The draft review process

The review process for a draft web page depends on the workflow assigned to its template. Administrators enforce workflows to web pages by assigning predefined workflows in Contribute templates. When you create a web page using a template, it is assigned the workflow associated with that template. Contribute assigns a default workflow to the following:

  • Templates that are not assigned a workflow

  • Starter web pages

  • Web pages created without using a template

If your web page is created in an application other than Dreamweaver®, it is assigned the workflow of its linked page in Contribute.

The strict enforcement of workflows in Contribute help maintain a disciplined author-centric approach to the authoring and publishing process. In previous versions of Contribute, a reviewer could send the page to another reviewer without the web page coming back to the author.

The four workflows available in Contribute are:

Author > Publish
Authors can directly publish a web page after creating it if they have publish permissions.

Author > Review > Publish
The author must get the web page reviewed before publishing it.

Author > Approve > Publish
The author must get the web page approved before publishing it.

Author > Review > Approve > Publish
The author must get the web page reviewed and approved before publishing it.

For all workflows other than Author > Publish, the web page must be reviewed/approved before it is published.

When users receive a web page, the toolbar displays buttons for actions that the users can perform and to which they have permissions. Actions are similarly enabled or disabled in the menu bar (File > Actions.)

For example, a webpage test.htm is associated to a template that has the Author > Review > Publish workflow assigned to it. When authors complete adding content to the page, they can only send it for review. The Publish button does not appear in the toolbar until the web page comes back from the reviewer. Similarly, the toolbar of the reviewer has buttons for only those actions available to the reviewer. When the reviewer completes reviewing the web page, it can only be sent back to the author for further action.

Workflows are defined in XML files, and decide the course of the web page from its authoring stage to the time it gets published. It is possible to create your own workflow by customizing an existing XML file. However, Contribute checks only for syntax errors in such XML files.

The XML files for workflows are protected on the server, and users cannot download and edit these files.

Note: Workflows cannot be assigned to blog pages.

You can send a draft for edit, review, or approval to anyone who has connected to the website. Contribute stores user names when users connect to the website. You can send the draft to multiple reviewers at the same time. However, only one reviewer can review the draft at a given time. When you send a draft for review or approval, you transfer “ownership” of that draft. You cannot proceed to the next stage in the workflow until the draft comes back from all the people to which it has been sent.

All the users, to whom the web page draft has been sent, must approve the draft. If even one user rejects the draft, it is removed from the Pages panel of all the users to which it has been sent. The draft is then returned to the author.

When you receive a draft for review or approval, it appears in your Pages panel in Contribute. You might also receive an e-mail message from the sender to alert you that you have a draft to review or approve. When you complete editing, reviewing, or approving the draft, the draft is returned to the author.

The following table lists the actions that are available in Contribute during the life cycle of the web page. Only those actions are available to users for which they have permissions, and which can be performed at that stage of the web page life cycle.




Publishes the web page. All intermediate drafts are deleted and all inbox messages are removed.


Uploads the files to a temporary location in the site and sends messages to the recipients. The task for a draft sent to multiple recipients is closed only when all the recipients perform one of the actions assigned to them, or when one of the actions like publish, or delete terminates the workflow. The options available for this action are listed in the subsequent rows.

Send for Edit

Sends the page for editing.

Send for Approval

Sends the page for approval. The approver cannot edit or review the draft.

Send for Review

Sends the page for review. The reviewer cannot edit the web page; only comment on it.

Send for Publish

Sends the page for publishing if the author does not have permissions to publish.

Edit Draft

Opens the draft for editing.

Edit Done

Closes the edit session. The web page moves to the next step in the workflow.

Delete Draft

Deletes the draft in the WIP (work in progress) state and closes the workflow.

Delete Page

Deletes the page from the website.

Discard Draft

Clears any changes made to the draft.

Undo Send

Returns the draft to the person who sent it and deletes it from the inbox of the recipients.


Returns the draft to the sender if the web page has been unaltered.


Opens the web page for review.

Review Done

Closes the review session.


Rejects the draft. Even if one of the reviewers rejects the draft, the draft is deleted from the inbox of all the other reviewers. The draft is returned to the author.

Web pages continue to use the initial workflow of a template till they are published. Any changes made to the workflow during the draft cycle are reflected only when the web page re-enters the cycle.

You can select the option to publish a web page along with its dependent files and linked files if they are in the same workflow. The location of linked/dependent files that have a different workflow is finalized on the site, but they are not published.

All dependent files of the published file are published along with the published page. Shared dependent files are also published. However, dependent files exclusive to the linked file are published with the linked file.

For example, consider the following case:

  • Page1.htm is based on the template template1.dwt with the workflow Author > Publish.

  • Page2.htm is based on the template tempate2.dwt with the workflow Author > Review > Publish.

  • Page1.htm is associated with the dependent files (assets) wav1.mp3 and video1.mpeg.

  • Page2.htm is associated with the wav1.mp3, and video2.mpeg files as its dependent files (assets).

When Page1.htm is published, the dependent files wav1.mp3, and video1.mpeg are also published. The location of Page2.htm is finalized on the site, but it is not published until the workflow of Page2 is complete. The dependent file video2.mpeg is published only when Page2.htm gets published.

The status and information of a page at any stage of the lifecycle is available on the status bar, the draft history, and the Draft Console.

Users connecting to a website administered using a previous version of Contribute cannot use the workflow feature until the site is upgraded. Users with previous versions of Contribute cannot assign a workflow to their templates. When they send their pages for review to users of Contribute CS5, the reviewers can use only those features that were available in the previous release.

Users of previous versions of Contribute can receive pages created in Contribute CS5 only after they upgrade. For Contribute CS5 pages that have been sent to users with previous versions, the author can undo the send, and retrieve the file.