Wednesday, February 19, 2014

SharePoint 2013 Workflows and the System Account

With the release of SharePoint 2013 Workflows, many changes have occurred between the SharePoint 2010 and 2013 Workflow platform.

Other than completely re-writing the workflow engine to be independent of the SharePoint base installation, other changes were implemented that affected how one can create and execute SharePoint 2013 Workflows.

One of the major changes I discovered was that the System Account can no longer be used to create and execute SharePoint 2013 Workflows!!

This is documented in the following article: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj658588.aspx

Beneath the Troubleshooting section, there is the following statement:

The System Account cannot be used to develop a workflow.

I actually discovered this by creating a workflow using the System account and then attempting to run it.  This is something that I have always done while I was working on the SharePoint 2010 platform and I assumed that it would continue to work on the SharePoint 2013 platform. But, as I soon discovered, even though my Workflow would "Start", it would never COMPLETE!

After reading the above article, I ended up creating a separate user account and attempted to execute the workflows that I had previously created.  Interestingly enough, I was able to execute the workflows that I had previously created using the System account.

However, when I attempted to further edit these workflows, I saw the following in SharePoint Designer:

Therefore, since the previously available workflows were not editable by another user (even though the other user account was also assigned Site Collection Administrator privileges), the previously available workflows became useless and I ended up re-creating them using the different user account.

After re-creating the workflows under the new user account, I was able to successfully view, edit and execute any of the workflows I created.



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