Craig Yellick, VP Business Solutions
Microsoft is making some big changes to the way workflows work in SharePoint Online, and these changes are coming faster than many of our clients realize. This blog posting is a quick summary of the changes, organized by the biggest impact. It ends with a special offer for FREE help in assessing your risk and planning for action.
Summary: If you are, or might be, using SharePoint workflows of any kind, between now and well before November 1, 2020 someone in your organization needs to evaluate the impact of losing all 2010 workflows.
As we’re all aware, technology evolves at an increasing rapid pace and the SharePoint 2010 workflow engine is over 10 years old, created in an era before ubiquitous cloud computing. The SharePoint 2013 workflow engine is almost as old. Rather than adding features and functionality to these products to try and keep up with all the new capabilities that Office 365 gains almost daily, Microsoft is ending support for these workflows and instead wants everyone to migrate to the Power Automate platform, which includes far, far more capabilities than you have with the traditional workflow engines. Power Automate works with the full spectrum of Office 365 products and services and isn’t limited to or focuses on just SharePoint.
The good news is that pretty much everything you’re doing with traditional workflows can be done with various combinations of Power Automate components, mostly notably Flows. After migrating it will be easier to extend and enhance your investment.
2010 Workflows Stop Working, November 1, 2020
In just a few short months, 2010 workflows will stop running. Importantly, this includes built-in workflows that came out-of-the-box with SharePoint. You won’t be able to create new workflows or run existing ones. It’s very important to determine ASAP if your organization relies on such workflows. When things have been “just working” for years and years it’s easy to forget that you’re depending on this technology. See our special offer at the end of this blog post – we’re here to help.
2013 Workflows are Deprecated
2013 workflows will continue to be supported, but Microsoft is taking steps to limit their use. For example, starting in November 2020 by default new tenants won’t be able to create SharePoint 2013 workflows. They’ll need to run a special PowerShell script to enable them. That’s a strong signal that we’ll be in the same situation sooner than later so now is the time to stop investing in traditional workflows and switch all new development to Power Automate.
Blue Net itself had made extensive use of 2010 and 2013 workflows and we’re thrilled at the new capabilities. We took advantage of the new platform to re-think how we collaborate and have shifted most of the workloads into Teams and Power Apps. One particularly notable improvement is that we have now extended our workflows to include client interaction and even client-initiated actions.
For those of you running your own servers, you have considerably more time before you’re impacted. SharePoint 2016 and 2019 edition servers will fully support workflows until 2026.
Special Offer for FREE Help
Blue Net is here to help with risk assessment and planning, and we’re willing to do this at no charge to you. We’ll use a Microsoft-supplied tool to generate a list of all workflows present in your environment, including the name, location, version, actions performed and much more. We’ll explain the significance of these findings, especially when there’s an indication that the workflow will be challenging to migrate. We’ve already done this for numerous clients. Based on the results you may decide that some workflows are already known not to be important and can be ignored, while others need your attention to investigate further before deciding what to do. If you end up feeling overwhelmed by the process that’s something we can help with as well.
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