I am about ready to set fire to our Sharepoint 2016 server. Seriously.

So we've made the upgrade to Sharepoint 2016 and are in the process of creating some workflows to allow some of our lists to have prefixed autonumbers (like INC-#### for incidents, etc) - and no, concatenating "ABC-" with the row's ID doesn't work for new rows. I managed to create one until my Sharepoint Designer 2013 decided to just not let me create List Workflows any more - I click the icon, I choose my list from the dropdown that appears, then... nothing. It's as if I did nothing at all.

Imagine my delight when I discover that you can go to File and create a List workflow from there! Sweet! File... List Workflow, give it a name, choose the list, make sure it says Sharepoint 2013 and... nope. Should have known better to get my hopes up. Why? Next to the Associated List field is... nothing. It's empty. Yet I can choose fields?

OK, says I, maybe it's just gone weird. Publish the workflow. Create a list item... oh, didn't set the number. Go to Workflow Settings to see if the workflow is stuck... and it isn't there at all. AAAAARRRRRRGH!

Oh, here's a guide telling me to go find the .xoml etc. files and edit them directly. Go to All Files -> Workflows and find the workflow-- oh, IT ISN'T THERE.

I've uninstalled and reinstalled Sharepoint Designer 2013, let updates install, only to be right back where I am now.

I don't know what to try next. Any suggestions are welcome.

1 Answer 1


There's a way to do it without Sharepoint Designer, it turns out. My boss installed it without realising its capability.

HarePoint provide a freeware workflow designer that runs from within the browser. When Microsoft get their act together and fix their designer so it works properly with SP 2016, the workflows you create in this tool will be editable there as well, according to their sales blurb.


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