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Creating Globally Reusable Workflows for Other Site Collections and Other SharePoint Farms

Many of the procedures we’ve presented in the last couple of posts to this blog hold for either SharePoint of SharePoint Designer 2013. We wrote these posts on procedures presented by Asif Rehmani, SharePoint MVP and MCT, in two video tutorials:

But what about creating globally reusable workflows for use with lists or libraries in other site collections within the same farm, or even entirely different SharePoint Online, Office 365, farms?

The procedures presented by Ayman M. El-Hattab, in an article posted to the Code Project website on April 6, 2010, titled Reusable and Globally Reusable Workflows in SharePoint 2010 work fine with SharePoint Online, Office 365.

By saving a reusable workflow as a template, one gains the flexibility of using the same workflow within different site collections, or even SharePoint farms. Saving the workflow as a template appends the .WSP file type to the workflow, which makes it into an executable. As Ayman El-Hattab notes, once the workflow has been saved as a template, it must be stored in the “Site Assets” folder, where only a user with appropriate privileges (meaning a SharePoint administrator or a site collection administrator) will be able to work with it.

So a SharePoint administrator with access to the “Site Assets” folder can import the workflow, as well as the required supporting components, into any other site collection, or even farm. Once the workflow has been imported the executable will run to install the workflow as well as the components included in the supporting environment. This capability is certainly in place for SharePoint Designer 2013, which includes a “Save as Template” option on the “Workflow Settings” tab of the ribbon. The “Workflow Settings” tab will be exposed once a specific workflow has been selected with SharePoint Designer 2013.

Ira Michael Blonder

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