Custom Workflows

Write Advanced Workflows with Scripting

This documentation is based on the FoodCrunch use case. Please open the link below alongside this page to understand the examples.

pageIntroduction and Use Case

Custom workflows were implemented in 2019 and is mainly for older versions of Squidex. This guide will teach you how to implement custom workflows with permissions and scripting.

If you are up-to-date with your Squidex version, simply use the newer Workflows feature. For more information visit the documentation for Workflows linked below:


Our Requirements

In our FoodCrunch use case, we publish magazine articles and have a schema for it called magazine. In order to manage these articles we have three roles:

  1. Creators: Write articles and when they are complete, they mark an article as Ready.

  2. Reviewers: Review articles and either mark an article as Approved or Rejected.

  3. Publisher: Decide when to publish an article and should only publish approved articles.

Therefore we have the following statuses for content:

  1. Draft

  2. Ready

  3. Approved

  4. Rejected

  5. Published

The following diagram visualizes our workflow:

Step 1: Modify the Schema

In the first step we will modify the magazine schema to add a field called Status which displays the status of the article as a string field with a dropdown editor.

To do so, navigate to Schemas (1) in the App, select the schema i.e. magazine (2) and click + Add Field (3).

Select String (4) as the field type, enter Name (5) as status and click Create and edit field (6).

Select Editing (7), choose Dropdown (8) as the Editor type and add the statuses in Allowed Values (9). Click Save and close (10) to finish editing the schema.

In the list view, the magazine schema will look something like this:

Now it's possible to easily see all the articles and their status. However, the reviewer will only be interested in the articles Ready to be reviewed.

It's possible to search for these articles using the following query: $filter=data/status/iv eq 'Ready'

It looks a little technical, but reviewers shouldn't worry about this! The query can be saved (1) and given a friendly name (2), so it can be reused later on.

To retrieve the query, click Filters from the side bar.

The basic setup is already complete and might work well enough in a small team. It requires a little discipline and co-operation from all team members. However, if there is critical content such as product texts or there's a large team where it's difficult to rely on other people, it's a good idea to use some rules to ensure that the workflow is utilized correctly.

It's also possible to use the new comments feature to share information between reviewer and writer:

Step 2: Enforcing the Workflow

Start by creating the Creator and Reviewer roles in Squidex:

As you can see in the screenshot above, the Creator can only create and update content, but cannot publish it and the Reviewer can only update content. Let's use the default role Editor for the Publisher.

So, the problem of just the Publisher being able to publish and unpublish content is solved, but there is still something left to do.

We have to ensure that:

  1. The Creator must set the initial status to Draft.

  2. The Creator can only change the status to Ready.

  3. The Creator can only update an article when the status is Draft or Rejected.

  4. The Reviewer can only change the status to Approved or Rejected.

  5. The Publisher can only set the status to Published.

  6. The Publisher can only publish the content when its status is Published (to be consistent).

Not everything is shown in this tutorial, as there is too much information and the solution is the same for all roles, but let's see how to implement this for the Creator.

The solution is scripting. If you click the three dots in the schema editor, a menu will pop up with a menu item to the scripting editor. Here you can define scripts that are invoked when a content item is queried, created, updated, deleted or when a status has changed.

The Create Script

The script for creating content is very simple:

// Check the status field is set to draft.
if ( !== 'Draft') {
    // If not reject this operation with a custom validation message.
    reject('The status of a new article must be set to Draft');

That's it, there's nothing else to do because the permission system already enforces that only Creators can create content.

The UI will show an error message from the script if the status of a new article is set to anything other than Draft:

The Update Script

Lets have a look to the update script:

// Our code for the Creator
if ('Creator')) {
    // Check the old status of our content.
    if (ctx.oldData.status.iv !== 'Draft' && ctx.oldData.status.iv !== 'Rejected') {
        disallow('You are not allowed to edit content that has been published already.');

    if ( !== 'Draft' && !== 'Ready') {
        reject('You only set the status to Draft or Ready');

What does it do:

  1. Check if the current user is a Creator.

  2. If the content has the wrong status, cancel the process with the Disallow function. Then the API responds with an HTTP 403: Forbidden and the UI will show an error message.

  3. If the content is changed to an invalid status, cancel the update with the 'reject' function. Then the API responds with an HTTP 400: Bad Request and the UI will display the error message.

The rest of the requirements can be implemented with some more if statements.


With the steps above you can implement custom workflows with Squidex, but this solution has several shortcomings:

  1. You have a second field for the status of the addition.

  2. The user experience could be better.

  3. You have to define and write the scripts.

There are some benefits to this solution too, such as:

  1. You can implement very finely grained workflows and you are not restricted by a built-in solution.

  2. You can even make the status field localizable and ensure that all texts are reviewed from a different person before you publish the content.

Last updated