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Workflows in SharePoint 2013

There’s a new Workflow model at the core of SharePoint 2013. It is built on the same OAuth authentication and iFrames model that all new apps must work with. It is a redesigned workflow infrastructure that is built on Windows Workflow Foundation 4 and brings new power and flexibility to workflow authoring in SharePoint 2013.

Rich Workflows: If workflows were a sore point in SharePoint 2010, they've gotten a lot better and seem much more able to handle more complex activities, including looping and working with web services (anyone thinking orchestration?). "A new action that enables no-code web service calls from within a workflow, new actions for creating a task and starting a task process and new workflow building blocks such as Stage, Loop, and App Step". With Azure Workflows you can even do "REST and Service Bus Messaging". Find out more about what is new in workflow in SharePoint 2013 from the Microsoft blog. Finally, machine translation provides automated translation into various languages - I’m looking forward to really seeing what our business can do with this translation service.

· ASP.NET 4.5, SQL 2008 R2, WCF 5.0 and Other new base technologies used


A fully declarative authoring environment enables information workers to use SharePoint Designer 2013 Preview to author powerful workflows, and a new set of Visual Studio 2012 workflow project templates let developers access more sophisticated features like custom actions.

SharePoint 2013 Preview workflows are powered by Windows Workflow Foundation 4, which was substantially redesigned from earlier versions. Windows Workflow Foundation (WF), in turn, is built on the messaging functionality that is provided by Windows Communication Foundation (WCF).

Conceptually, workflows model structured business processes. Therefore, Windows Workflow Foundation 4 workflows are a structured collection of workflow "activities," each of which represents a functional component of a business process.

The workflow platform in SharePoint 2013 Preview uses the Windows Workflow Foundation 4 activity model to represent a SharePoint-based business process. Additionally, SharePoint 2013 Preview introduces a higher-level stage-gate model on which to create workflows.

It is important to note the relationship between workflow activities and SharePoint actions. Workflow activities represent the underlying managed objects whose methods drive workflow behaviors. Workflow actions, on the other hand, are wrappers that encapsulate the underlying activities and present them in a user-friendly form in SharePoint Designer. Workflow authors interact with the workflow actions, whereas the workflow execution engine acts on the corresponding activities.

The activities, which are implementations of activity classes, are implemented declaratively by using XAML.

Workflow activities are invoked using loosely coupled web services that use messaging APIs to communicate with SharePoint. These APIs are built on the messaging functionality that is provided by Windows Communication Foundation (WCF).

Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 7:06 AM | Back to top

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