Understanding Sharepoint 2013 workflow - Technology tips

Monday, April 8, 2013

Understanding Sharepoint 2013 workflow


Workflows are used for designing business processes, you design workflow based on document -means document centric  or sometimes complex human approval workflow using SharePoint, how people has been using workflows in SharePoint 2010 basically there is a old school of thought exist which is workflow engine starts automatically once you install SharePoint 2010, nothing special you need to do, and SharePoint stores all data in sql server related to workflow as a rule of thumb.

SharePoint 2013 has support of previous workflow -that model exist so using SharePoint 2010 platform you can start your work and that mechanism is available in SharePoint 2013, additionally you can design workflow based on new model this mechanism has a new concept called workflow manager - you need to install it separately this mechanism is not available when you install SharePoint 2013.

So basically there are two different procedure to design workflow, one- you can design workflow based on your previous mechanism as you have been designing using SharePoint 2010 we call it old procedure.

Understanding Workflow Manager:
 And second mechanism is new service you need to install it and you will see option showing you a platform to choose when you create a new workflow in SharePoint 2013 either based on SharePoint 2010 or newly introduced mechanism SharePoint 2013.
Windows workflow manager is new mechanism of authoring and hosting workflow in SharePoint 2013 newly introduced component you need to install it separately.
  • You can manage your activities using this mew concept.
  • You can do tracking and monitoring for workflow
  •  You can do workflow instance management and much more.
Workflow Development environment for SharePoint 2013:
Workflow development using the following for SharePoint 2013 are below:

You also can use Visual Studio 2012 to design workflow based on SharePoint 2013, as you can define here custom actions for workflows ,  another option you have vision 2013 to design workflow and then import them using SPD 2013 and start designing UI.
Infopath 2013 is another option for you people to design UI and then design workflow.

You can use SharePoint designer 2013 to deign end-end workflow you can give it a try after downloading and installing it then create SharePoint site using designer and start working with workflow.
Actions are object placeholder to represent activities and display them using SharePoint designer 2013, please review a  partial list of new actions available in SharePoint designer 2013 Workflow:

  • Assign a Task
  • Start a Task Process
  • Go to This Stage
  • Call HTTP Web Service
  • Start a List Workflow
  • Start a Site Workflow
  • Build DynamicValue
Above are example of available action for your workflow to start  with and design your workflow and use them in it.

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