Installing and Configuring Workflow Manager for SharePoint 2013

    Workflows was one of the biggest area which has been evolved with the release of SharePoint 2013. this has made a big noise across the technical community very frequently after the release of SharePoint 2013.

    If you create your very first SharePoint Farm and a Site Collection under it and then try to attach a Workflow in to a Library/List through SharePoint Designer, you will realize that it doesn’t show up the SharePoint 2013 Workflows to choose. Simply because SharePoint 2013 still uses it’s 2010 version Workflow Engine out of the box. So that’s where we have to Install and Configure New SharePoint Workflow Manager to get the latest 2013 Workflow engine.

    SharePoint Workflows are redesigned with the power of Windows Workflow foundation 4 which is goes in Farm Concept just like Office Web Apps but yet you can Install and configure this on SharePoint servers joined in you Farm. The concept called the ‘Workflow Manager Farm’ which is further scalable by adding more and more Servers in to it which depends on the load you are going to put on.

    In this post I’m taking you through step by step guidance to get the Workflow Manager Installed and Configured for a SharePoint 2013 Farm. Quite cool and not a big deal as this is tool driven installation.

    Firstly get the Workflow Manager Downloaded here – http://www.microsoft.com/en-in/download/details.aspx?id=35375. There will be Four setup files for you to download. Keep all of them downloaded as you will need them in later stages. Copy the WorkflowManager.exe to your server.

    Prerequisites:

This Setup will download Web Platform Installer and your server will need Internet connectivity during the process. (Refer here to Install Workflow Manager Offline which is well described by Roger – http://www.techtask.com/featured/workflow-manager-1-0-offline-installation-sharepoint-server-2013/)

Also You will need to open relevant Ports from the Firewall to Make the connectivity across the Servers to communicate through.

    Keep a Site Collection created to test the functionality after the configuration

    Scenarios:

    There are four types of Deployment scenarios that you may pick a one based on your environment and requirements.

    1. Configure Workflow manager on a Server that is Part of SharePoint 2013 Farm and Communication takes place by using HTTP
    2. Configure Workflow manager on a Server that is Part of SharePoint 2013 Farm and Communication takes place by using HTTPS
    3. Configure Workflow manager on a Server that is NOT Part of SharePoint 2013 Farm and Communication takes place by using HTTP
    4. Configure Workflow manager on a Server that is NOT Part of SharePoint 2013 Farm and Communication takes place by using HTTPS

    For me it’s the first scenario since I’m not going to use HTTPS and just a Single SharePoint Box with all the roles all in one.

    1. Log in to Desired SharePoint Server using an appropriate account. Run the WorkflowManager.exe and give it a moment.

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    2. Click the ‘Install’ to begin

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    3. Accept the Terms here and you can see the Workflow Manger 1.0 has been included already.

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    4. Say ‘No’ for Microsoft Updates and Continue

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    5. Give it a little while

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    6. So previous step completes the installation of the module. Hit ‘Continue’ to Start Configurations here.

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    7. Go with the Defaults here. You can choose the Custom too if you need to customize the things like database names etc… And the third option is to join additional Servers on top of an existing farm. For me the first here as it’s just straight forward.

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    8. Provide the SQL Server Instance here which you are going to have the Workflow Manager Databases and Password for the Service Account given and test the connection to validate the connectivity. Simply click next button at the bottom right corner.

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    9. It will display the summary just go through and here you can get the PowerShell Script which will be executed in the backend during the process. Just get it and keep saved if you are a PowerShell guy which you can use later to join the other Server to Workflow Manager Farm. I love this feature which brings out the real things from the Garage Tool Box. Awesome !

    Simply click the ‘Tick button’ to start

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    10. Give it a moment to run the configurations (the Generated script will be running at the backend.) this will take up to 10 minutes depends on your resources. You will see all the categories are green ticked once completed. Have a look at the Log File from ‘View Log’ button and Keep it Saved. You get pretty much details on it which will be useful later on.

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    11. Click ‘Finish’ to complete the setup here.

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    12. If everything went well it should open up the directory on the browser as shown below. Open up the IIS manager and try to browse the Workflow Manager Site.

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    13. If the directory cannot be browsed, make sure the bindings has been properly done.

    E.g. :- It didn’t Work For me till I add the bindings as below. (You May use the FQDN here if your server is joined to a domain – app1.contos.com etc…)

    Do not try the Next Step if this isn’t successful so that may fail too.

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    14. One more step to go. We have to run below line in the SharePoint Shell. Customize the Site URL based on your Site Collection which you are going to enable Workflows and URI based on your IIS Site mappings (http://hostname:12291)

    Register-SPWorkflowService –SPSite "http://egov.northwind.int" –WorkflowHostUri "http://App1.northwind.int:12291" –AllowOAuthHttp

    E.g. :-

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    SharePoint Shell Line will take up to 10 Minutes to Complete. It will create the Workflow Service Application Proxy.

    15. Direct to Central Administration –> Application management –> Manage Service Applications –> click on ‘Workflow Service Application Proxy’

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    It should show the ‘Workflow is Connected State here so that gives the green light !

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    16. Try to Open the Workflow Enabled Site from the SharePoint Designer now. Add a Workflow and see whether you got the SharePoint 2013 Platform Type there.

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    17. That’s Pretty much about it and if you have multiple servers in the Farm Don’t forget to Install the Workflow Client on top of each. We got the Client automatically installed when we were running the Workflow Manager in this Server.

    And Below are some good reads about the SharePoint 2013 Workflows which I saw a big value. Go through those and this is really interesting as its seems that Workflow Platform seems to an evolving concept with SharePoint future releases and yet expandable.

Cheers with your SharePoint Journey then !! 🙂

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