Tuesday, November 5, 2013

SharePoint 2013 workflow platform

In this post we will discuss about workflow platform in sharepoint 2013. Also you can check my previous posts on:

- Site Policies in SharePoint 2013

- Change favicon in SharePoint 2013

- Features removed in SharePoint 2013

SharePoint 2013 designer has now improved feature towards building workflow, packaging and installing workflow to sharepoint sites.
Two types of workflow platforms are available in SharePoint Designer:
- SharePoint 2010 workflow
- SharePoint 2013 workflow

The workflow enhancements in SharePoint Design 2010 and the SharePoint 2010 workflow framework still work in SharePoint Designer 2013.

Now when you will try to create a new workflow, it will ask you the platform type: SharePoint 2010 workflow or sharepoint 2013 workflow.

The new SharePoint 2013 workflow platform type is built using Windows Azure Workflow services. So if you are creating sharepoint 2013 workflow, then the site which is connected in SharePoint Designer must have Windows Azure Workflow services installed. If you are using Microsoft office 365, then no need to install Windows Azure Workflow, it comes by default.

Looping is now possible with SharePoint 2013 designer workflow, in SharePoint 2010 Looping was achived through Visual Studio workflow only.

New shapes and control of workflow is provided with the Windows Azure Workflows. These new shapes available in SharePoint Designer are Stages, Loops, and Steps. These new shapes enable branching and looping logic that was provided by the new SharePoint 2013 workflows. You can drag and drop new shapes to the designer surface.

Now the visual designer has same rich representation as Visio with a graphical design surface and sets of shapes for use on the designer surface. To get the built-in functionality of Visual Designer, Visio 2013 should be installed on the same machine as SharePoint Designer. The text based designer view also exists there and you can switch at any time if you want and vice versa. The changes that are made in the text-based designer are translated into the visual designer and vice versa.

The new Copy and Paste feature of SharePoint 2013 Workflow, helps to reuse some of the conditions or actions that had already been configured. But it has no Control+Z option to undo the last command, so we need to be a bit careful while using the copy paste feature.

A new variable name as Dictionary type has been in introduced in SharePoint 2013 workflows to pass data around a workflow. A Dictionary type has a collection of Name/Value pairs.

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