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August 18
Nintex Workflow Action Sets are Awesome!

The more I use Nintex, the more I’ve come to appreciate the lowly “Action Set” action. I’ve had many students ask why a workflow action that seems to do nothing is so valuable. Let’s check out some of the reasons!

What is an Action Set?

Simply put, an Action Set is a “container” action – that is, other actions can be placed inside an Action Set to logically group them together. This allows the workflow designer to organize actions into logical “sub-routines”.


What else can an Action Set do?

In the words of the old commercial – “But wait – there’s more!” In addition to the basic grouping capability, the Action Set provides several more benefits to the workflow designer.

Group behaviors

The Action Set configuration dropdown menu can be leveraged to affect all the actions contained by the Action Set – Copy, Disable, Delete, Minimize, Maximize. In addition, the entire action set and its contents can be moved to a different location in the workflow in the same way as any other workflow action.


Save as Snippet

Reusability, baby! By saving the Action Set as a workflow snippet, you can save your favorite workflow sub-routines and easily bring them into other workflows. Just remember that snippets you create are only visible to you.


The Action Set Common configuration tab

There are several valuable options in the Common ribbon tab of the action item that affects all the action contained by the Action Set:

  • Message to log on completion – you can easily log a common message in the workflow history when the Action Set has completed executing. Note that you have full access to all the data within the workflow to dynamically created the message.
  • Expected duration – instead of configuring each child action with its own expected duration, you can define an expected duration for the Action Set as a whole for the purposes of reporting.
  • Hide from workflow status – it is a best practice to hide actions from the workflow status whenever possible in order to increase workflow performance and reduce logging. When you configure the Action Set this way, all of its actions are also hidden from the workflow status.
  • Disable – as mentioned, disabling the Action Set also disables its children.
  • Run as workflow owner – By default, all workflow actions run with the permissions of the user account that initiated the workflow. By grouping actions into an Action Set and selecting this option, you can ensure that parts of your workflow run with the permissions of the account that published the workflow. This can be especially useful for workflows that execute processes that the average use may not be able to do, such as provisioning SharePoint sites.



Action Sets are deceptively simple. The reality is that they bring a lot of value to the design and creation of your workflows. Use them in good health!

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