies Writer as the security level for everyone logging in. This makes it so that people can draft content (news, events, and static pages) but they cannot publish them live.

In this type of set-up, the Administrator, or content manager(s) for that section, need to be notified when content is complete and ready for review.

We refer to our draft workflow as a "single draft system", that is, no page can have more than one draft at a time. This alleviates the overwhelming number of drafts that were bombarding the dashboard panel in the past. If a page has a draft waiting, people are encouraged to work on that draft and push it through the process to approval.


Known Issues

Click here to see known issues related to drafts.


Dashboard Drafts Panel

The dashboard drafts panel has become even more useful than in previous versions. It will only show the drafts that are relevant to a particular individual. For example, the draft panel will only show an content manager drafts that are waiting for them to approve. In other words, if you see a draft, it is yours to edit (if you are a Writer) or, it is yours to approve (if you are a content manager). You can also filter drafts by their status, i.e. in progress, waiting for approval, declined, scheduled, etc. Take a look:

You can tell the difference between a static page draft, a calendar/event draft or a news draft by the icon that is next to the title. Additionally, you can see the status of the draft in the colored bar at right. You can click the name of the draft to handle it.


The Roles

For the sake of clarity, we will walk through the draft workflow from the perspective of the Writer, the WriterCM, and the PublisherCM. Think of CM as content manager status applied to a current users security level. First, let's cover the Writer.



This is the lowest security level in the system. The Writer can draft pages, news and events but cannot publish content live without a content managers approval.


The Dashbar

As a Writer navigates the site and comes upon a page that has a draft, the dashbar adds the relevant buttons to the dashbar. It looks like this:

Let's go over the buttons and their functions.

Edit Draft: Will let you edit the draft, as you might expect.

View Draft: Will let you preview the draft, but it also reveal some new buttons on the dashbar. They look like this:

Let's go over these buttons and their function.

Edit Draft: Again, will let you edit the draft.

Submit for Review: Notifies the content manager that your draft is ready for review.

Delete Draft: Of course, the creator of the draft has the ability to delete it by clicking this button.

Below the dashbar, you will also see who last edited the draft, and when, on the left. On the right, you will see the status of the draft as well as any comments that have occurred during this drafts process. You can see how many comments are associated with the draft by the number in parenthesis next to it. If you click the comments link, it will open a window to let you see the comments. It looks like this:

These comments allow one to see basic information during various stages of the draft. It is also helpful to allow the original author to understand why their draft was declined... or it could help a content manager understand what changes were made to the draft since its last iteration.

Once a Writer is satisfied with the draft, they can click "Send for Review" and they will be presented an opportunity to include a comment with the draft along with the ability to select a content manager. Take a look:

Attention System Administrators: Let's briefly go over how the draft workflow finds approving managers for each department. The system looks first for Writers who have been made a "content manager" for the current department, (we call these WriterCMs.) If the system finds even one WriterCM for the current department, it stops looking for additional approving managers. If there are multiple WriterCMs specified for the current department, it will show them all. = If it does not find a WriterCM for the current department, the system then searches for PublisherCMs, and if it doesn't find a PublisherCM, it searches for Administrators.

In summary, you cannot have content managers with varying levels of access because in theory, one could override the other and that breaks the entire workflow intention. However, the next iteration of the draft workflow system will allow varying access levels to be specified as Content Managers. The Writer can now see the draft waiting for approval on the main dashboard. The panel is a good way to keep track of drafts around the site. Here is an example of the drafts panel with a draft waiting for approval:

If the Writer realizes they need to make a change to the draft after it has already been submitted for review, they can "Cancel" the review and continue to make additional changes to the draft.

If in the meantime, the content manager gets the email saying the draft is ready for review, they will be told upon arrival to the draft that the review has been canceled and the draft is back "In Progress".


Content Managers

Think of a content manager (or approver) as one who has been granted the ability to approve content. This ability could be given to any security profile. A "content manager" could be another Writer (i.e. WriterCM,) a Publisher (i.e. PublisherCM,) or an administrator who has simply been granted the additional permissions.



This is still the lowest security level in the system, but a writer who has been made a "Content Manager" is referred to as a WriterCM. The WriterCM can approve content to be submitted to a PublisherCM or Administrator, but still cannot approve content to go live on the web site. The WriterCM should be thought of as an intermediate step added to the regular draft workflow and not everyone will use it.

The WriterCM has all the same privileges as a Writer, but we've granted the ability for them to serve as an intermediate content manager. The WriterCM can decline a draft and send it back down to a Writer to correct or revise. So, when the WriterCM sees a draft waiting for approval, they see the following:

Note the additional button that is added to the dashbar for a WriterCM.

Decline Draft: If the WriterCM declines a draft, they are presented with the ability to provide a comment to explain why they are declining the draft. Take a look:

As you can see, the WriterCM is addressed by name as the approving content manager. In this case, Joey would be declining the draft, so he would type in the reason he is declining the draft and click send.

The WriterCM could now find the draft under the "Declined" tab on the dashboard drafts panel. The original Writer will see the draft on their main draft panel with a status of "Declined" along with who declined it, and the reason, if they provided a comment.

If the WriterCM wants to approve the draft, they click "Send for Review" and are also given the opportunity to provide a comment to the final approver. Again, if the WriterCM approves a draft, the content is not yet live on the site. Rather, it is sent to the person higher up the chain of command who is usually a PublisherCM or an Administrator.



A Publisher already has the ability to publish content LIVE on the website without any approval workflow. Of course, this applies ONLY in the specific areas they have been granted access to do so. Adding the "content manager" permission to a Publisher simply designates them as a content approver for the lower-level users. This makes their name appear as one of several content-approving managers. The same could apply to a site Administrator.

When a PublisherCM logs in, they will look at the dashboard draft panel to see all content waiting for them. Take a look:

The PublisherCM can filter drafts by their status, i.e. in progress, waiting for approval, declined, etc. Of course the they can click on and manage or view the drafts, but they will usually be sent an email with a link to a draft whenever a draft has been submitted for review. Here is an example of one of these emails:

The email will include a link to review the draft. If the content manager is logged in, they will be taken directly to the draft. If they are logged out, they will be asked to log in before being directed to the draft.


The Dashbar

Upon logging in, the content manager will see the draft and can review it. They will be given the following options on the dashbar to allow the manager to manage the draft. Take a look:

Let's go over these buttons and their functions.

Edit Draft: Allows the content manager to make changes to the draft.

Make Live: Will replace the live page with the current draft we are managing.

Schedule Live: Will allow the content manager to specify a date for the draft to go live.

Decline Draft: Means that the content has been rejected and the original author is required to make changes before the content manager will approve and make it live.

Delete Draft: Will delete the draft entirely.


Setting up Roles

It is easy to set up the various roles in your web site. Typically, most people will remain their current security profile. Writers will stay writers and publishers will stay publishers. To specify someone as a "Content Manager" you will look them up, edit their account, click on the "Permissions" tab to view their department associations. You specify someone as a content manager at the department level. So, if you want them to be a content manager for the Admissions department, and the Biology department, you would need to edit both associations and check the box content manager under each.

Listed above, you see that we would check the content manager checkbox under each department to specify that person as a approver of content.

If the person is currently a writer, this adds content approving ability to their profile. Remember, the person is still a writer. When they approve content, they are really escalating it to a publisher or another admin who actually has the ability to make the content live.

The writer is really an intermediate approver of content and you may choose to use them, or not.


Workflow Scenarios

Use these examples to best see and understand how the draft workflow works for you.

Example #1:

  • Writer submits draft for review
  • WriterCM reviews and submits draft for review
  • PublisherCM reviews and makes draft live


Example #2:

  • Writer submits draft for review
  • WriterCM reviews and submits draft for review
  • PublisherCM reviews declines draft


Example #3:

  • Writer submits draft for review
  • WriterCM reviews and submits draft for review
  • PublisherCM schedules draft to go live


Example #4:

  • Writer submits draft for review
  • WriterCM declines draft
  • PublisherCM never sees this draft on his dashboard


Example #5:

  • PublisherCM removed
  • Draft gets sent from writer, to the WriterCM and then the senior site administrator