How To: Create List Items from a Repeating Section with Nintex Workflow

Last month I wrote the first part of this blog and that was focused on the Nintex Form piece of this solution. This month we will focus is on how to take those individual items on the single form and create a list item for each one. There are many scenarios that this could come in to play such as breaking out each item in a request to better understand metrics or even running processes on individual item rather than on the entire submission. Let’s jump in and take a look on how we can tackle this.


For this scenario I will continue from the last blog and frame it as an expense report. The report will allow for each submission to have multiple items on the report, but we want to break out each item into a separate list for additional processing. For this, we will need to create a separate list to push the necessary data into. Here columns I created for my list:

  • Date of transaction (Date)
  • Description (Single Line Text)
  • Amount (Number)
  • Vendor (Single Line Text)

Keep in mind that this is the list is where the items will be pushed to in order to process them further. The next step is creating the workflow that will push each item into this list. This workflow will be on the list where your form resides.

The Workflow

The workflow itself is not overly complex as we are gathering each node in the XML structure and then creating a list item for each item in the XML (in the form). I break it down into two section, Query XML and Create Item.

Query XML
Create Item
Querying The XML

Let’s start with querying the XML in a parallel block to help speed up the process a bit since we are going after different nodes each time. For the Query XML action, you just need to pull from “Content” that is already on the item in your list (this is why we connected the Repeating Section Control to the RepeatingSectionXML list column). Once you have the query pointed to the right place, place your XPath query to the desired node you want to pull back. I recommend creating an item (filling out the form and submitting) in your list to look at the XML structure for your specific use case. Here is what mine looks like:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
	<Version />
			<_x0036_110e1da-1f9e-4f14-8766-c9ebb6610df6 type="System.DateTime">08/03/2020 00:00:00</_x0036_110e1da-1f9e-4f14-8766-c9ebb6610df6>
			<_x0032_e7e5e75-9cbc-4d7b-89fc-70983844451d type="System.String">Description Goes Here</_x0032_e7e5e75-9cbc-4d7b-89fc-70983844451d>
			<_x0038_f5c375c-86f6-4218-b493-af99e1dc5e2f type="System.String">100.00</_x0038_f5c375c-86f6-4218-b493-af99e1dc5e2f>
			<_x0030_a6cd3d3-1fdc-4e65-90bf-85c2720412da type="System.String">Vendor ABC</_x0030_a6cd3d3-1fdc-4e65-90bf-85c2720412da>

What you will need out of this is the name of the node (My Date of Transaction nodeis : _x0036_110e1da-1f9e-4f14-8766-c9ebb6610df6). This is what you can paste into the //Items/Item/{Your_Node_Here}. Store the results in a collection variable so that you can loop through all of them. You will need to re-create this action for each node (list column) you wish to grab data from.

Query XML Action
Creating Items

Now that we have all of the data points we need, all that is left is to create a list item. This is rather straightforward, but we need to ensure that we line up each piece of data so we do not have mismatched data in our itemized list. In order to accomplish this we will loop through a single collection and pull the corresponding data point based on the index we are on. I chose to loop through the Vendor collection and store the output in a variable called VendorName and ensuring that I capture the index in a variable (called index).

For Each Action

With the index, we can easily pull the corresponding data from all of the other collections that we gathered in the previous part of the workflow. This ensures that all of the data will line up when we create the list item. Again, here we are using the parallel block action to speed up the processing time a bit, so once you have one Get Item From Collection action configured, you can easily copy and paste for each collection you need to pull from. All that is need when configuring the Get Item From Collection action is the collection you wish to target, the index to pull from, and what variable you want to store the result in.


Once you have all of the data pulled from your collections, the last step is to create a list item from the data. We will first pick the list where we want to create the item (the list we created at the beginning of this blog) and pass the variables to the appropriate List Item Property. Be sure to give it a title that makes sense and leverage the references Nintex provides. Here is how it looks when all setup:

Final Thoughts

This process is meant to pull out repeating section items from a form and push them into a different list than the one the form sits on top of. The reason for this could vary, but I see this a lot when having to perform processes on the individual items rather that the submission as a whole. Workflows can be created to process each item individually. In our scenario, a supervisor could approve or reject expenses at a much deeper level than a blanket approve or reject. How else could this be leveraged? Let me know in the comments!


7 thoughts on “How To: Create List Items from a Repeating Section with Nintex Workflow

  1. Hi Jesse,

    Is it possible to created the repeating section data in the same list where the form uses. This is because I have a requirement to export list data to a CSV file and this includes data from some repeating sections.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Prasad –

      Yes, actually all of the repeating section data is held within the form on the list. However, it is formatted in XML, so pulling it into a list view may be a bit difficult as there would be many items in the repeating section to the one list item. You could build different views on the same list to differentiate between parent (form) and child (items in the repeating section) items.



  2. I mimicked the above work flow for a form with 4 fields (1 choice drop down and 3 single text fields) and I am getting an error on my For Each step which says “Coercion Failed: Unable to transform the input lookup data into the requested type.” At this step I am trying to take the collection of commodities from the single choice drop down and store it in a text variable with an index variable that is a number variable. I have no idea why i am getting this error.


      1. If you are taking the “choice” text from the RepeatingSectionXML in the same way as the other controls (storing it into a collection), you should be able parse that collection and use the single selection as text. I was able to do this with a choice (dropdown) control on the form, and passing the data to another list. Within the destination list I was able to push the data into a text column as well as a choice column (available choices matched the form).


  3. Hey Lauren
    It sounds like it cannot convert the data you are pulling from the collection to the variable type you are trying to store it into. I will try to look into this more and see if I can recreate.


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