What You Need to Know Now
The demise of SharePoint 2010 workflows in SharePoint Online has been on the cards for a while. But the retirement date for the workflow engine is placing many organisations under pressure, with the switch off set for November. Here, we explain what’s happening and what you need to do.
It’s worth calling out that you may be unaware of the number of SharePoint workflows running in your environment, given they are not centrally managed. Your users may have instigated out-of-the-box or custom workflows using tools such as SharePoint Designer, without your knowledge. It’s essential you get in front of this now or come the switch off, some of your organisation’s critical workloads may fall over.
A Brief History
The SharePoint 2010 Workflow Manager is, at ten years old, considered an old lady in the tech world. And the time has come for Microsoft to pension her off to make way for the new cool kid – Power Automate, part of the Power Platform.
And SharePoint 2013 Workflow Manager is next for the chopping block from SharePoint Online, although Microsoft hasn’t yet announced the final date of execution.
SharePoint Workflow Retirement Dates
This table applies to SharePoint online only. Support for SharePoint 2013 workflows in on-premises SharePoint 2016 and 2019 will continue until 2026.
Nintex and other third-party workflows are not affected.
|When||SharePoint Workflow||What’s Happening|
|1st August 2020||SharePoint 2010 Workflows||Blocked for new SharePoint Online tenants|
|SharePoint Designer 2013 Workflows||Blocked for new SharePoint Online tenants|
|1st November 2020||SharePoint 2010 Workflows||Removed from existing SharePoint Online tenants|
|SharePoint Designer 2013 Workflows||Blocked for existing SharePoint Online tenants|
|SharePoint 2013 Workflows||Switched off for new SharePoint Online tenants|
|SharePoint 2013 Workflows||Remains supported but deprecated|
|To be advised||SharePoint 2013 Workflows||Removed from existing SharePoint Online tenants|
|Jul-2026||SharePoint Designer 2013 Workflows||Supported until July 2026 in SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint 2019 on premises|
What You Need to Do
The first step is to take stock of what SharePoint Workflows you have, including things like:
- Workflow version (2010 or 2013)
- If it’s enabled/live or just defined
- Your critical workloads and co-dependencies
- The workflow triggers
- Crucially, if the workflow can be migrated to Power Automate
And the good news is there’s a tool to help you do just this. It’s called the Modernizer Scanner; it was created by the PnP group, who are backed by Microsoft.
To give you some context, PnP has tools for building out and modernising SharePoint sites, e.g. upgrading from classic (legacy) SharePoint to modern SharePoint. Our SharePoint experts at Content+Cloud know the group well.
The tool enables you to run a scan of the workflows in your SharePoint environment. The output is a CSV file, which gives you information about each of your workflows and their complexity. Here’s an example of some of the top-level information from the scan:
And to show you what using the tool looks like, here are some screenshots.
PnP’s tool is a downloaded executable which you run. It’s available in GitHub, but we’ve included it here: PnP Modernizer Scanner.
Now for the not so good news; while the scanner itself is simple to use, the authentication typically demands some highly technical steps. We’re finding that several of our clients need advice, and we’re only too happy to manage the process for them. If you’d like our support, then do please get in touch.
As a Microsoft partner, we have specialists in SharePoint and the Power Platform; they’re here to help you succeed.
How We Can Make the Transition Successful for You
As well as helping you to analyse your SharePoint environment, we’re here to support you with the next vital stage: migrating your SharePoint workloads to Power Automate.
Whatever you’re short of: time, the technical know-how or experience, we can fill the gap. Our accredited team will help you to minimise the impact of SharePoint’s retirement and migrate your workloads to Power Automate.
You’re welcome to contact us if you’d like:
- Assistance installing and running the Modernization Scanner
- Analysing and upgrading your SharePoint workflows
- Migrating your SharePoint workflows to Power Automate
- Power Platform training workshops
- Advice on Power Platform governance and best practice
Whatever your needs, we’ll shape our services to fit them, and would be delighted to join you on your modernisation journey.