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The Last Update is the Solution

I have got an App for SharePoint 2013, which needs to start a Workflow. This Workflow is in the HostWebContext, not in the AppContext. The List, the Workflow is running on is also in the HostWebContext.

I found two possible ways starting a Workflow in the internet:

With a servicesManager, where you can enumerate all subscriptions to get the Workflow

 var servicesManager = SP.WorkflowServices.WorkflowServicesManager.newObject(context, context.get_web());
context.load(servicesManager);

But here I get an Error when I want to create the servicesManager with the hostContext as context.

Unhandled exception at line 2, column 78561 in http://app-d9bb496fd62eeb.dev.local:10000/_layouts/15/sp.runtime.js

0x800a01b6 - JavaScript runtime error: Object doesn't support property or method '$20_0'

With the AppContext as Context I can't enumerate the subscriptions, probably because there aren't any defined Workflows in the App Context

Second possible way is with the jquery.SPServices. But this library currently has a bug with IE11, so this is no solution for me at the moment. Nevertheless, reading some code on the internet, I've found a way to get the Workflow and the List from the HostContext the following way:

//hostcontext is initialized already and contains the HostWebContext, context is the AppContext
var lists = hostcontext.get_web().get_lists();
var list = lists.getByTitle("ListName");
var workflows = list.get_workflowAssociations();
context.load(lists);
context.load(list);
context.load(workflows);

by enumerating the workflows you can get the workflowAssociation for the Workflow you want by checking for the name.

Let's say I've got the right workflowAssociation stored in a var called workflow. Now I want to start this exact Workflow (in the hostWebContext, for a ListItem in the list)

How can I start the workflow? I have no Idea and can't seem to find the right function / way to start the workflow with this object.

The msdn documentation for a workflowAssociation is here

Is it possible to start a workflow outside of the app context?
Is it possible to start a workflow with a workflowAssociation Object?
How could I initialize the servicesManager for the HostWebContext without an error, if I need to?
Is there a workaround so I could call the SPService call shown in the GitHub Link (line 40) without SPServices?

This pretty much sums up my problems for Workflows right now.

Update

When I use the following SPServices no Error occurs:

<script src="http://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/jquery.SPServices/0.7.1a/jquery.SPServices-0.7.1a.min.js"></script>

The GitHub Code runs through. But I can see in my site-collection and the corresponding list, the workflow didn't start. But the success-function is called, so the command is fired.

Either:

  1. The Link created in this script is wrong (line 27)
    • I've also tried to create the link with the hostweburl, not the url of the current window. No success
  2. I have no permissions to start the workflow this way.
    • I gave the App "Elevate" Permissions on Workflows
    • Maybe I need also to tell the Server which user is activating the Workflow? Is this possible with OAuth, and how?
  3. The GitHub Code doesn't work (anymore, maybe because SP2013?)
  4. The SPServices don't work (anymore, maybe because SP2013?)

The following, quoted Update was WRONG
hostcontext.get_context() refers to the clientContext, not as described below

Update

I've tried to load the servicesManager with the hostContext again and noticed something there:

I'm creating the HostContext Object the following way:

  var context = SP.ClientContext.get_current();
  var hostweburl = decodeURIComponent(getQueryStringParameter("SPHostUrl"));
  var hostcontext = new SP.AppContextSite(context, hostweburl);

The hostcontext object here is what I used to call newObject for the servicesManager. But this is not the context.

var realHostContext = hostcontext.get_context()

This is the context. With using this realHostContext in the creation of servicesManager I don't get an error.

var servicesManager = SP.WorkflowServices.WorkflowServicesManager.newObject(realHostContext,realHostContext.get_web());
context.load(servicesManager);//context is still SP.ClientContext.get_current();

There is no error, but I can't create the subs object.

var subs =servicesManager.getWorkflowSubscriptionService().enumerateSubscriptionsByList(list.get_id());

  context.load(subs);

After this part I want to call the context.executeQueryAsync Function which throws an error:

Unhandled exception at line 105, column 44 in http://app-d9bb496fd62ef0.dev.local:10000/Sharepoint2013TMAApp/Scripts/WorkflowLib.js

0x800a139e - JavaScript runtime error: Error with Start workflow Cannot invoke method or retrieve property from null object. Object returned by the following call stack is null. "GetWorkflowSubscriptionService

new Microsoft.SharePoint.WorkflowServices.WorkflowServicesManager()

"

Update

MSDN Link the last Paragraph is exactly what I need. Access the Workflow of the parent web via app. But If you click on the Link:
You can locate the sample code here: SharePoint 2013 workflow: Workflow OM in a SharePoint app.

There is no code or sample or just a description. Empty Link :'(

Update

I got a quote of MSDN:

Workflows: Workflows in SharePoint 2013 use the Windows Azure-hosted workflow runtime that is new in SharePoint 2013. Coded workflows that use the SharePoint-hosted workflow runtime cannot be included in a app for SharePoint. Only declarative workflows or workflows that use the newer runtime are allowed.

Is this releant for me? I'm not sure. I created the Workflow with Visual Studio in a Solution and uploaded it to the HostWeb (Site Collection). In the Solution I have an App which needs to get to its HostWeb/Parent Web and to this Workflow to run it. Is this possible, concerning the quote?

Update

I've tested to get any subscriptions from my servicesManager.

But I get the Error:

Unhandled exception at line 140, column 8 in http://app-d9bb496fd62ef4.dev.local:10000/Sharepoint2013TMAApp/Scripts/WorkflowLib.js

0x800a139e - JavaScript runtime error: Error occured! Cannot invoke method or retrieve property from null object. Object returned by the following call stack is null. "GetWorkflowSubscriptionService

new Microsoft.SharePoint.WorkflowServices.WorkflowServicesManager()

"

Stack trace: at Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientMethodsProcessor.ThrowNullReference(String objectStackTrace)

at Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientMethodsProcessor.GetObjectFromObjectPath(XmlElement xe)

at Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientMethodsProcessor.GetObjectFromObjectPathId(String objectPathId)

at Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientMethodsProcessor.ProcessInstantiateObjectPath(XmlElement xe)

at Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientMethodsProcessor.ProcessOne(XmlElement xe)

at Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientMethodsProcessor.ProcessStatements(XmlNode xe)

at Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientMethodsProcessor.Process()

The whole testWorkflow-Code is the following:

function testWorkflow() {
    var context = SP.ClientContext.get_current();
    var web = context.get_web();
    context.load(web);

    /*var list = web.get_lists().getById(listGuid);
    context.load(list);

    var items = list.getItems(SP.CamlQuery.createAllItemsQuery());
    context.load(items);*/

    var servicesManager = SP.WorkflowServices.WorkflowServicesManager.newObject(context, web);
    context.load(servicesManager);

    var subs = 
     servicesManager.getWorkflowSubscriptionService().enumerateSubscriptions();
    context.load(subs);

    context.executeQueryAsync(function (sender, args) {



        var subsEnum = subs.getEnumerator();

        while (subsEnum.moveNext()) {

            var sub = subsEnum.get_current();

            console.log('Web: ' + web.get_url() + ', Subscription: ' + 
              sub.get_name() + ', id: ' + sub.get_id());


        }

    }, errFunc);


    function errFunc(sender, args) {
       throw "Error occured! " + args.get_message() + 
                 '\r\nStack trace: ' + args.get_stackTrace();
    }


}

Update

Well, long time no hear. I've been searching for getting this thing to work for a while now. And I'm getting forward. Very very little steps, but I'm close to solve it.

After a while of struggeling, espacially with the Workflow Services Manager, I thought:

Maybe it's not my fault.

I'm new to SharePoint and my experience right now is mostly in developing. So I heard about the Workflow Manager 1.0, the Service Bus etc. And I found out a way to check if the Workflow Service is connected to the SharePoint Farm.

Go to your Central Administration -> Application Management -> Manage service applications -> Workflow Service Application Proxy.

So in my case the Workflow Manager was not connected, neither configured correctly. I had to reinstall the Service Bus and reconfigure the Workflow Service. After installing, configuring and registering everything the servicesManager used in the JavaScript worked.

So now I can access the Workflows in an App via JSOM.

This is a huge step, and if you have the same problems, check if your Workflow Service is registered and installed correctly.

But it is not solving my problem.

In my case, I have a Workflow in a List. The List is in the Hostweb of the App. So I need to get the workflow which is not in the context of the app.

I'm working on it. I have some ideas but everything I tried didn't work. Maybe you have some idea?

Solution Update

And again, an update.

Well, I've done wrong a lot of stuff in my process to get workflows to work with SharePoint via JSOM.

At this point, I got the Workflow Manager Service and the Service Bus working, so I'm able to use the relevant objects in my code. But I didn't get acces to the Workflows I already have. This is because these Workflows are imported Workflows from SharePoint 2010.

You have to reprogram these Workflows to 2013 Workflows to get them via code (WorkflowServicesManager-class)

So a little summary.

If you want to get access to Workflows of the Host-Web with JSOM

  • Be sure your Workflow Manager and Service Bus is installed correctly and is connected to your SharePoint Server
  • Use the WorkflowServicesManager in your code to get access to the Workflows
  • Make sure, the Workflow you are using is a SharePoint 2013 Workflow

And, just a thing you have to do, but is not that simple to figure out:

var servicesManager = SP.WorkflowServices.WorkflowServicesManager.newObject(context,web);

The Context has to be the App context. So it has to be SP.ClientContext.get_current()
The Web has to be the Web of which you want to get the Workflows. So in this case is has to be hostWebContext.get_web()

If you do everything above, you'll get access to Workflows in your HostWeb.

Pheew.... long journey.

I hope this'll help you guys in the future, if you face the same problems.

share|improve this question
    
I thought when I looked at the SPServices it was using the workflow asmx services that only supports the 2010 workflows. I was able to get ServiceManager version you linked to on CodeProject working, but that wasn't from an App. Can you include your full code and not just the 2 lines for that version. –  Craig Riter Jan 9 at 7:44

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Just in case someone doesn't want to read the whole thing and is not able to find the Solution. I copied it out and posted it also as an answer.

And again, an update.

Well, I've done wrong a lot of stuff in my process to get workflows to work with SharePoint via JSOM.

At this point, I got the Workflow Manager Service and the Service Bus working, so I'm able to use the relevant objects in my code. But I didn't get acces to the Workflows I already have. This is because these Workflows are imported Workflows from SharePoint 2010.

You have to reprogram these Workflows to 2013 Workflows to get them via code (WorkflowServicesManager-class)

So a little summary.

If you want to get access to Workflows of the Host-Web with JSOM

  • Be sure your Workflow Manager and Service Bus is installed correctly and is connected to your SharePoint Server
  • Use the WorkflowServicesManager in your code to get access to the Workflows
  • Make sure, the Workflow you are using is a SharePoint 2013 Workflow

And, just a thing you have to do, but is not that simple to figure out:

var servicesManager = SP.WorkflowServices.WorkflowServicesManager.newObject(context,web);

The Context has to be the App context. So it has to be SP.ClientContext.get_current()
The Web has to be the Web of which you want to get the Workflows. So in this case is has to be hostWebContext.get_web()

If you do everything above, you'll get access to Workflows in your HostWeb.

Pheew.... long journey.

I hope this'll help you guys in the future, if you face the same problems.

share|improve this answer

Thank you for this post. To start workflows 2010 you can use InteropService.

 var interopService = wfServiceManager.getWorkflowInteropService();
interopService.startWorkflow(workflowName, null, null, null, initiationParameters);

Worked example here.

share|improve this answer

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