Workflows are used to automate specific behaviours within SharePoint. They are a convenient way in which to maintain full functionality of your SharePoint environment, allowing you to keep continuity of operations at a maximum. Take for example a geo-replication scenario where a document has been changed in the Corporate office, and then approved by the supervisor in the London office, this workflow approval is then seamlessly replicated back to Corporate, ensuring all data is up-to-date on both farms. This Knowledge Based article will outline the details of how workflows work with Metalogix Replicator.
Workflows begin with a definition: the set of conditions and actions used by the workflow to manage your business process. This is essentially what your workflow does.
An association is the assignment of a workflow to an object. This is where you want to run your workflow.
An instance is the act of starting the workflow. This is your running workflow.
With regards to workflow definitions, Replicator replicates the creation and modification of SharePoint Designer workflow definitions. Replicator does not replicate the creation or modification of workflow definitions in visual studio. We do, however, replicate the activation of workflow features, associations and instances of visual studio workflow definitions that have been deployed on both source and target.
SharePoint users can interact with the workflow instance and associated workflow tasks on any server, and the updates and impacts are replicated to all target servers.
When a supported workflow is started for a document or list item on a server, the workflow instance is captured and replicated to the target servers. The workflow tasks and history items associated with the workflow are neither captured nor replicated. These workflow artifacts are created on the target servers when the replicated workflow instance is initiated for the document or list item.
It is vital to note that Replicator requires that the workflows be installed and enabled on all web applications where the workflow will be processed. Many built-in workflows require that certain features be activated in order to be used.
Metalogix Replicator is able to replicate list scoped and site scoped workflows, including workflow instance and associations. Replicator supports the replication of SharePoint out of the box, SharePoint Designer, Visual Studio, and Nintex list and site-scoped workflows.
Creation and modification of Workflow definitions in SharePoint Designer - Nintex included - are also replicated. Visual Studio definition creation and modification are not replicated.
Replicator does not install workflows for you. For SharePoint designer reusable workflow templates, which are workflows that are already available in SharePoint, Replicator will replicate any associations and instances.
Workflow replication is not enabled by default on map families. Enabling workflow replication is done at the Map Family level when setting up Replicator on your farms. By checking the Workflow checkbox under the Replication Events section of the Configure Replication Map Settings page, you enable the replication of workflows. In order to specify exactly what kind of workflow events are replicated click Advanced for further options. For more information about enabling replication for specific workflow events, see the Metalogix Replicator Reference Guide.
Replicator requires that the workflows be installed and enabled on all web applications where the workflow will be processed. Many built-in workflows require that certain features be activated in order to be used. Note that Replicator will push feature activation, but initial startup might require additional steps.
Workflows can be manually invoked on any web application in the replication network. The workflow setting to automatically start a workflow on list items is not replicated. This is because it is a best practice to only start workflows on one location. Replicator automatically does this for you by not replicating this setting.
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