Farewell SharePoint 2013 Workflow: Transitioning to Power Platform and Beyond!

Navigating the Shift from SharePoint 2013 Workflows to New Opportunities with Power Platform and More

Are you ready to navigate the shift from SharePoint 2013 Workflows to Power Automate? Microsoft has announced a phased retirement of SharePoint 2013 workflows, beginning in 2024. If you’re currently relying on SharePoint 2013 workflows, it’s time to start migrating to Power Automate sooner rather than later to avoid disruption.

Important dates for your calendar

April 2, 2024 – SharePoint 2013 workflows will be deactivated for any new tenants.

April 2, 2026 – Microsoft will eliminate the ability to run, create, and execute SharePoint 2013 workflows for all existing tenants.

Note: This applies to all environments, including Government Clouds and Department of Defense.

What is a SharePoint 2013 workflow?

A SharePoint 2013 workflow is the automated movement of documents or items through a sequence of actions or tasks related to a business process.

Businesses use workflows to attach business logic to documents or items in a SharePoint list or library to complete processes from document reviews to manager approval of time off.

While most customers use SharePoint Designer to author and publish workflows in SharePoint, professional developers leverage SharePoint 2013 workflow capability to extend and build workflows via code.

Why is Microsoft retiring SharePoint 2013 workflows?

A lot has changed in business and technology since the SharePoint 2013 workflow engine was introduced. So, these workflows are becoming increasingly outdated, are often running on legacy technology that’s no longer supported, and are simply no longer able to meet the needs of modern business processes.

Microsoft has invested heavily in newer workflow platforms like Power Automate and Azure Logic Apps, which offer advanced functionality and integration with productivity services like Microsoft 365.

Is this the end of workflows?

The retirement of SharePoint 2013 workflow doesn’t spell the end of workflows. In fact, it opens up a broader scope for workflow orchestration.

Going forward, Microsoft is encouraging businesses to migrate to Power Automate for better support, and more powerful capabilities that are better suited to modern businesses. 

Microsoft has expanded workflow orchestration to include all productivity services you use with Microsoft 365 and even extending it to over 700 third party connectors, enabling you to build custom workflows.

A wide range of third-party solutions also exist that can directly orchestrate SharePoint data via SharePoint’s open API platform.

What happens at the end of SharePoint 2013’s retirement phase?

Essentially, Microsoft will no longer provide support or updates for your workflows. If your business currently uses SharePoint 2013 workflows and you don’t transition before the 2026 cut-off date, it could create substantial disruptions.

Workflow failures will impact your business processes, and with no further support or updates being rolled out by Microsoft, your workflows will become vulnerable to security threats or compliance issues. 

What’s happening to SharePoint Designer 2013?

As for SharePoint Designer 2013, it will continue to work with on-premises SharePoint 2016, SharePoint 2019, and SharePoint Server Subscription Edition platforms for the remainder of the client support lifecycle.

However, SharePoint 2013 workflow creation and execution against SharePoint Online from SharePoint Designer 2013 will be turned off in accordance with the timeline mentioned above.

What’s the best option for replacing SharePoint 2013 workflows?

Microsoft recommends Power Automate to replace SharePoint 2013 workflows. Power Automate offers more functionality than SharePoint workflows, including the ability to automate tasks across multiple applications and services, not just SharePoint.

While we understand this transition might initially seem challenging, there are numerous business advantages to making the move, including:

  • Integration with Microsoft 365: Seamlessly integrating with Microsoft 365 and other Microsoft services will make it easier to create workflows that automate tasks across different applications and platforms.
  • Improved productivity: Create workflows that automate routine tasks such as data entry, form submission, or report generation. This streamlines business processes and frees up your team’s time to focus on more strategic tasks.
  • Easy to use: A user-friendly interface makes it easy to create and manage no-code workflows without a huge amount of technical expertise.
  • Extensibility: Power Automate can be extended with custom connectors, so you can connect to a wider range of services and applications – such as Salesforce for customer relationship management, Slack for team communication, Google Workspace for productivity, Adobe Creative Cloud for design tasks, and even industry-specific tools like ServiceNow for IT service management.
  • Cost-effective: A range of pricing options and subscription levels means businesses can pay only for what they need.
  • Robust security: Using powerful in-built security features, Power Automate helps protect business data and ensure compliance across workflows.

Ready to begin your migration? Cloudwell can help.

The sooner you begin the process of migration, the less likely you are to suffer any disruption when SharePoint 2013 workflows are eventually turned off.

We understand that change can be challenging, and we’re here to make this transition as smooth as possible for you.

Cloudwell’s team of Microsoft-certified professionals stands ready to guide your business at every stage of the process. From pinpointing essential SharePoint 2013 workflows that need migrating, to reconstructing your complex legacy workflows in Power Automate, we’re here to ensure a seamless transition.

Don’t worry, we’ve done this before!

We’re excited to show you the opportunities that lie ahead with the modern workflow solutions, and we’re committed to helping you leverage them to their fullest potential.

Our team is already working with several clients, helping them to migrate their SharePoint 2013 workflows to the Power Platform and Azure.

So, if this transition is causing you some uncertainty, or if you’re simply curious to learn how you can optimize the use of the Power Automate or Logic Apps, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re always ready to lend a hand.

Don’t navigate this change alone. Reach out to us today and let’s work together to prepare your organization for the future of workflow solutions! Your first step towards an optimized, future-proof workflow system is just one call away.