Packaging and Deploying in SharePoint 2013 designer workflow

In this Article we explore SharePoint Designer 2013 provides the capability to save a workflow as a template. Saving a workflow as a template is also known as packaging the workflow. This capability absent in Sharepoint 2010 List Workflow. In this article, we explore all the steps regarding Packaging, Deploying and workflow registration. In Sharepoint 2010/2013 not all workflow types can be saved as a template. The following table shows the workflow types that can be saved as a template.

Workflow type SharePoint 2010 Workflow platform SharePoint 2013 Workflow platform
List Workflow No Yes
Site Workflow No Yes
Reusable Workflow Yes Yes


Created an SPD designer workflow in One (TEST) environment and want to deploy onto other (Production) environment.

Follow the below steps to move workflow into other (production) environment site:

Create Solution Package a workflow by using SharePoint Designer 2013:

In order to use this workflow on another server, you have to save this workflow as a SharePoint solution package (.wsp file), and then deploy it as a solution in the other server (Production). To package a workflow follow these steps:

  1. Open site  in SharePoint Designer 2013
  2. On the Workflow Settings tab in the ribbon, click the Save as Template button in the Manage section as shown in the figure.

package deploy sharepoint workflow.png

package deploy sharepoint workflow.png

  1. The .wsp file is now located in the Site Asset library in the Site Collection on your Test Server.
  2. Go to Site Content => Site Assets and you will find Exception Approval .wsp file.
  3. Download a copy of this file to a directory on your computer.

Deploy a SharePoint solution package:

  1. Open Internet Explorer and navigate to the site collection you want to deploy the SharePoint 2013 designer workflow.
  2. Copy the .wsp file from your computer to a local directory on your Production server.
  3. Click Site Actions and select Site Settings.
  4. In the Web Design Galleries section click Solutions.
  5. Click the Upload .WSP Solution button to upload the solution as shown in the figure.
package deploy sharepoint designer workflow.png

package deploy sharepoint designer workflow.png

– Activate the solution by clicking the Activate button as shown in the figure.

Figure: Activate Solution dialog and button

package deploy sharepoint 2013 designer workflow.png

package deploy sharepoint 2013 designer workflow.png

After a workflow solution has been activated for a site collection follows this procedure.

Activate the workflow feature

  1. Open Site Settings on the site where you wish to activate the workflow feature.
  2. In the Site Actions group, click Manage site features.
  3. Click Activate next to the workflow feature as shown in the figure.

Figure: Activate workflow feature for site

sharepoint 2013 package deploy designer workflow.png

sharepoint 2013 package deploy designer workflow

You may like following SharePoint workflow tutorials:

Note: In the workflow, if you are using an app step then must follow the following Steps after deployment Register workflow App permission.

Donwload Hub site pdf

Download SharePoint Online Tutorial PDF FREE!

Get update on Webinars, video tutorials, training courses etc.

Sagar Pardeshi

I am Developer working on Microsoft Technologies for the past 6+years. I am very much passionate about programming and my core skills are SharePoint, ASP.NET & C#,Jquery,Javascript,REST. I am running this blog to share my experience & learning with the community I am an MCP, MCTS .NET & Sharepoint 2010, MCPD Sharepoint 2010, and MCSD HTML 5,Sharepoint 2013 Core Solutions. I am currently working on Sharepoint 2010, MOSS 2007, Sharepoint 2013,Sharepoint 2013 App Dev, C#, ASP.NET, and SQL Server 2008.