One of the major (and unfortunate) difference between the SharePoint 2010 workflow platform and the SharePoint 2013 workflow platform (based on Workflow Manager) is that in SharePoint Manager workflows cannot centrally be associated with content types.
For instance the legal department could decide that any document based on the contract content type had to be approved every year or that every expense report had to be approved by the manager of the user who submit it.
We cannot do that anymore with SharePoint 2013 workflows.
However, what we can do now SharePoint online, is to associate SharePoint 2013 workflows to content types in the scope of a list/document library; not in a site, or a site collection. This is a new feature called content type filtered associations.
Let’s take an example : one of my document library has the following content types
In the workflow-settings of the same page, you can now associate workflows with content types; for instance I will associate my “Session” content type with a Collect Feedback workflow
Now let’s add a few documents based on different content types (one of them is “Session”)
If I select a Session document and I click on “Workflows”
I will see the associated workflow:
However if I select another document (based on another content type), as expected I won’t find any workflow to start :
Very simple. Yes I know, this doesn’t replace the good old workflow-content type association that you can still use with SharePoint 2010 workflows (and out of the box workflows are still based on the old platform).