SharePoint Server Users Advised to Adopt New Workflow Engine

Microsoft last week advised organizations using SharePoint Server that it'll be replacing Microsoft Workflow Manager 1.0 and Service Bus 1.1 for Windows Server.

Microsoft Workflow Manager and Service Bus are used to support business processes with SharePoint Server, such as enabling document collaborations and project task management. However, both components are getting deprecated. Microsoft instead is steering organizations toward using the SharePoint 2013 Workflows platform, which has a new engine called "SharePoint Workflow Manager."

Organizations should switch toward using SharePoint Workflow Manager before July 14, 2026, which is the end-of-support date for both Microsoft Workflow Manager and Service Bus. Those two components have end-of-support dates that are tied to the end-of-support dates of the SharePoint Servers they are used with, but the July 14, 2026 end date still will be a hard stop for them.

Here's how it was explained in the announcement:

Microsoft will continue to provide technical support for existing deployments of Service Bus and Microsoft Workflow Manager until the version of SharePoint Server they're being used with reaches end of support, or until July 14, 2026, whichever comes first. However, the Service Bus and Microsoft Workflow Manager installers are no longer available from the Microsoft Web Platform Installer (WebPI). Customers who need new SharePoint 2013 workflow engine installations can only install SharePoint Workflow Manager.

Organizations using SharePoint Server 2013 are already hitting the wall on support. SharePoint Server 2013 will lose support in April of this year.

SharePoint Workflow Manager, released in late December, is described as "a new workflow engine to power the SharePoint 2013 Workflows platform for SharePoint Server." In other words, the engine is new, but the platform isn't. Microsoft explained in this "Getting Started" document that the "Workflow Manager integration was introduced with SharePoint Server 2013."

Exactly what's new with the new engine doesn't get described by Microsoft in its announcements or documents. Microsoft released SharePoint Workflow Manager on Dec. 26, 2022, but it's described as being a new release in Microsoft's Feb. 16 announcement. Microsoft had initially indicated back in September that SharePoint Workflow Manager would be coming to help organizations continue to use SharePoint 2013 workflows.

Going forward, Microsoft is planning to just provide support for SharePoint Workflow Manager. It'll be supported "beyond the year 2026." Its support will be tied to the SharePoint Server product that's being used, according to this support document.

About the Author

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


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