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Understanding Task Actions in SharePoint Designer 2013

SharePoint 2013

Published: September 04, 2012

Learn to use Task Actions in SharePoint Designer 2013.

Applies to:  SharePoint Designer 2013 

A task in SharePoint Server 2013 is used to assign work to a person or group and then track the progress of that work over time. There are two workflow actions in SharePoint Designer 2013 designed for working with tasks.

These actions are:

  • Assign a task is used to create a SharePoint 2013 task and assign it to a single participant.

  • Start a task process is used to assign a task to multiple participants.

The Task Actions are accessed in the Action drop-down menu of the SharePoint Designer 2013 ribbon, as shown in the figure.

Figure: Task Actions in SharePoint Designer 2013

Task Actions are available from the Action drop-down menu of the SharePoint Designer 2013 Preview ribbon

A business process often consists of tasks that must be performed by people. A workflow orchestrates the steps of a process. A workflow uses Task Actions to assign tasks to people. For example, when a new employee is hired a number of tasks need to be performed. One such task might be a new employee orientation. The task might need to be performed by a member of the Human Resources department.

The Assign a task and Start a task process actions are located on the Actions drop-down menu in the SharePoint Designer 2013 ribbon. You can add the actions to your workflow and then customize them for your particular circumstance. The Assign a task action is used to assign a task to a single participant. The Start a task process action is used to assign a task to multiple participants.

Assign a task

The Assign a task action is shown in the figure.

Figure: The Assign a task action in SharePoint Designer 2013

"Assign a task" action in SharePoint Designer 2013.


The Assign a task action takes three inputs: the user to assign a task, the outcome variable, and the task id variable.

  • this user: Opens the Assign a Task dialog as shown in the figure. Use the dialog to set the participant, task title, description, due date, task options, email options, and outcome options.

  • Variable: Outcome: Assigns the variable that will hold the outcome of the task.

  • Variable: TaskID: Assigns the variable that will hold the id of the task.

Figure: The Assign a Task dialog box

Use the "Assign a task" dialog box to set the participant, task title, description, due date, task options, email options, and outcome options.

Start a task process

The Start a task process action is shown in the figure.

Figure: The "Start a task process" action.

The "Start a task process" action takes two inputs: "users" and an "outcome" variable


The Start a task process action takes two inputs: the users that will participate in the task and the outcome variable.

  • these users: Opens the Start a Task Process dialog box as shown in the figure. Use the dialog box to set the participants, task title, description, due date, task options, email options, and outcome options.

  • Variable: Outcome: Assigns the variable that holds the outcome of the task process.

Figure: The Start a Task Process dialog box

Use the "Start a Task Process" dialog box to set the participants, task title, description, due date, task options, email options, and outcome options.
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