SharePoint 2010 workflows to retire - are you ready for it?

Nothing, so they say, is said to be more certain in life than death and taxes… and dated technology being retired.

The writing has been on the wall for a while, but Microsoft confirmed in an announcement in early July this year the plug is being pulled for SharePoint Online 2010 Workflows by 1st November 2020.

So what does this mean for you and your organisation? Are you prepared? And what’s a workflow anyway?

Wait… what’s happening?

Modern business process is essential for transforming organizational productivity in Microsoft 365. Since the release of SharePoint workflows, Microsoft has evolved workflow orchestration to not only encompass SharePoint, but all the productivity services you use with Microsoft 365 and beyond.

Microsoft Power Automate connects to all Microsoft 365 services and over 220 services to let an enterprise build custom workflows. With the continued investment in Power Automate as the universal solution to workflow, Microsoft is retiring SharePoint 2010 workflows.

New Tenants 

Starting August 1st 2020, SharePoint 2010 workflows will be turned off for any newly created Office 365 tenants using SharePoint Online.

That means that even if you wanted to, the option to choose to use SharePoint 2010 workflows won’t be available. This isn’t too tragic – can’t miss what you’ve never had, right? Power Automate is the powerful new kid on the block that will take care of all your workflow needs.

Existing Tenants 

Starting November 1st 2020, Microsoft will remove the ability to run, or create, and/or execute SharePoint 2010 workflows from existing Office 365 tenants using SharePoint Online.

This is pretty self-explanatory – if your SharePoint Online site is currently using 2010 workflows anywhere, those flows will no longer work after November 1st.

The following built-in workflows will also be impacted:

  • Approvals: This workflow routes a document or an item to a group of people for approval.
  • Collect Feedback: This workflow routes a document or an item to a group of people for feedback. Reviewers can provide feedback, which is then compiled and sent to the person who initiated the workflow.
  • Collect Signatures: This workflow routes a Microsoft Office document to a group of people to collect their digital signatures.
  • Classic pages publishing Approval: This workflow is like the Approval workflow in that it automates the routing of draft pages to subject matter experts and stakeholders for review and approval.
  • Three-state: This workflow can be used to manage business processes that require organizations to track a high volume of issues or items, such as customer support issues, sales leads, or project tasks. 

Don’t get complacent about your SharePoint 2013 workflows either – Microsoft has indicated they’ll be switched off for new Office 365 tenants from November 2020. If you’re going to convert 2010 workflows, it would be smart to include 2013 flows in your “Operation Update All of the Things” and get it all done at once.


What’s a workflow anyway and why should I care?

Glad you asked. In the SharePoint universe, a workflow is the automated movement of documents or items through a sequence of actions or tasks related to a business process. In a nutshell, workflows take care of things behind the scenes, so you don’t have to, making your work life easier and giving you time to concentrate on more important tasks.

How can you check what you have? Microsoft has a SharePoint Modernisation Scanner tool you can use to scan your tenancy/s for legacy workflow usage. The results are generated in an Excel report that lists information such as identified workflows for a site and whether those flows are 2010 or 2013. This is a great way to get a big picture of the scope of work you’re looking at and prioritise tasks.


Now what?

So you’ve run the scan and looks like you’ve got some work to do. There’s a couple of paths you can take:


Got internal resources that can handle it? Microsoft has a handy guide for migrating from classic workflows to Power Automate flows that you’ll find useful. Microsoft also offers plenty of information on Power Automate resources as a solution, including documentation, templates and learning resources to get skills up to speed.

Take it to the experts

Enlighten Designs’ Modern Workplace team can help you scan, prioritise and convert your SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 workflows to Power Automate. To find out more, visit our page on Power Automate then contact us to professionally support your move and help keep your business growing.

Whoa there! What about licencing?

All Microsoft 365 licenses include usage of the Power Platform, of which Power Automate belongs to. Power Automate also has additional premium features that you can buy on top of your Microsoft 365 licenses. To learn more about specific features included with Microsoft 365 licenses download this PDF.


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