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What’s Different About Workflows in SharePoint Server 2013?

Organizations with a serious commitment to building workflows on SharePoint server will need to know how the 2013 version of this server differs from SharePoint Server 2010. One of the most important areas to explore before making a decision about whether or not it makes sense to migrate from 2010 to SharePoint Server 2013, are the out of the box workflow features of the platform.

In a video tutorial included in our set on SharePoint 2013: Workflows, SharePoint 2013 Workflow Features and Interop Bridge, Chris Beckett, subject matter expert and published author, provides a glimpse at some of the differences in the out of the box set of features included in SharePoint Server 2013 to support workflow development.

SharePoint stakeholders need to keep in mind the dual nature of workflow options in this new 2013 server platform. The old SharePoint 2010 workflow runtime engine is still there, but must be activated before its features can be used. As Chris Beckett explains in this video, the two runtimes are “basically running side by side”. Chris goes onto note, the out of the box 2010 workflows, “Approvals” and “Collect Feedback” are still there, but the 2010 runtime engine has to be activated for a SharePoint 2013 teamsite prior to using these workflows.

SharePoint Designer 2013 is the preferred tool for building workflows. Administrators and developers can select either the SharePoint Server 2010, or 2013 workflow runtime engine.

In fact, SharePoint Server 2013 does not ship with any out of the box workflows other than the ones we’ve just noted, which will only be accessible once the “legacy” 2010 workflow runtime engine is activated.

So organizations with a substantial set of procedures built on the SharePoint Server 2010 runtime engine can safely migrate to SharePoint Server 2013 with the confidence the old workflow runtime engine can be activated as the organization continues to use the same toolset to add new workflows, as required.

Ira Michael Blonder

© Rehmani Consulting, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved