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What is the Relationship Between Workflow Manager 1.0 and SharePoint 2013 Workflow Manager Client 1.0?

As Microsoft notes on its download site for Workflow Manager 1.0 the relationship between Workflow Manager 1.0 and Workflow Manager Client 1.0 (which provides SharePoint Server 2013 with a new platform for building workflows) is as follows: “Workflow Manager is a multi-tenant host for running and managing Windows Workflow Foundation workflows, supporting high scale and high density execution . . . Workflow Manager Client 1.0 contains the core assemblies and client API for Workflow Manager 1.0.” (quoted from the download page, a link to which has been provided in this paragraph.

It is worth taking a look at what is likely meant by a “multi-tenant host” that supports “high scale and high density execution.” We located a patent application for MULTI-TENANT, HIGH-DENSITY CONTAINER SERVICE FOR HOSTING STATEFUL AND STATELESS MIDDLEWARE COMPONENTS. This patent abstract provides some additional information that may be useful for business users trying to understand how a workflow management platform like Workflow Manager Client 1.0, for SharePoint 2013 actually works. Specifically, the authors of the abstract explain that “A container service is capable of hosting large numbers of middleware components for multiple tenants. A central container manager controls a plurality of compute nodes.” (quoted from patent abstract, a link to which has been provided in this paragraph). In simpler terms, workflows require middleware to bridge the gap between no-code development methods and actual coded applications. In an enterprise it is likely that many organizations (“multiple tenants”) will want to avail of the same workflow development methodology; therefore a platform is required to support this activity uniquely capable of serving middleware, for a wide variety of ongoing workflow development requirements. The high density aspect relates to the “plurality of compute nodes” mentioned in the abstract.

All of this support, of course, requires computing horsepower, hence the need to provide a “Manager Client” for the workflow engine, only, for SharePoint Server 2013.

In the next post to this blog we will look further at how “pairing” plays a critical role in the installation process for Workflow Manager Client 1.0 and SharePoint Server 2013.

Rehmani Consulting, Inc. collaborates with customers interested in exploring the potential benefits to be realized through enterprise implementation of process development via workflows over SharePoint. Please contact us. We offer an extensive experience consulting experience set working with workflows with SharePoint Designer 2007, 2010 and, presently, 2013. You can visit our web site, SharePoint-Videos.com for further examples of our expertise with SharePoint.

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on behalf of Rehmani Consulting, Inc.