A recent blog post from Dries Buytaert shed some light on an ongoing initiative for Drupal 8, the Workflow Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to increase the range of capabilities that Drupal provides with respect to content staging, editing, and deployment. While at first review this might seem mundane, the ability to have better control over the creation of content in Drupal is a feature set that is important to many people (as per the 2016 State of Drupal survey).

One way content management workflow will improve is by having more varied and granular control of publishing states. While the generic binary options we are used to (published and unpublished) serve the needs of many, having access to states like "draft" and "archived" provide the chance to manage the state of content before and after publishing.


Additionally, the content moderation "state transitions", make it so the act of changing a piece of content from one of these states, eg. draft to published, published to archived, and back, can be controlled with role permissions. So perhaps a content editor might be able to create new drafts, but only a content manager might be able to publish them to a "live" status, or take them back down again.

While this may sound similar to what the Workbench contributed module provided in Drupal 7, this initiative moves this functionality into the Drupal core itself, with the above-mentioned feature set already being available in Drupal 8.2 in the Core (Experimental) modules section.

But beyond these new default options, in an upcoming Drupal 8 update (most likely 8.3 in the Spring of 2017) content managers will be able to further customize their workflow states for their own needs, and have different workflows per content types or even non-traditional content. This could be really useful if your website does not have a traditional content publishing model or is publishing types of content other than just basic articles. Dries uses the example of a membership website and a user moving through the various states of acquiring and upgrading their membership.

Much further down the road in development, perhaps Drupal 8.5 for next year, is the concept of "workspaces". This feature concept would allow for the simultaneous publishing or workflow moderation of multiple content items, bundled as a sort of meta group. Things like nodes, blocks, and menus. At first glance this sounds a lot like some aspects of the Features module, which in of itself has always been very powerful.

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