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Install and configure workflow for SharePoint Server

  • 7 minutes to read

APPLIES TO: 2013 2016 2019 Microsoft 365APPLIES TO:2013 2016 2019 SharePoint in Microsoft 365

This article contains the information and procedures required to configure workflow in SharePoint Server.

Important

The steps in this article apply to SharePoint Server. The SharePoint 2013 workflow platform is not supported in SharePoint Foundation 2013. The SharePoint 2013 Workflow platform is not supported in SharePoint Foundation 2013.

OverviewOverview

The new option is for creating a workflow for SharePoint Server Platform type available. The illustration shows the option Platform type A new option exists when you build a workflow for SharePoint Server. This option is called Platform type. The figure shows the Platform type option when you are creating a new workflow by using SharePoint Designer 2013.

Figure: SharePoint Server includes three workflow platform options.Figure: SharePoint Server includes three workflow platform options.

When you first install SharePoint Server, only the SharePoint 2010 workflow platform is available. The SharePoint 2013 Workflow Platform and Project Server Platform require additional steps. The three workflow platforms are described in the following table. The only platform available when you first install SharePoint Server is the SharePoint 2010 Workflow platform. The SharePoint 2013 Workflow platform and the Project Server platform require additional steps. The three workflow platforms are outlined in the following table.

Types of workflow platforms available in SharePoint ServerWorkflow Platform types available in SharePoint Server

Platform typePlatform typePlatform frameworkPlatform FrameworkconditionsRequirements
SharePoint 2010 workflowSharePoint 2010 workflow
Windows Workflow Foundation 3 Windows Workflow Foundation 3
Installs automatically with SharePoint Server.
SharePoint 2013 workflowSharePoint 2013 workflow
Windows Workflow Foundation 4 Windows Workflow Foundation 4
Requires SharePoint Server and Workflow Manager.
SharePoint 2013 Workflow - Project ServerSharePoint 2013 Workflow - Project Server
Windows Workflow Foundation 4 Windows Workflow Foundation 4
Requires SharePoint Server, Workflow Manager, and Project Server.

Note

Workflow Manager must be downloaded and installed separately from SharePoint Server. It is not automatically installed when you install SharePoint Server. Workflow Manager must be downloaded and installed separately from SharePoint Server. It does not install automatically when you install SharePoint Server.

Install Workflow ManagerInstall Workflow Manager

Workflow Manager may be installed on the same servers as SharePoint or on separate, dedicated servers. Workflow Manager can be deployed with the Web PI Tool. Workflow Manager can be deployed with the Web PI tool. For more information on Web PI, see Using the Microsoft Web Platform Installer.

Install and configure SharePoint Server

You need to install and configure SharePoint Server. See Install and Deploy SharePoint 2013. You must install and configure SharePoint Server. To do so, see Install and deploy SharePoint 2013.

Note

The SharePoint 2010 workflow platform is automatically installed when you install SharePoint Server. The SharePoint 2013 workflow platform requires workflow managers. It must be installed separately and then configured for your SharePoint Server farm. > App Management Service and Website Subscription Service must be deployed for the SharePoint 2013 workflow platform to work properly. Wildcard certificate setup and DNS registration are not required, but both instances must be running. The SharePoint 2010 Workflow platform installs automatically when you install SharePoint Server. The SharePoint 2013 Workflow platform requires Workflow Manager and must be installed separately and then configured to work with your SharePoint Server farm. > To function correctly SharePoint 2013 Workflows require to have App Management Service and Site Subscription Service provisioned. It is not required to setup a wildcard certificate and DNS registration but both instances need to be running.

Configure Workflow Manager to work with the SharePoint Server farm

You must consider the following two key factors before configuring Workflow Manager to work with SharePoint Server.

  • Is Workflow Manager installed on a server that is part of the SharePoint farm?

  • Used in communication between the Workflow Manager and SharePoint Server HTTP or HTTPS Will communication between Workflow Manager and SharePoint Server use HTTP or HTTPS ?

These factors can be translated into four scenarios. In each scenario, a SharePoint Server farm is configured to communicate and use with the Workflow Manager farm. These factors translate into four scenarios. Each scenario configures a SharePoint Server farm to communicate and function with the Workflow Manager farm. Follow the scenario that matches your circumstance.

1: Workflow Manager is installed on a server that is part of the SharePoint Server farm. Communication takes place via HTTP.1: Workflow Manager is installed on a server that is part of the SharePoint Server farm. Communication takes place by using HTTP.
2: Workflow Manager is installed on a server that is part of the SharePoint Server farm. Communication takes place via HTTP. 2: Workflow Manager is installed on a server that is part of the SharePoint Server farm. Communication takes place by using HTTPS.
3: Workflow Manager is installed on a server that is NOT part of the SharePoint Server farm. Communication takes place via HTTP. 3: Workflow Manager is installed on a server that is NOT part of the SharePoint Server farm. Communication takes place by using HTTP.
4: Workflow Manager is installed on a server that is NOT part of the SharePoint Server farm. Communication takes place via HTTPS. 4: Workflow Manager is installed on a server that is NOT part of the SharePoint Server farm. Communication takes place by using HTTPS.

Note

For security reasons, we recommend HTTPS for a production environment.

How to configure Workflow Manager on a server that is part of the SharePoint Server farm and that communicates using HTTPTo configure Workflow Manager on a server that is part of the SharePoint Server farm and on which communication takes place by using HTTP

  1. Log on to the computer in the SharePoint Server farm where Workflow Manager was installed.

  2. Open the SharePoint Management Shell as an administrator. To do this, right-click on SharePoint Management Shell, and choose Execute as administrator. Open the SharePoint Management Shell as an administrator. This is accomplished by right-clicking the SharePoint Management Shell and choosing Run as administrator.

  3. Run the cmdlet Register-SPWorkflowService run the Register-SPWorkflowService cmdlet.

    example:Example:

  1. Log on to each server in the SharePoint Server farm.

    Each server in the SharePoint Server farm must have the Workflow Manager Client installed.

    Note

    When Workflow Manager is installed on a server, the Workflow Manager client is also automatically installed on this server. You must install the Workflow Manager client yourself on all other servers. For example, if you install the Workflow Manager on one of these servers on a farm with five servers, you must install the Workflow Manager client on the remaining four servers yourself Client on that server. You will still need to install the Workflow Manager Client on any additional servers. For example, if you have a farm that contains five servers and you install Workflow Manager on one of those servers you will still need to install the Workflow Manager Client on the four additional servers.

  2. Install the Workflow Manager Client on each server in the SharePoint farm.

    You can download and install the Workflow Manager Client here: https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=268376 Download and install the Workflow Manager Client here: https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink / p /? LinkID = 268376

How to configure Workflow Manager on a server that is part of the SharePoint Server farm and on which communication takes place over HTTPSTo configure Workflow Manager on a server that is part of the SharePoint Server farm and on which communication takes place by using HTTPS

  1. Determine if you need to install Workflow Manager certificates in SharePoint.

    Under certain circumstances, you need to obtain and install Workflow Manager certificates. If your installation requires obtaining and installing these certificates, you must complete this step before proceeding. Read Install Workflow Manager Certificates in SharePoint Server 2013 to determine if you need to install certificates. Under some circumstances, you have to obtain and install Workflow Manager certificates. If your installation requires that you obtain and install these certificates, you must complete that step before continuing. To learn whether you need to install certificates, and for instructions, see Install Workflow Manager certificates in SharePoint Server.

  2. Log into the computer in the SharePoint Server farm where Workflow Manager was installed.

  3. Open the SharePoint Management Shell as an administrator. To do this, right-click on SharePoint Management Shell, and choose Execute as administrator. Open the SharePoint Management Shell as an administrator. This is accomplished by right-clicking the SharePoint Management Shell and choosing Run as administrator.

  4. Run the cmdlet Register-SPWorkflowService run the Register-SPWorkflowService cmdlet.

    example:Example:

  1. Log on to each server in the SharePoint Server farm.

    Each server in the SharePoint Server farm must have the Workflow Manager Client installed.

    Note

    When Workflow Manager is installed on a server, the Workflow Manager client is also automatically installed on this server. You must install the Workflow Manager client yourself on all other servers. For example, if you install the Workflow Manager on one of these servers on a farm with five servers, you must install the Workflow Manager client on the remaining four servers yourself Client on that server. You will still have to install the Workflow Manager Client on any additional servers. For example, if you have a farm that contains five servers and you install Workflow Manager on one of those servers you will still need to install the Workflow Manager Client on the four additional servers.

  2. Install the Workflow Manager Client on each server in the SharePoint farm.

    You can download and install the Workflow Manager Client here: https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=268376 Download and install the Workflow Manager Client here: https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink / p /? LinkID = 268376

How to configure Workflow Manager on a server that is NOT part of the SharePoint Server farm and that communicates using HTTPTo configure Workflow Manager on a server that is NOT part of the SharePoint Server farm and on which communication takes place by using HTTP

  1. Log on to each server in the SharePoint Server farm.

  2. Install the Workflow Manager Client on each server in the SharePoint farm.

    Before you can run the workflow pairing cmdlet, you must install Workflow Manager Client on each of the servers in the SharePoint farm.

    You can download and install the Workflow Manager Client here: https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=268376 Download and install the Workflow Manager Client here: https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink / p /? LinkID = 268376

  3. Open the SharePoint 15 Management Shell as an administrator. To do this, right-click the command SharePoint 2013 Management Shell, and choose Execute as administrator. Open the SharePoint Management Shell as an administrator. This is accomplished by right-clicking the SharePoint 2013 Management Shell command and choosing Run as administrator.

  4. Run the cmdlet Register-SPWorkflowService out. The cmdlet should only be run once and can be run on any server in the SharePoint farm Register-SPWorkflowService cmdlet. The cmdlet should be run only once and can be run from any of the servers in the SharePoint farm.

    example:Example:

Important

You must install the Workflow Manager Client on each server in the SharePoint farm before you run the pairing cmdlet.

How to configure Workflow Manager on a server that is NOT part of the SharePoint Server farm and that communicates over HTTPSTo configure Workflow Manager on a server that is NOT part of the SharePoint Server farm and on which communication takes place by using HTTPS

  1. Determine whether you need to install Workflow Manager certificates in SharePoint 2013.

    Under certain circumstances, you need to obtain and install Workflow Manager certificates. If your installation requires obtaining and installing these certificates, you must complete this step before proceeding. Read Install Workflow Manager Certificates in SharePoint Server 2013 to determine if you need to install certificates. Under some circumstances, you have to obtain and install Workflow Manager certificates. If your installation requires that you obtain and install these certificates, you must complete that step before continuing. To learn whether you need to install certificates, and for instructions, see Install Workflow Manager certificates in SharePoint Server.

  2. Log on to each server in the SharePoint Server farm.

  3. Install the Workflow Manager Client on each server in the SharePoint farm.

    Before you can run the workflow pairing cmdlet, you must install Workflow Manager Client on each of the servers in the SharePoint farm.

    You can download and install the Workflow Manager Client here: https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=268376 Download and install the Workflow Manager Client here: https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink / p /? LinkID = 268376

  4. Open the SharePoint 15 Management Shell as an administrator. To do this, right-click the command SharePoint Management Shell, and choose Execute as administrator. Open the SharePoint Management Shell as an administrator. This is accomplished by right-clicking the SharePoint Management Shell command and choosing Run as administrator.

  5. Run the cmdlet Register-SPWorkflowService run the Register-SPWorkflowService cmdlet.

    example:Example:

Important

You must install the Workflow Manager Client on each server in the SharePoint farm before you run the pairing cmdlet.

Validate the installation

Use these steps to validate that you have successfully installed and configured the required components.

How to check the installationTo validate the installation

  1. Add a user to your SharePoint site, and grant the user Site Designer permissions.

  2. Install SharePoint Designer 2013 and create a workflow based on the SharePoint 2013 workflow platform. For more information, see Create a workflow based on the SharePoint 2013 Workflow platform. For more information, see Creating a workflow by using SharePoint Designer 2013 and the SharePoint 2013 Workflow platform.

  3. Run this workflow from the SharePoint user interface.

Troubleshooting

For security reasons, the setup account cannot be used to create a workflow based on the SharePoint 2013 workflow platform. If you try to use SharePoint Designer 2013 to create a workflow based on the SharePoint 2013 workflow platform, you will see a warning that the list of workflow actions does not exist and the workflow will not be created used to create a workflow based on the SharePoint 2013 workflow platform. If you try to create a workflow based on the SharePoint 2013 Workflow platform by using SharePoint Designer 2013, you receive a warning that the list of workflow actions do not exist, and the workflow is not created.

The user who posts and runs a workflow must be added to the user profile service. In Central Administration, on the User Profile Service Application page, verify that the user you are using to verify the workflow installation exists in the User Profile service. Check the User Profile service application page in Central Administration to confirm that the user you are using to validate workflow installation is in the User Profile service.

You can determine which ports SharePoint Server and Workflow Manager are using for both HTTP and HTTPS by using IIS Manager as shown in the figure.

Figure: Using the IIS manager to view the ports used by the workflow managerFigure: Use IIS Manager to view the ports used by Workflow Manager

Workflow Manager communicates using TCP / IP or named pipes. Make sure that the correct communication protocol is enabled on the SQL Server instance hosting the Workflow Manager databases. Workflow Manager communicates by using TCP / IP or Named Pipes. Make sure that the appropriate communication protocol is enabled on the SQL Server instance that hosts the Workflow Manager databases.

The SQL Browser Service must be running on the SQL Server instance that hosts the Workflow Manager databases.

The System Account cannot be used to develop a workflow.

To troubleshoot SharePoint Server, see Troubleshooting SharePoint Server.