SharePoint 2013 offers many improvements over previous versions of the platform. Some of those are very apparent, and some are not so much. In fact, there are a handful of new features that almost seem to be hidden by the OOTB (out-of-the-box) installation.
One of these not so apparent features is the new Workflow engine, exclusively designed for use with SharePoint 2013. Some of you may be asking: where is it, how do I enable it, is it installed by default, etc…?
The scope of this guide is simply to provide you with the steps needed to take full advantage of this new workflow engine and the improved features that come with it. For an overview of the new engine and what capabilities it offers, please refer to this SharePoint 2013 Workflow Fundamentals page provided by Microsoft. Also here is a reference for How to Install Workflow Manager Certificates in SharePoint Server 2013.
Now that you have a thorough understanding of the SharePoint 2013 Workflow, let’s begin the installation and configuration.
In order to install Workflow Manager, you will need to download it as part of the Web Platform Installer 4.0, which is packaged with Workflow Manager 1.0. You can download this directly from Microsoft here.
Install Workflow Manager 1.0 using Web Platform Installer 4.0
- Browse to the download location and run the workflowmanager.exe.
- Click Install from the Workflow Manager 1.0 screen.
- Click I Accept from the Prerequisites screen.
- This will begin the installation process of Workflow Manager 1.0. When this has completed, we can then begin the configuration.
- Now that the installation has completed, it’s time to configure. Click Continue on the Configure screen, as seen below.
- After clicking Continue, you will see the Workflow Manager Configuration Wizard after a few seconds. In this example, we will choose Configure Workflow Manager with Default Settings (Recommended).
- On the New Farm Configuration screen, enter the appropriate SQL server and the credentials. As you can see, in this example, I am using SQL Authentication, rather than Windows Authentication. Either option is fine. Test Connection.
- In the Configure Service Account section, enter the appropriate service account you would like to use to run the Workflow Manager. In this example, I created a service account explicitly for the WM.*If your SharePoint farm is not using an SSL certification, please check the checkbox next to Allow Workflow Management over HTTP on this Computer.
- In the Certificate Generation Key section, enter a unique key. In this particular example, I used the Farm Passphrase that was created when joining these servers to the SharePoint Farm. Enter a key and press the right arrow to continue.
- When the Summary page is displayed, verify all information is correct. Click the checkmark to complete the configuration information.This will begin the configuration process. When this has completed, you should see similar to the below.
- Click the check mark to complete the configuration.
In this example, we are using a single server SharePoint Farm. The Workflow Manager client must be installed on every SharePoint server in your farm.
Configure Workflow Manager with SharePoint 2013
Now that the Workflow Manager is installed on the system, we must now configure it so that it works with the SharePoint 2013 Farm.
- Browse to the Start menu and open the SharePoint 2013 Management Shell.
- Run the following command, using the appropriate information:
|Register-SPWorkflowService –SPSite https://sharepointsiteurl.com/ -WorkflowUri http://servername.domain.local:12290|
Verify Installation of Workflow Manager:
The easiest way to verify that the installation was successful is to use SharePoint Designer 2013 to attempt creating a workflow.
- Using SharePoint Designer 2013, open the site used in the steps above.
- Select Workflows from the Site Objects menu.
- Select List Workflow from the ribbon bar and then select any item in the drop-down list.
- This will open the Create List Workflows dialog box. Under the Platform Type menu, you should now see at least SharePoint 2010 Workflow and SharePoint 2013 Workflow as seen below.
BEFORE SharePoint 2013 Workflow Manager Installation:
*Note the informational message at the bottom of the above dialog box.
AFTER SharePoint 2013 Workflow Manager Installation:
That’s it! You are now able to take full advantage of the SharePoint 2013 Workflow engine.
Thanks for reading and, as always, let me know if you have any questions!