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How to view comments added to a workflow?

  Asked By: Tejaswani    Date: Aug 09    Category: Sharepoint    Views: 18971

Can anyone tell me if the comments an approver in a workflow makes are
actually retained and if so where\how can you view them?
When you go to the workflow history itself it shows the time, status,
etc, but when an approver actually makes comments it simply says
comments: at the end of the task approved item and never shows the
actually comments. Am I missing a switch somewhere?



9 Answers Found

Answer #1    Answered By: Karin Kerr     Answered On: Aug 09

For the built-in workflows the comments  are stored in the workflow  history list
and should appear in the status  page for the workflow. I actually see comments
where you see just comments:

Is it an OOB workflow or one you wrote yourself?

Answer #2    Answered By: Vinod Kumar     Answered On: Aug 09

It took so long to get back to you on
this, we've been busy moving our sites to a new farm and it's been a
bit busy here.

This is a standard OOB workflow, and it's only on one site
(unfortunately a rather important site for document control). There
had been custom workflows, lots of columns added, etc.. but when I
create a new document library within this site and complete the OOB
approval workflow  the comments  don't show up in the workflow
history. Since it's site wide I think it must be associated with
that workflow, even though it's OOB.

Answer #3    Answered By: Jeffery Hayes     Answered On: Aug 09

Which OOB workflow  are you using? When I do it with the Approval or Collect
Feedback workflow it works for me with no problem. Comments are included in the
Workflow history.

Answer #4    Answered By: Mohini Tiwari     Answered On: Aug 09

I actually called Microsoft about this one this week regarding the
built-in "Collect Feedback" workflow, because I wanted to be able to
add the "Comments" as a field in the task  view. Yes, in the workflow
history, the users comments  are displayed. Microsoft said that this
response is actually stored in an XML file seperately from the task
list, which is why these user responses cannot be added  to a view  in
the list.

Answer #5    Answered By: Natasha Bennett     Answered On: Aug 09

It's not stored in a separate file, its stored in XML format in a separate
hidden list. comments  from the Approval workflow  are stored as part of the
Description column in the hidden workflow history  list. If you manually
navigate to http://site/lists/Workflow%20History/allitems.aspx you will find the
whole list. This hidden list is what is filtered to provide the workflow
history in the status  screen for the current workflow.

The Comments are also a column in the task  list being used by the workflow. If
you manually navigate to that list you can create a new AllItems view  that will
include the comments field. The Feedback shows  up in the Comments column.

Not sure who told you this is stored in a separate file, but its not. Its
stored in lists in the content database along with everything else.

Answer #6    Answered By: Angel Matthews     Answered On: Aug 09

The reason I called Microsoft tech support about this issue, is
because there is no "Comments" column in the associated task  list.
It seems logical that there would be, but such a column does not
exist. I created a new view, and selected every single column in the
task list, and none of them are called "Comments", and none of them
contain the "feedback" that the users give when they complete the
task. The only way that we are able to view  the users' feedback, is
by looking at the "Workflow History" screen for that particular
workflow instance.

If anyone out there is able to see a "comments" field in their
associated task list with user responses, it would be interesting to
see, and would be interesting to see what you did differently when
creating the workflow  or creating the task list.

In our case, the workflow is created on one particular site content
type, and the associated, custom task list was automatically created
by SharePoint when I typed the name of it into the new workflow on
the content type.

Answer #7    Answered By: Ravindra Salvi     Answered On: Aug 09

I tested this with the collect feedback workflow  before responding to you and I
see a comments  column in the task  list that stores the workflow tasks. The
Comments show up in that list for each of the tasks. The only thing I can think
of that I did differently was that I created an Approval workflow first that
uses the same task list (this is the workflow I use the most.) It also uses a
Comments field. It could be a bug that doesn't create the field properly when
using the collect feedback workflow. But will use it if it has been created by
another workflow.

The other thought I had is that it might not show up in the task list until a
comment has been added. In other words, the workflow may not add the custom
column when its associated, but only when it has metadata to be stored.

Anyway, the comments field does show up for me and comments from the Collect
Feedback workflow do show in the Comments field.

Answer #8    Answered By: Rahul Sharma     Answered On: Aug 09

I think by default, comments  are available until it is approved  but
not after it is approved. You may have to customize it to keep the

Answer #9    Answered By: Jagjit Phutane     Answered On: Aug 09

Me again with a solution to the problem. I found that a custom column
with the same name "comments" had been created. When I removed it
(after the content types associated with it had been removed) the
workflow comments  started showing up in the workflow  history again.
Thanks for both of the replies, and by the way the comments do stay with
the workflow history.

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