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IT Pros React to SharePoint 2010 Online Workflows End of Support

Microsoft's plans to put an early end to workflows for SharePoint 2010 Online, announced earlier this month, have elicited multiple complaints from IT pros, a petition to postpone the deprecation and a little bit of help.

Workflows let organizations using SharePoint Online automate various business processes. However, Microsoft wants organizations to use Power Automate (formerly called "Microsoft Flow") instead. Microsoft will cut off the ability to create SharePoint 2010 Online workflows on Nov. 1, 2020.

Complaints and Petition
Microsoft's deadline gives IT pros less than four months to instigate an alternative to SharePoint 2010 Online workflows. They've been quite vocal of late in commenting on Microsoft's original July 6 post that announced the plans. Readers tagged Microsoft announcement with labels like "badmove," "noclientempathy" and "notcool," for instance.

One of the reader complaints included this link to a SharePoint UserVoice request to push back the retirement of workflows to "a more reasonable date." The petition, at press time, had 1,061 votes.

In general, the complaints noted that Power Automate lacks some of the capabilities of SharePoint 2010 Online workflows. It turns out that's true. Microsoft has now published a comparison of the two tools' capabilities in a document called "Guidance: Migrate from classic workflows to Power Automate flows in SharePoint," dated July 13.

The Guidance document lists just a few "pain points," -- such as a "30-day run limit for flows," no flow for custom permissions on list items and the need to have a Premium account to use HTTP connectors -- but suggests that there are workarounds. Perhaps, but at least IT pros now have a list from Microsoft showing the limitations they'll face in trying to comply with Microsoft's end-of-support deadline.

Detecting SharePoint Online 2010 Workflows
Organizations may have SharePoint Online 2010 workflows in their environments even if they are using newer SharePoint Online services, such as the SharePoint 2019-based service, explained Shane Young, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) and principal consultant of the PowerApps911 consulting and training firm, in a video. They could even be using the SharePoint 2010 Online workflows over the somewhat newer SharePoint 2013 Online workflows because the latter never worked too well, he added.

Organizations using SharePoint Server products in their own datacenters ("on premises") aren't subject to the November end-of-support deadline for SharePoint Online 2010 workflows. However, Young noted that SharePoint Server on-premises users can't currently use Power Automate without first setting up a gateway to Microsoft's service, which is perhaps a little known nuance.

Young pointed to fellow Microsoft MVP Todd Klindt's series of blog posts on dealing with the deprecation of SharePoint 2010 Online workflows. One of the posts by Klindt, an expert with Sympraxis Consulting, showed how to use the SharePoint Modernization Scanner tool to detect SharePoint 2010 Online workflows in environments. This tool, though, doesn't detect workflows in SharePoint Server on-premises deployments, Young noted, and so IT pros need to use the SharePoint Migration Assessment Tool instead in those cases.

July 21 Migrate or Upgrade Event
There will be a one-hour July 21 Web presentation, "Making the Best Decision: Migrate or Upgrade SharePoint 2010 Workflows?," on July 21, 2020, starting at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time.

Speakers will include Joel Oleson, a Microsoft MVP and director at Perficient, Ron Jones, modern workplace director at Perficient, and Scott Restivo, CEO of Crow Canyon Software. The Event is sponsored by Crow Canyon Software and Perficient.

July 28 Best Practices Event
IT pros also can also get Microsoft MVP help on the "best practices" for migrating SharePoint 2010 Online workflows to Power Automate in an upcoming Web presentation by Vlad Catrinescu and William Huneycutt. Catrinescu is a SharePoint consultant and author. Huneycutt is a Microsoft Certified Trainer and SharePoint Institute board member.

Their presentation, happening on July 28 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time, is free to attend, with sign-up, which can be found at this page.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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