Microsoft recently announced the end of life for the legacy SharePoint 2010 workflows. Organizations will have to now decide on migrating their complex business processes from the SharePoint 2010 workflow engine to a modern and capable solution.
Microsoft made this announcement a few months back, but enterprises reacted late due to challenges in their work environment and COVID-19 causing IT departments to forestall any new projects. This has resulted in a shortened timeline for IT departments to find an appropriate solution. It can cause the IT professionals and decision makers to make reactive, instead of strategic decisions in the selection of a toolset and a migration strategy; a mistake that they would want to avoid at all costs.
As a trusted advisor to numerous enterprises and a leading Microsoft Managed partner, we wanted to share our Point of View and migration strategy to implement a truly innovative and world-class business automation toolset to successfully replace and retire SharePoint 2010 workflows.
What is being retired?
From a technical perspective, support for workflows written on the SharePoint 2010 engine is ending.
This has implications for customers still using SharePoint 2010 On-premise workflows in their SharePoint 2010/2013 environments. Your workflows in your on-premise 2010 or 2013 environments will continue to work: in unsupported mode. For example, if you plan to deploy a patch on your on-premise server and a DLL gets updated, and your 2010 workflows stop working, Microsoft will not support you. Additionally, if you had leveraged a third-party toolset like Nintex to build workflows using the 2010 workflow engine, those workflows could potentially stop working. For customers who migrated to SharePoint Online and were using SharePoint 2010 workflows, Microsoft, as of Nov 1, 2020, will begin to remove the ability to run or create SharePoint 2010 workflows from existing tenants. If you are running workflow automation in SharePoint Online using the SharePoint 2010 workflows, you will be impacted, and your workflows will stop working.
Note that SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013-based workflows will continue to be supported for on-premises SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint 2019 Server platforms until 2026.
What is not being retired?
SharePoint 2013 workflows are being deprecated but will remain supported. This means SharePoint Online users can continue using SharePoint 2013 workflows, but there will be no new development of that feature. It is also expected that SharePoint 2013 workflows will potentially be retired in the next 12-18 months.
Power Platform! The next-Gen Business Automation Engine from Microsoft.
Microsoft Power Platform has evolved into an established and comprehensive platform, and organizations using SharePoint Online workflows, can switch over to the Power Platform and have the same functionality available to them.
The Power Platform has three major components,
- The PowerApps component, where users can design Canvas Apps and Model-Driven Apps in an easy to use WSYWIG editor for form design, etc.
- Power Automate component helps building workflows to implement complex business process automation.
- Power BI component helps build reports and dashboards for data visualization and business intelligence purposes.
Citizen developers can develop no-code or low-code solutions connected with Line of Business Applications and completely transform the enterprise landscape. Gone are the days where an IT department had to spend months solving complex business problems with technologies that needed specific development skillsets. End users can be empowered to deliver this capability to solve most of their specific business needs in a short period of time maximizing ROI.
The other real advantage of deploying and building applications in PowerApps is that they are platform agnostic, and this cross-functional capability allows users to build applications to scale that can evolve as the IT landscape changes. With multiple users working from home on unmanaged devices for example, this ability can add real business value.
SharePoint Workflow Migration Approach – The Cambay Way
Cambay, a Microsoft Managed Partner and early adopter of Power Platform has developed a proven and tested process to help you migrate your workflows to PowerApps. The below diagram showcases this process at a high level:
- Discovery and Scope Definition: Identify, evaluate, and document the workflows in your organization that need to be migrated. You can use PowerShell scripts and we can help you with that.
- Change Control and Communication: Create a Change Management Plan – Highlight release dates, users impacted, training plan - we will help you define these.
Create a Communication Plan – Share information repeatedly through lunch and learns and other office activities. Leveraging our predefined templates and industry experience, we will help you develop a robust communication plan.
- Migration Planning: Create a prioritization inventory: Document sites, actions, connectors, data sources, and triggers that you need. Cambay will use its in-depth knowledge and prior project experience to help you migration planning.
- Develop, and Test: Leveraging the citizen developer model, we will scale and develop your solutions in PowerApps and Power Automate.
- Execute and Decommission: Deploy to production, leverage your change management plan to communicate to business stakeholders, convert legacy application sites and workflows to read-only, and retire after postproduction support, that our experienced engineers can help you manage.
- Optimize and Govern: Create and document a governance plan that will maximize your ROI. It is critical to sustain and maintain the new platform successfully. Cambay has implemented many such plans and can help customized one for your needs.
If you are planning to migrate your legacy SharePoint 2010/2013 workflows to Power Platform to boost business productivity to get more done by giving everyone the ability to automate organizational processes, please reach out us firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help customize the offerings as per your business need and help accelerate business transformation.