SharePoint 2013 Workflow Ups and Downs

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Do you want to use declarative, scalable and robust workflows? Do you want to get rid of 3rd party workflow products in your SharePoint farm? Do you want to have visual designer support and easy extensibility? Do you want to be able to deploy the same workflows automatically to all staging environments? SharePoint 2013 workflows is one of the most exciting new features in SharePoint and provides all these features. One serious limitation is the somewhat un-polished state of the current user, developer and administrator experience. This session will walk you safely through this feature set from beginning to the end and enable you to use SharePoint 2013 workflows today.

You will see some good and easy scenarios on how to install the workflow infrastructure, how to create, deploy and maintain workflows. While doing so you will get to know lots of tricky details from hard-learned real-life experience with the product. You will learn about the common pitfalls and errors when installing the workflow infrastructure, show you how to automate, trouble-shoot, reconfigure, develop, maintain and deploy workflows. All workflow examples are created in SharePoint Designer and PowerShell is used to automate infrastructure setup and workflow deployment.

As opposed to SharePoint 2010 workflows the new workflow infrastructure, Workflow Manager, is detached from the product and must be installed separately. This gives you the option to host the workflow engine on isolated servers (one or more) and hence provides a great deal of flexibility. This setup requires Workflow Manager Client, IIS web server, Workflow Manger and Service Bus installation accompanied with a couple of SQL server databases. UI configuration tools as well as a PowerShell snap-in are provided by Microsoft. The communication from workflows to SharePoint relies on the SharePoint REST API. Workflow designers must have a good understanding of REST services and JSON to use the capabilities fully.

I used this slide deck for my presentation during the SharePoint Saturday 2014 in Stockholm (25th January 2014).

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  • Template may not be modified Twitter hashtag: #spsbe for all sessions
  • SharePoint 2013 Workflow Ups and Downs

    1. 1. Workflows 2013 Ups and Downs #SPSSTHLM10 Bernd Rickenberg (@bernd.rickenberg) Pointwork January 25th, 2014 SharePoint Saturday Stockholm
    2. 2. Gold SharePint Bronze Raffle
    3. 3.   Architecture Overview Creating Workflows  Deploying Workflows  Nintex vs. Microsoft  References
    4. 4.    • • • •
    5. 5.  Architecture Overview  Installing the Infrastructure  Deploying Workflows  Nintex vs. Microsoft  References
    6. 6.     Version Issue RTM Call web service action does not keep values 15.0.4433.1506 KB2752031, 11-12-2012 Ok 15.0.4454.1000 KB2767858, 12-02-2013 Ok 15.0.4535.1507 KB2768006, 08-10-2013 Error when switching to Visio view 15.0.4551.1003 KB2837633, 10-12-2013 Visio export not working
    7. 7.  Architecture Overview  Installing the Infrastructure  Creating Workflows  Nintex vs. Microsoft  References
    8. 8.    • • • • •
    9. 9.  Architecture Overview  Installing the Infrastructure  Creating Workflows  Deploying Workflows  References
    10. 10. Nintex 2013 Azure Workflows Activities 100+1 36 Custom activities Yes Yes Workflow Engine WF 3.5 WF 4.5 Visual Designer Yes Yes Deployment NWF XAML Requires developer skills Depends Still
    11. 11. Nintex 2013 Azure Workflows Activities 361 36 Custom activities No No Workflow Engine WF 4.5 WF 4.5 Visual Designer Yes Yes Deployment XAML XAML Requires developer skills Depends Still
    12. 12.      Architecture Overview Installing the Infrastructure Creating Workflows Deploying Workflows Nintex vs. Microsoft
    13. 13. http://www.harbar.net/archive/2013/07/26/Article-Workflow-Manager-Farms-for-SharePoint-2013-PartOne-Core.aspx http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn508412.aspx http://blogs.msdn.com/b/kaevans/archive/2013/04/05/inside-sharepoint-2013-oauth-context-tokens.aspx http://blogs.msdn.com/b/kaevans/archive/2013/08/25/creating-a-fiddler-extension-for-sharepoint-2013-apptokens.aspx http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/jj193441(v=azure.10).aspx

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