9 Minute Video: SharePoint 2013 Workflow

Last week I recorded a new video all about the task process designer in the new SharePoint 2013 (preview) workflows.  This 9 minute video also demonstrates a bit of how to get around in the interface, and the new Visual Designer.



  • Well presented video Laura, I like the new “wait for task completion” option to untick.

  • Thanks Laura! MS is on right track with the Visual Designer. I must say adding Nintex provided us a great advantage for 2010 and quickly expanding workflows. It looks like MS is moving down the same track with each version which is great to see 🙂

    Thanks again for sharing this, love your blog!!

  • Laura, just a quick update from someone in the field about SPD 2013. We currently have a 2010 farm in “the cloud”. I’m required to use SPD 2013 to make any edits to it. As of now the concept of restoring a workflow from a previous version is not supported on the 2010 farm.

    I had SPD nuke a workflow and I found your excellent article I thought would save my butt (http://www.sharepoint911.com/blogs/laura/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=173) After talking to MS Support, this doesn’t work using SPD 2013 against a 2010 farm using SharePoint 365.

    Just wanted to point it out as another “gotcha” to the user community. As an admin, I hate it when something works one week, and doesn’t the next simply because something on the other end changed without notice.

    Just wanted to share the experience. Great site and info all around. Much appreciated.

  • Thanks David, that’s good to know. Since SP 2013 workflows run on a completely new workflow engine, that doesn’t surprise me.

  • Hey Laura,

    I’m having trouble two big issues with workflows in 2013 I can’t seem to solve. The first being, when workflows are set to automatically start when an item is created it causes the my library to error upon uploading a document ( even though it errors the document still post, if I decide to cancel posting a item it also still post, only if i choose delete will the item add). The workflow kicks off before all the metadata is entered which causes errors. I have tried setting pauses and field conditions before the wf starts but nothing seems to be working. The 2nd problem I’m having is including the comments from task in workflow emails. I can see were the comment is recorded in the task list, I just cant get any look-ups to populate this data in the workflow. Any help would be greatly appreciated, your videos are great by the way!

  • Brandon,
    Have you tried adding an action to “wait for change in document check out status”? In that action, pick “unlocked by document editor”. I usually also add one to wait for check in as well, just to be safe.

    The comments from tasks… those don’t exist anymore in 2013 workflows. Are you using a 2010 workflow in 2013?

  • Hi,

    I did follow all the steps from Microsoft but i am not successful in configuring SharePoint workflow manager. Here is my environment (2 App Servers, 2 Web Front End Servers and Linux Load Balancing Server). I installed Workflow Manager 1.0 on App1 and configured, Installed Workflow Manager Client on APP2, WEB1, WEB2. I am seeing http:localhost:12291 & http://localhost:12290 under IIS Manager. successfully register workflow service. but still i am not able to start SP2013 workflow. any advice.


  • Sorry Hary, but I don’t know much about troubleshooting those on the server admin side, Workflow Manager seems to be pretty flaky, too.

  • Hi Laura. At my previous job, we were using Nintex to get started with SP workflows. I am at a lower budget shop now, and am beginning to use SPD 2013 to develop workflows. I have Visio Pro 2016, but it seems the Visual Designer only works with Visio 2013? I get a message about needing Visio 2013 to use the Visual Design mode.

    Thanks, T

  • Hi,
    I would like to know how to pull the task outcome and description field into the SharePoint list. I am able to do this in 2010 but 2013 is presenting an issue. I don’t know where to go, If you can help that would be great. I need the approval or rejection field and any comments the approver has placed on the item.

  • Laura, your posts have been great. I’m not an IT professional by trade, but my current position has required me to quickly learn as much about SP and SPD as possible. I’ve watched several of your videos, and every time I’m searching for a solution I find myself coming back to your blog for solutions.

    We have a 2013 workflow to route a document through several stages (format/grammar review, content approval, and publishing). It is working great, and it’s honestly my first SPD victory so I’m feeling great about it. However, the first stage review is currently conducted by some of our most junior employees and their supervisor asked to have a step added just behind the first review. I’m using a custom task process with a SP group. I added the supervisor group to the task assignment, and selected serial review, wait for completion is checked, and it assigns the task to all members of the group.

    The catch is that all members of both group were given the task together, and the workflow advanced after the first entry reviewer completed the task. In essence, the task line turned into Group (Employee 1,2,3…, Supervisor 1, 2, 3,…) – complete on first response.

    I’m really looking for a 2-stage serial review with each stage being a parallel review within the group – The first stage completes when any lower level reviewer is done, and the supervisor level completes subsequent to that. In the 2013 task process interface there isn’t the option to create a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. row of serial/parallel review like in the OOTB approval/feedback process. Is there a way to tweak the settings just write so the review looks like this

    Group (Employee 1, 2, 3,…) – first response completes stage
    Group (Sup 1, 2, 3…) – first response completes task stage

    I could add another task review process for the supervisors, but it seems like the task process should let me do what I’m trying to do.

    Any help is much appreciated.


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