Modifying 'Workflow Stage' field from Graphical to Text


The State of a Workflow process can be shown graphically, or as a text field.

When the graphical workflow is combined with an increased (20+) user modified rowcount property, there is an impact on list response times, either within calls or shown via Related lists.  

NOTE: A very frequent example of this impact is within / transactions.

Alternatively, this may be considered the preferred visual preference within the organization.

This modification can be quickly implemented, tested, and is easy to revert back to the out of the box setting, type = workflow.

Testing in Sub Production is always recommended before promoting into a Production Environment.

Graphical vs Text Display

In this example, when looking at you can see it displayed in a graphical format:

Note the different icons for the various stages of the workflow process. The query to generate the workflow state icons above is more expensive in terms of database performance than if a single keyword is displayed to render their state. For example;


Modifying the Type from Graphical to Text

To modify the field, edit the System Dictionary for that Table by navigating the System Dictionary and editing the column type for the table in question:

Navpage > System Definition > Dictionary

Modify the column for the workflow_state column, from type = workflow to type = string by editing the record and changing the type.

Once modified, Save or Update the record.


Edit the Dictionary Entry for the 'workflow_state' column on the kb_knowledge table:


Modify it to type = string:


Test and Observe the Results

Now that the type has been modified, reload the list to observe the difference. For example:

To revert this change, reverse the steps and modify the workflow_state back to type = workflow. Save the record and reload the list.