By default SharePoint gives you a link to the list item in a SharePoint item field.

Link to the list item in the SharePoint item field

However this isn’t very user friendly as you will need to open the item before you can see what your approving.

I have an approval workflow created in SharePoint Designer which controls the approval of items in a custom list.

The Solution

The easy (?) solution is to add the item fields on the form so that items can be updated during the approval process by the person who will approve the item.

I tried using dataconnections on the infopath forms in the workflow, but this doesn’t allow you to both update and receive data from the list item.

So how can we get the SharePoint item fields in the task form?

This is how I got it all working. Any better ideas are welcome!

  • On the Start approval process task click in the Approval link (This opens the details for the task).
  • Then for each field that you want to appear on the task form:
  1. Add a new Task Form Field of the same type as your item field
  2. Click on Change the behavior of a single task
  3. In the Before a Task is Assigned section add a Set Task field to set your Task Form Field created in step 1
  4. At the beginning of the When a Task Completes section add a Set field in current item task to update the item to the task field.
  • Save and publish your workflow and you are up and running.

By Pieter Veenstra

Business Applications and Office Apps & Services Microsoft MVP working as a Microsoft Productivity Principal Consultant at HybrIT Services. You can contact me using

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