SharePoint Reusable Workflow

I have been working with SharePoint Designer workflows in 2010 recently, and I really like the idea behind Reusable Workflow. However I’ve been dealing with 2 specific Reusable Workflows that have been behaving in a fundamentally different way – one of which I can move between sites, and another that I cannot (both are reusable).

I’ve just had one of those Facepalm moments where you go: How could I be so daft! – It appears that the workflow that was exporting and importing successfully, but not activating successfully had its content type restricted to the one from the source environment which did not appear in the target environment (the one that did migrate successfully was set to all content types).

If you are going to use reusable workflows and you want to “bind” the workflow to a specific content type, you need to migrate the content type (and set its underlying GUID) as part of the migration process. Unfortunately it’s not possible to migrate the Content type (which a workflow is bound to) as part of the solution. So… what are the options?

  • Either you get a developer to create a workflow, based on the wsp file you exported from SharePoint Designer which is not bound to a Content Type GUID, or
  •  You get a developer to create a package that includes the Site Columns, Content Type and workflows, or
  •  You learn how to create Content Types in Powershell (I’m too old to learn powershell).

Back to the developers!


About Brad Saide

I'm a SharePoint consultant. I'm also slowly going bald, seem to have a permanent spare tyre around my waist and enjoy socialising with friends over a beer or 10. The last 2 may possibly be related. Started working with SharePoint when the first version was in limited beta release (participated in the Technology Adoption Program while at Woolworths) and have been committed to the adoption of the technology as a business enabler ever since.
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