Workflow Column Status
When you associate a workflow to a list/library a new column appears with the workflow name (just like the on prem version). However nothing seems to happen in this column when a workflow starts or completes.
Related I think..
If you set a status in the workflow column it also modifies the Item the workflow is running against, thus changing the date modified.
AND worse still if you wish to state an approval workflow has completed, as the last action, you can't because it resets the approved state to pending!
Vikrant Behal commented
Having end-users to manually set status is extra effort. Moreover there is no way to set status to Errored /Terminated /Suspended.
The set workflow status allows custom status to be shown that is relevant to your workflow logic. It can also be populated with some standard status values as described in help. Reproduced here for convenience. This does not allow you to capture suspends or terminated status though. Please see and vote on suggestion "Workflow Errors". Thanks.
"You can specify a custom value, such as "Workflow Started," or a standard workflow status value from SharePoint, such as "Completed." For example, you might add two instances of this action to a workflow: one at the beginning, with the status value "Workflow Started," and another at the end, with the status value "Completed." For the list of standard workflow status values from SharePoint, see Workflow status values."
Larry Bolton commented
In general your on-prem product sort of sets the standard for how this column works. My suggestion would be to make this feature (and any others) behave as closely as possible to their on-prem cousins.
If there is a substantial deviation between the behavior of a feature between the on-prem version and the cloud version, then give it a new name.
Here's a goofy analogy that hopefully helps to illustrate my point: It would be less confusing for me if I asked for a horse, and you responded saying you don't offer a horse, but offer a zebra instead. Versus, me asking for a horse, and then without saying anything or providing any documentation you give me a zebra. And, when I try to use the zebra to do things a horse can do, and I spend several hours trying to get rid of its stripes, then I find out after wasting precious hours and several emails with tech support and screen shots and downloads, that it isn't really a horse, it's a zebra and it will never be a horse.
Or, that all of the users can vote to have the zebra painted to look like a horse.
If a feature doesn't work the same in both environments, then call it something different.
Timmy S commented
Biggest issue is for the Error status
There is currently no way to an admin to manage and have any level of control over the platform.
I can't browse list to view all workflow that have errored, could be a list of 1000 item and I'm not going to dig into each item, the workflow status column on prem sets status to Error, I can't capture this and set manually currently.
And there is also no Email sent to admins when a record fails.
Bradley Geldenhuys commented
This is an absolute must have, right now there is no way to see what the status of the workflow is from the list view, one needs to perform multiple clicks to see one item at a time.
Stefanie Sloper commented
It would be better if it behaved like on-prem- otherwise if your workflow errors, you can end up with the status as something you set e.g. 'in progress' but the internal state is suspended! This is more confusing for the users. As Carmien said, it's more of a debugging type column rather than the status the users use, but they do use it to check if an error occured. If it was completely like on-prem, you could still use set workflow status to override the defaults anyway.
I do like the way I can set my own status at any time in the Workflow instead of the SPD Started, Pending etc. This wway I'm very flexible to inform the enduser.
Carmien Owen commented
Personally, the big use for this is in development and debugging for me. I'd never use workflow status to inform the business as to workflow progress. It's not intuitive. However, from a development point of view, I'd see value in populating workflow status.
As it stands, this column is being added to the default view and it's blank. Unless this column is used, I'd rather the default be to NOT add this column to the default view.