Wednesday, May 7, 2014

SPD WF 2013: 5 Things you wish you knew before using it #Azure #SharePoint2013

Wondering what you can get from SharePoint Workflow 2013 , which is a completely new beast?
I assumed that you have already read all WF 2013 perks that MSDN promises you.

My goal here is to give more a reality check - what you will discover while building workflow 2013 in SharePoint designer (SPD).

1. You can't access user profile. ex. to get a user's department.
You need use interop to call WF2010 that in turn accesses User Profiles list
2. Dictionary sometimes is cumbersome to use when you want to unite multiple stand-alone variables, even though MSDN uses this case to justify use of the new type - Dictionary
2.1. you can't add an item to the dictionary after the dictionary is created. all dictionary pairs should be created and assigned at the same time;
2.2. you can't retrieve dictionary key without assigning it the output variable, which clutters the variable list anyway.

3. Sometimes Workflow is failed to be open in SPD in SharePoint Online.
"Windows Workflow Foundation, part of .Net Framework 3.0, must be installed to use this feature"

To fix it:
3.1. Apply SharePoint Designer 2013 hotfix package (Spd-x-none.msp): April 8, 2014
     , spdcore2013-kb2727100
     3.2. Clear SPD Cache

4. Re-Publish workflow won't update WF version from the first time. You have to hit publish (at least in my env) twice to deliver a new WF to the site.

5. If (or rather when) your newly developed WF failed with internal status - suspended. The error is not informative even though it's verbose