Why SharePoint 2013? Some great reasons to upgrade from SharePoint 2010

We (Sean, Colin & I) we’re recently asked to offer some good reasons for one to consider upgrading from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013. Here’s some of the goodness:

SharePoint 2013 Workflow Task Form Word error – cannot open a new Form

​I recently got assigned a simple SharePoint Workflow Task to be the first assignee to edit a Word doc. On clicking “Open this task” in Outlook/Word 2013, i’d get the following error:
Element ‘{http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml}div’ is unexpected  according to  content model of parent element ‘{http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/infopath/2009/WSSList/dataFields}Body’

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The immediate workaround is to check for any Rich Text fields in the SharePoint 2010 Task List or the associated task list for the workflow, and change them to Plain text instead.  In this case, the request field is associated with the Description field (Body is its internal name) of the task list. The field is a Note field (Multiple lines of text) and the infopath form expects it as a plain text.

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Edit the Workflow again and re-save, and your end-user Workflow Task form should now open as expected:
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Now – this being the year 2013, I get a little bummed out when we are not allowed to use Rich Text in fields. Checking into why this seemingly standard functionality would not be available in such a form, I spent a good deal of time with no apparent answer. I do know that Rich Text get’s unceremoniously kicked out of the party in various points of SharePoint (as with many other frameworks/CMS’s) due to the potential for XSS injection etc.- perhaps it’s just unsupported but I can’t find the official word on this.

If anyone knows how to wire up the Rich Text or Enhanced Rich Text fields to such a form, or why SharePoint 2013 seems to create Workflow Task lists with this incompatible field type set as default, please let me know!

New Book: Beginning SharePoint 2013 Workflows – Available for pre-order

The latest book that the itgroove crew (Sean, Colin, & myself)  has performed Technical Editor duties on is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Workflow is so, so vital to what SharePoint has to offer, this is going to be a hot tamale so you will literally want to pre-order to guarantee your team get’s a copy of Bjoern Rapp’s book:


Publication Date: July 24, 2013 | ISBN-10: 1430258780 | ISBN-13: 978-1430258780 | Edition: 1

Beginning SharePoint 2013 Workflows is a practically-oriented book about building effective workflows in SharePoint 2013. Workflows are process flows that use pre-defined common activities executed as a process on a SharePoint server. Workflows serve in any situation requiring steps to be taken in a precise, controlled order, with forks and variables and other options for customization.

Workflows in SharePoint 2013 have been redesigned from the ground up and are immensely more powerful than the workflow features found in previous versions of SharePoint, 2007 and 2010. The latest version brings a brand-new infrastructure together with fully-declarative authoring environment that is finally ready for prime time. You cannot afford to be unaware of what SharePoint 2013 brings to workflow management.

Author Bjoern Rapp covers everything from fundamentals to advanced topics. For readers with no programming experience, learn to build workflows by dragging and dropping. Yes, that’s right—no code! SharePoint 2013 provides a comprehensive set of predefined actions, but you’re not limited in any way.

But for intermediate users and and programmers, you still have access to the sophisticated functionality needed to customize your workflows with custom code. Now your workflows can reflect reality, complete with all the iteration and decision points needed to reflect how your business really and truly operates.

Beginning SharePoint 2013 Workflows shows how to create custom actions of your own. Also in this book you’ll learn about support for Workflows in Visual Studio, about the introduction of Windows Azure as the new workflow execution host, how the messaging is implemented through Windows Communication Foundation, and much more. No SharePoint developer can afford to be without Beginning SharePoint 2013 Workflows and the knowledge it unlocks.

  • Covers creation of advanced workflows using both code-based and no code solutions
  • Illustrates exciting new features such as Visual Designer and the new support for loops
  • Provides examples of full-blown Workflow solutions and Workflow management apps using SharePoint Designer 2013 and Visual Studio 2012

What you’ll learn

  • Learn everything you need to know about then Workflow Manager Service and the Windows Azure Execution Host
  • Create and implement out of the box workflows using the SharePoint 2013 user interface and built-in workflow form templates
  • Build advanced no-code workflows for SharePoint 2013 and Project Server 2013
  • Use the Workflow Object Model to implement workflow management functions in SharePoint 2013 Apps
  • Develop full code-based workflow solutions utilizing the powers of .NET and Visual Studio 2012
  • Learn how to manage and monitor workflows using PowerShell
  • Discover SharePoint Designer 2013’s powerful workflow design features

Who this book is for

Beginning SharePoint 2013 Workflows is aimed at both intermediate to advanced SharePoint users (for no code solutions) and developers (for custom code solutions) looking for expert guidance on designing and developing workflows for the SharePoint 2013 platform.  Some of the exercises are based on code samples written in C#, and users with basic knowledge of the language and familiarity with the Visual Studio 2012 IDE will benefit most from the code-based chapters.