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Workflow GetLastManualActivityInstance

Sometimes in practice, you need to get the last manual activity of a workflow. This is the last activity that was performed before the current activity and that is not automatic (i.e. was performed by a user).

A use case is to retrieve the message that the user completed his manual activity with.

/// <summary>
/// Return the last manual activity instance from the current process instance
/// </summary>
/// <returns></returns>
protected ActivityInstance GetLastManualActivityInstance() {
    ActivityInstance activity = CurrentWorkItem.Activity as ActivityInstance;
    ProcessInstance processInstance = activity.Process as ProcessInstance;

    List<ActivityInstance> activities = new List<ActivityInstance>(processInstance.Activities);
    for (int i = activity.Position - 1; i >= 0; i--) {
        ActivityInstance lastActivity = activities[i];
        TridionActivityDefinition activityDefinition = lastActivity.ActivityDefinition as TridionActivityDefinition;
        if (String.IsNullOrEmpty(activityDefinition.Script)) {
            return lastActivity;

    Logger.Warn("AbstractHandler.GetLastManualActivityInstance: Cannot find previous manual Activity Instance");
    return null;

For the code-above we need to know the CurrentWorkItem, which is the WorkItem of the current item in the workflow.

/// <summary>
/// Return the finishMessage of the last manual activity in this workflow process
/// </summary>
/// <returns></returns>
protected String GetLastManualActivityMessage() {
    ActivityInstance lastActivity = GetLastManualActivityInstance();
    if (lastActivity != null) {
        return lastActivity.FinishMessage;

    Logger.Warn("AbstractHandler.GetLastActivityMessage: Cannot find previous manual Activity message");
    return String.Empty;

The code above is part of YAWF (Yet Another Workflow Framework).


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