In this section:

  • Understand workflow
  • Learn how to request publication (as a content author)
  • Learn how to publish content (as a publisher)
  • Learn how to schedule content to be automatically published or unpublished at a future time

In its most basic sense, workflow means that new content or changes to existing content need to go through an approval process before they get published to the live site. This works by limiting access to certain parts of the workflow to certain users, using Roles and Security Groups.  

Generally, you use Roles to define what a class of people can do, and Security Groups to determine where in the site the users have access.  

SilverStripe CMS Workflow is available in two versions: 2-step, and 3-step.

In two step workflow, the author creates or edits content, and then requests publication. The publisher either publishes the content or does not, either sending it back for further edits or deleting it completely.

In three step workflow, there is an additional approval step, where someone can approve content for publication, but not actually publish.  

Requesting publication (authors)

Depending on what rights they have, content creators may only have rights to "request publication," and not to publish pages themselves.

To request publication, save your page using the "Save" button on the bottom right-hand corner of the Editing Pane. Once your content has been saved within the CMS, you can request publication by pressing the "Request Publication" button in the same bottom right-hand corner of the Editing Pane.

Silverstripe Workflow unpublish draft site Save and Publish

You will be asked to add a comment about your edits. This comment will become part of the audit trail for your content, and we recommend you add this information. However, it is not enforced, and can proceed while leaving this field blank.

Once you have submitted your request, you now have a new Workflow tab. This tab will remain active as long as the page is in an active workflow state, and disappears once the workflow is complete.  

The Workflow tab highlights the new (or changed) content and shows additional information about the page. It also shows all comments made to date in the workflow under Discussions and allows you to add more comments under Actions.

The publisher will now see your page as a pending approval request when they run Workflow reports. The publisher will then need to review your request.  If they are happy with it, they will publish it.   

If the site is configured to send workflow emails, authors will receive an email when changes have been approved, (or denied, or if further edits are needed.) Otherwise, you can find the status of content from workflow reports.

Approving and publishing content (publishers)

Publishers may receive an e-mail when authors have requested publication, depending on the configuration of the website.

Publishers can also see a list of all requests that waiting for approval by going to Workflow reports and running the report named "Publication requests I need to publish." This gives you a list of all pages that await your approval.

Click on a page name in the report to view its details. You will see what has been changed, highlighted in green for additions and red for deletions.

Silverstripe Workflow Approving and publishing content

Scroll down the Workflow page to Discussions to see a list of all comments made to date in the workflow.

Publishers can then scroll down to Actions and choose one of the following options:

  • Publish (or Approve) - The "Publish" button publishes the request immediately.  In three-step workflow, this is replaced by the "Approve" button.  The difference is that the "Approve" button does not publish immediately. 
  • Request edit - The "Request Edit" button sends the page back to the author for editing. You should enter a comment instructing the author as to what changes are being made when using this option.  
  • Deny and revert - "Deny and Revert" undoes all changes and reverts the draft site back to it's pervious version. This is for completely denying a change made by an author.  
  • Comment - This allows you to add a comment to this page without changing the workflow.
  • Cancel workflow - This ends the workflow, but leaves the new content on the Draft Site unchanged.

Embargo & expiry (publishers)

Publishers can choose to Embargo content - that is, wait until a specific date and time to publish a page, or choose to set an Expiry date - that is, wait until a specific date and time to remove a page from publication.

To set either the Embargo or Expiry date, go to the Workflow tab of the page in question, and scroll down to "Embargo Expiry."  Set the appropriate date and time, and hit "Set Embargo Date" and/or "Set Expiry Date."  To start the countdown clocks, you must Approve or Publish the content by pressing "Approve" or "Publish" under Actions at the bottom left of the editing pane.