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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Yes Virginia, There is an Easy Way to Migrate SharePoint Designer Workflows

No doubt by now, if you have spent anytime with SharePoint Designer (SPD) 2007, you will have heard (or experienced) that it's difficult to migrate SharePoint Designer workflows.  The horror stories tell you that if you do migrate them, you will have to do all kinds of direct modifications to the XOML files, find and replace GUIDs, recompile, check every detail over and over again, etc. 

What if I told you that, not only is there an easy way to migrate SPD workflows, but the tools needed to do that are in SPD?!?  Even more so, that with these tools you can migrate SPD workflows across site collections and across Server farms!?! Skeptical?  I don't blame you, but read on...

1. Prepare Development Site

a. Verify that all workflows are working properly and without error

b. Remove all unneeded development lists

c. Remove unneeded Security Groups

d. Reset the Master Page to the Default Master Page

2. Create a Template From the Development Server

a. From SharePoint Designer choose File, Export, SharePoint Site Template

b. From the Save Site as Template Page:

i. Enter the File Name – ContactUs.stp

ii. Enter the Template Name: – Contact Us

iii. Enter the Template Description – The site template for the Contact Us application

iv. Choose to Include Content

v. Click OK

c. From the Operation Completed Successfully page click on the Site Template Gallery link

d. From the Site Template Gallery click on the new template name

e. From the Download File dialog box choose save, select a local save location and then click Save

f. From the Download Complete dialog box choose Close

3. Post the Site Template to the Production Server

a. From the Production Site choose Site Actions, Site Settings, Galleries, Site Templates

b. From the Site Templates list choose Upload, Upload Document

c. From the Upload Document Page choose Browse and Browse to the Site Template you created in SharePoint Designer, then Click OK

d. From the Site Template Gallery Edit Item page make any necessary edits to the template metadata, then Click OK

e. The new Site Template will be added and available from the production site

4. Create a New Site on the Production Server

a. From the Top Site of the Production Site Collection

i. Choose Site Actions, Create Site

ii. Provide a Title for the new site

iii. Provide a Description for the new site

iv. Provide a URL name for the new site

v. Click on the Custom tab

vi. Choose the new site template you created

vii. Choose Use Unique Permissions

viii. Choose Use the Top Link Bar from the Parent Site – Yes or No

ix. Click on Create

x. The new Site will be Created

b. If required, change the Master Page to the same site master as the site collection

c. If required, add SharePoint security groups and user accounts

5. Perform Post Restoration Checks and Configurations

a. Review the Site Appearance

i. Master Page

ii. Navigation

b. Review the Following Site Configurations

i. Document Libraries

1. Metadata

2. Permissions


4. Versioning

5. Library Workflow Associations

ii. Lists

1. Metadata

2. Permissions


4. Versioning

5. Lists Workflow Associations

iii. Web Parts

1. Web Parts Added to Web Part Zones

2. Web Part Customizations

iv. Security Groups

1. Group Permissions

2. Group Accounts

v. Validate that the Workflows are configured properly by clicking through each GUI design screen

vi. Run any Additional Workflow Tests

vii. Correct all Findings

And there you have it - an easy way to migrate SPD workflows from one location to another!  Be forewarned, if you create the site template from within SharePoint itself (not starting from SharePoint Designer) you will not get the same results.  For some strange reason probably only known to Bill Gates himself, this only works when you start from SharePoint Designer, but hey the good news is - it works!!!

And that's all there is to it!


Anonymous said...

Is that really what you call "Easy"? :)

Tom Molskow said...

LOL! Yes, unfortunately for SharePoint Designer 2007 workflows that was "Easy"! Now for SharePoint Designer 2010 workflows things have gotten a lot "Easier". :-)

I hope that helps!


Bijay Kumar said...

Will this approach will work for different server farm ???

Tom Molskow said...

Hello Bijay,

Yes definately, but if you have any problems just post them here and I will do my best to help you work through them.