Vadim Tabakman

Don't try to pull a fast one on me.  You've never used the Filter action in Nintex Workflow.  I know you haven't.  If you have, would I be writing about this??

In all the years I've been working with Nintex Workflow on projects, with partners and customers, I think I may have seen one person actually use the Filter action.  It's a fairly straight-forward action, in that it checks some conditions and if they aren't met, it ends the workflow.

If the condition in the Filter action is met, the rest of the workflow logic will be executed.

If the condition is not met, then you will see a message in the workflow history and the workflow will end.  This is the message that you will see:

"The item under workflow did not meet the filter criteria".

The are a few business scenarios where this action would be useful in a workflow design.

Scenario 1

Lists/libraries in SharePoint can support multiple content types.  If you want a build a master workflow that runs everytime an item is created, but you only want it to handle certain content types, the Filter action is perfect for it.  It also means that only the single action will run, rather than a Set a Condition->End Workflow or Run If->End Workflow.

I always look for ways to minimize the size of my workflow.  The big it is, the harder it is to modify it later and the harders it is to transfer the ownership of that workflow another person or team.

You can see that this is just a simple workflow with 2 actions.  But this shows you how you can have a single workflow at the start of the workflow that will govern whether this workflow runs or not.

The configuration of this action is based on what content type of the item is.

When the action runs, if the condition is met, the rest of the workflow will run:

When the condition is not met:

Scenario 2

There are situations where your workflow will start multiple times.  But it runs off of the data in the item or document it is linked to.

Sometimes, you'd want the workflow to run the first 3 steps then because this is the first time, then end the workflow.  Later, a user will update the item and the workflow will start again, but this time, it will go through the 3 steps, check the filter, it will match, and then next 3 actions with run before another Filter action.

What we have here is a list with a Choice field with the options of IT, Marketing and Finance.

We have 3 Filter actions in this workflow, where the first one has a condition check for all choice values, the second filter action only checks for Marketing and Finance and then the final Filter checks only for Finance.

What this means is that you can create an item with an empty choice field and run the workflow.

Edit the item and set it to IT.  Rerun the workflow and you'll see it go further down the workflow.

Edit it again and set it to Marketting, rerun the workflow and it'll go even further etc.

When you run the workflow several times and edit the items, the workflow history looks like this:


Posted by Vadim Tabakman Sunday, July 8, 2012 10:10:00 AM Categories: Content Types Filter Log in the History List Nintex Nintex Workflow
Copyright Vadim Tabakman
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Wednesday, July 11, 2012 6:44:51 AM

re: Nintex Workflow - Filter Action

Thanks!! Great write up.

I have been using the switch and machine state to determine the 'status' of the item and set the 'status' accordingly.  But looking at this, it almost seems that it would be 'easier' to have 4 workflows for every 'status' and just put a filter as the first step... so my question is..

Are there any performance issues with having multiple workflows fire every time an item is saved on a fairly heavy list (2,000+ items) with lots of hits (10,000) a day?

The list is a tracking list, and workers monitor their 'status queue' and as entries are added or updated (think call center where each item is to be called at least three times and each call attempt noted with time/date and call results).  So the team is in there all day long making changes.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 9:02:34 AM

re: Nintex Workflow - Filter Action

This is a great right up and sounds like I need to be using the filter action - instead of my home built filter action which combines a 'Run If' with a Stop Workflow action in the Run If.  Filter will be used!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 9:02:40 AM

re: Nintex Workflow - Filter Action

This is a great right up and sounds like I need to be using the filter action - instead of my home built filter action which combines a 'Run If' with a Stop Workflow action in the Run If.  Filter will be used!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 10:36:23 AM

re: Nintex Workflow - Filter Action

Hey Randy,

Thanks :).

I don't really see a major performance hit in workflows running on a list like that.  Where you will encounter some issues is just SharePoint itself.  I know that performance drops when you hit 2000+ items in a list.  But I think in your case, if you are planning on having multiples workflows starts and some will stop as they don't need to run, stick with the Switch action to control which child workflow will run.  It's definitely a better design in the long run, especially if you list grows bigger.

Thursday, September 3, 2015 9:26:22 AM

re: Nintex Workflow - Filter Action

Hi Vadim, thank you for all the detailed tutorials on your site! It's been the main go to source for us as we transition to Nintex.

I looked everywhere on Nintex help forum and google but I cannot figure out why I'm getting the "Item did not meet filter criteria" message. I'm trying to send email notification to different people depending on the facility location.

Here's the setup: Top is the Parallel Actions, with 5 filters in the second tier, and below each filter is an email notification. The filter setting is "If current item field equals value" and the field and value is select from what's built into the form.

If you have any suggestions or reference, I'd very much appreciate your help. I know you've most definitely have other priorities and if I don't hear from you, just know we're still all very thankful for your knowledge sharing on the site!!

Thursday, September 3, 2015 9:32:50 AM

re: Nintex Workflow - Filter Action

Ahhh it's always right after I seek help that something clicks. So the workflow works when the filters are swapped out and we use "Run If" instead. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015 3:19:23 PM

re: Nintex Workflow - Filter Action

Hi Theresa,

I think that makes sense :). Actually, yeah it does.  Only use Filter if the condition is not met, you want to terminate that workflow instance.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016 11:37:22 AM

re: Nintex Workflow - Filter Action

I have been having a similar issue, I built a workflow that checks something within a specific date range, if something is completed in that month it will update another list.  I got it to work on the test but now its not doing it.  The workflow says, "The item under workflow did not meet the filter criteria." the item was created in the specific date range, so why would it not be showing up on the other list? 

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