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04/06/2018

Getting More Out of Conditional Logic in Nintex workflow for Office 365

I want to highlight a way to get even more value from the recently released conditional start feature in Nintex Workflow for office 365.

Normally, workflow is triggered when an item is created or modified.  With conditional start, Nintex has provided the ability to set a condition or expression that also must be true.

When using conditional start, a workflow designer may be wondering how to handle a situation where the value of a field item changes from A to B.

In Nintex Workflow for SharePoint (on premises), designers had the option to check previous values for the existing columns in a list, and use that to create the logic of the start condition (example below)

Currently, this option is not available in Nintex Workflow for Office 365 because of a constraint in a Microsoft API, but there is a workaround.  To solve this problem we just need to get the previous workflow instance to write the prior values of the list item in the column(s).  

For example. I have a list with Column 1 and Column 2.  I want the workflow I created in the list to be triggered only when I modify an item in Column1 from A to B.

In order to make this happen I need a way to check the value of Column 1 before the item was modified to compare it with the current value.  To do that I’ll create another column and call it Column1Prior.  Now that we have both the previous and current values I can create a condition in the Start Option.   

We do need to keep Column1Prior updated, so we will add an Update list item action to the workflow.  This will set the value of the Column1Prior to equal the value of Column 1 at the end of the workflow instance.  This way, every time a workflow finishes running, Column 1 and Column1Prior will have the exact same values.