App Step in SharePoint 2013 Designer Workflow

sharepoint 2013 workflow impersonation step

In this post, we will discuss App Steps in SharePoint 2013 designer workflow. If you have worked on or if you have used “Impersonation Step” in SharePoint designer 2010 workflow then surely you will need this step. Because “Impersonation Step” is deprecated in SharePoint Designer 2013.


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SharePoint 2013 designer workflow runs under the permissions of the user who published the workflow. But the user may not have permission to do some elevated permissions task. In those cases, if you will not use elevated permissions then the workflow will fail. In SharePoint 2010 we can achieve this by using the “Impersonation Step”. But in SharePoint 2013 Impersonation Step is deprecated and the alternative to this, we can use the App Step.

Any actions placed inside an App Step will have Read/Write permissions to all Items in the site. Unlike the impersonation step, the advantages of App Step is that we can run the step with elevated permissions at the required position in the workflow rather than having to have the whole workflow.

To use App Step, first, we need to activate “Workflows can use app permissions” site feature. This feature allows workflows to read from and write to all the items on the site. You can go to Settings -> Site settings. Then in the Site Settings page, click on “Manage site features” under the Site Actions section. In the “Site Features” page, search for “Workflows can use app permissions” feature and click on “Activate” if it has not been activated.

App Step in SharePoint 2013 Designer Workflow
App Step in SharePoint 2013 Designer Workflow

Example:
In this example, I have one list and when the user submits one item into the list, one item will be created in a different list. In the second list, only a few people will have access. So we have created one SharePoint 2013 list workflow in the first list.

We have used here Create item in List action. We choose here the second list name and the value of Title field we are putting in the second Title list Title. See fig below:

SharePoint workflow app step
SharePoint workflow app step

So our workflow looks like below:

app step in sharepoint 2013 workflow
app step in shSharePoint013 workflow

Here two different users added an item to the list, First user which has Contribute access to the second list. When this user added an item to the first list, workflow triggers and completed successfully. Also it created one item in the second list.

But when another user added an item to the list, the workflow started but it went to suspended state. Because the user has only read access to the second list.

sharepoint 2013 workflow impersonation step
sharepoint 2013 workflow impersonation step

Now I have changed the workflow and added an App Step and added the Create Item… workflow section inside the App Step. Looks like fig below:

sharepoint 2013 workflow impersonation step
sharepoint 2013 workflow impersonation step

Now when you publish the workflow, it will ask for a confirmation dialog box like below:
“By publishing this workflow, conditions and actions inside App Steps will run using only application credentials. Only continue if this is the intended behavior”. It looks like below:

sharepoint 2013 workflow impersonation step
sharepoint 2013 workflow impersonation step

Then go to the workflow settings and uncheck “Automatically update the workflow status to the current stage name” like below:

app step in sharepoint 2013 workflow
app step in sharepoint 2013 workflow


Now after this when the user having read access to the second list added one item in the first list, workflow triggers and completed successfully.

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About Bijay Kumar

I am Bijay from Odisha, India. Currently working in my own venture TSInfo Technologies in Bangalore, India. I am Microsoft Office Servers and Services (SharePoint) MVP (5 times). I works in SharePoint 2016/2013/2010, SharePoint Online Office 365 etc. Check out My MVP Profile.. I also run popular SharePoint web site SharePointSky.com

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