Sunday, January 24, 2016

Workflow Manager Architecture SharePoint 2013

Hi There,


There are a lot of material to guide you how to install Workflow Manager with SharePoint 2013. I'll try to cover the points mentioned below in few words only,

1. Where to install Workflow Manager in SharePoint 2013 farm?
2. Do i need to install Workflow Manager on all SharePoint servers in the farm?
3. Do i need to install Workflow Manager on WFE's too in my farm?
4. Minimum which version of Workflow Manager is stable till today? (24-Jan-2016)
5. What is the sequence of installing Workflow Manager in SharePoint farm?

My SharePoint architecture is like below.

2 WFE, 2 APP and 2 DB servers with failover.



1. Where to install Workflow Manager in SharePoint 2013 farm?

Well its totally vary according to your architecture and need. In my case first of all i installed it on my APP1 server and tested the workflows which went fine. However when i tested the same from WFE's it threw me error of file not found. Simply it was pointing to Workflow Manager DLLs which were not present on my WFE's. I copied manually from GAC (the wrong approach) which didn't work. So i had to install Workflow Manager on WFE's as well.

Download the WebPlatformInstaller and select only "Workflow Manager" to install. It will automatically install its prerequisites like Windows Fabric, Service Bus etc.

2. Do i need to install Workflow Manager on all SharePoint servers in the farm?

NO, you don't need to install it on all servers in the farm. Just install it on one or more servers which will host the Workflow Manager and the servers which will serve the user requests i.e WFE's. No need to install if you have dedicated servers for Search crawl, UPS or any other. If you can have a dedicated server for Workflow Manager only, that would be more efficient. But you have to install it on WFE's otherwise it will not work.

3. Do i need to install Workflow Manager on WFE's too in my farm?

As described above, you don't need to install on all servers BUT, you must install it on WFE's. Installing only the Workflow Manager client would be fine but that do not comes solely. Using WebPlatformInstaller you get only the option to install Workflow Manager and it will install the client itself.

4. Minimum which version of Workflow Manager is stable till today? (24-Jan-2016)

I have installed Workflow Manager > CU1 > CU2 and it worked fine. However recently Microsoft released the CU3 (on 3-12-2015) of Workflow Manger which i have installed. After installing i noticed that my Workflow Manager Backend service is not running anymore. I tried to fix but no gain. So i would say till today the CU2 is the more stable release. 

Workflow Manager without CU2 is not a stable release. When you'll be registering your web application against a scope, it will give you a File Not Found Error. So, better to install the CU2 refresh. CU2 refresh is dependent on Service Bus CU1, so first install Service Bus CU1 and then CU2 refresh. All these can be installed from Web Platform Installer.

5. What is the sequence of installing Workflow Manager in SharePoint farm?

The sequence is pretty simple but for a new SharePointer it could be difficult.

a. On the server you want to host the workflows (mostly APP servers) install in following sequence
    1. First install Workflow Manager (It will install Service Bus and Windows Fabric too)
    2. Now install Service Bus CU1
    3. Then install Workflow Manager CU2
    4. Create a Workflow Manager farm

b. On the WFE's install in following sequence
    1. Install the Workflow Manager 1.0
    2. Join to the Workflow Manager farm




Workflow Manager Architecture SharePoint 2013
(In my case this worked fine)



See the below article for installing Workflow Manager Step by Step with SharePoint 2013 on multiserver SharePoint farm.



Happy SharePointing :)


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