Installing SharePoint 2013 Workflow Service

The release of SharePoint 3013 has brought a new load of great new, and expanded, features. Among those features is the advent of  the new Workflow services that can leverage the functionality Azure, giving business information builders, and developers, an expanded tool set. That leads to the question, ‘so what so great about it?’ I’ll point you to this excellent MSDN article, What’s new in workflows for SharePoint 2013 laying out the ‘what’s new’ functionality.

Instead I wanted to focus on installing the foundation services to get the great functionality working. I will note however a couple important pieces of information before we move on.

First, This blog is time sensitive post. I’m writing this using the BETA SharePoint 2013 and other BETA supporting software involved in this implementation. In other words things might change once SharePoint 2013 comes to RTM. I’m not expecting to much of a change since most of the supporting software are sold pieces of software. There are some caveats to be aware of, and I’ll point those out as we go along.

The following additional requirements must be met:

  1. Instance of SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1, SQL Server Express 2008 R2 SP1, or SQL Server 2012.
  2. TCP/IP connections and named pipes must be configured in SQL Server.
  3. Ports 4446 and 5112 must be available.
  4. Internet Protocol 4 (IPv4). Pure IPv6 environments are not supported.

Now that we got the introduction, and warning, out the way lets get our hands dirty. I’m logged into the server using domain account called sp_install. The account has local server administrator privileges on the SharePoint WFE server. On the SQL server the sp_install domain account will need the dbcreator and securityadmin roles.

As I worked through this install a few times my first really big hurtle was a node error that looked like this in the final log view.

System.InvalidOperationException: Program C:\Program Files\Windows Fabric\bin\Fabric\Fabric.Code.0\FabricDeployer.exe exited with error: Windows fabric deployment failed.None of the declared nodes is for the current machine.

If you get this error go and look at my blog entry for a resolution.  Sorry it is a specific error that happens in only certain network environments.

I am not, and can not, recommend installing this on a Active Directory Domain Controller.

Go, and download, the Workflow 1.0 Beta installer. You’ll notice that it is a quite small download at approximately 94KB. The installer leverages the Web Platform Installer to download, and install, what is needed.


Simple enough let press, Install.


We can see the web platform installer working in all it glory only giving us what we need, and not some huge download when we only need 6.58MB. Press, I Accept, Continue, and Finalize.

Once the installer is completed it will automatically bring up the Windows Azure Workflow Configuration Wizard. If you select the Web Platform Installer again it will  spotlight some added products that might be of interest to you so you can deep dive into the product. I like to install the Windows Azure PowerShell Cmdlets to play around with later.


in The Windows Azure Workflow Configuration Wizard e are going to start with the Create a New Farm…Using Default Settings (Recommend) selection.


A couple notes here:

  • Don’t run this configuration wizard on multiple servers at one time. Think of the normal SharePoint configuration wizard, and how it locks the databases while it configures it’s associated services.
  • You can NOT use a SQL alias for the SQL Server Instance entry
  • Use a FQDN for  SQL Server Instance
  • I use a separate domain user Service Account to run the Workflow service, or the RunAs service. Remember, and record, this account. You will need it later if you want to add more Workflow servers.
  • For testing I check Allow HTTP communication
  • Remember, and record, the Certificate Generation Key. You will need it later if you want to add more Workflow servers.

That get you to this screen.


This is your final check over, and wizard’s final validation step. I strongly recommend recording this information by using the Copy link. You can even see the associated PowerShell command that are run if you press the PowerShell Command link. Press the checkmark to get started.

Now wait for the configuration wizard to complete. It can take some time so don’t worry too much if you are sitting, and watching, the wizard for longer than 10 minutes. On any low power/memory workstations that this wizard is run on will take even longer time.

If the process does timeout, or fail, during this step don’t panic. I suggest clicking the back arrow, deleting the created databases (if any were created), and re-trying the process again.


Once it is complete you now have a SharePoint 2013 WorkFlow server.


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