SharePoint workflows are supported in one of two services: SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013. The SharePoint 2010 workflow service was baked into the SharePoint environment, whereas SharePoint 2013 workflows run as a service in Workflow Manager, which is installed as a separate service and is much more scalable.
To help companies migrate from SharePoint on-premises to SharePoint Online more easily, SharePoint Online supported both 2010 and 2013 workflows. However, as part of improving SharePoint Online, Microsoft will be retiring the SharePoint 2010 workflow service in SharePoint Online at 6AM on November 1st, 2020.
All custom SharePoint Designer 2010 workflows will be impacted by this retirement. Additionally, these out-of-the-box workflows will also be impacted: Approvals, Collect Feedback, Collection Signatures, Classic Pages publishing approval, and the Three-State workflows. These workflows will no longer work in SharePoint Online after November 1st, 2020.
The first step to upgrading your workflows is to take an inventory. The most efficient way to accomplish this is to leverage the Microsoft SharePoint Modernization Scanner Tool. This tool runs as a console application and will connect to your SharePoint Online tenant to generate several different reports. The one you need is the “Classic workflow usage (detailed)” report. This will output a CSV of your SharePoint 2010 and 2013 workflows and details of them, including in which site they’re located, and association information (list or content type). This file will serve as your workflow inventory. You can use this report to identify what workflows can be sunset and which ones will need to be upgraded.
The next step in upgrading your workflows is to use the report to identify the “upgradability” to Microsoft PowerAutomate. The report will analyze the actions in the workflow and tell you what percentage of those actions will translate to Flow actions. The higher the percentage, the easier they’ll be to upgrade.
Next, build your workflows in PowerAutomate. Use Flow to replicate your workflow business logic—whether its gathering approvals, sending emails or creating or updating list items. PowerAutomate has substantially more actions available than SharePoint Designer for building workflows, making it the recommended platform to host your workflows.
Once your workflows are built and tested, you can cutover to your new PowerAutomate Flows and disable your SharePoint 2010 workflows. Finally, you can remove your SharePoint 2010 workflows from your environment.
As part of this retirement, Microsoft has also said they will continue to support SharePoint 2013 workflows but will be retiring them at some point. Their recommendation is to migrate those workflows to PowerAutomate as well.
If you have any questions about the upcoming SharePoint 2010 Workflow Retirement, running the SharePoint Modernization Scanner tool, or upgrading your SharePoint 2010 workflows to PowerAutomate, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d love to help you get started.
SharePoint 2010 Workflow Retirement
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