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I had a project that seemed to lend itself to "workflows", and SharePoint workflows seemed like a good starting point.

Happily, my company has "personal sites" off the main corporate site. I was able to create a subsite, downloaded SharePoint Designer 2013, read a couple of tutorials and I was able to create a "custom list" and write a little "list workflow" that did everything I wanted. Yay.

My next challenge was to "clean up" the "New" and "Edit" .aspx forms. I considered going to InfoPath or PowerApps, but I was confident I could either a) modify the form somewhere in SharePoint or SharePoint Designer, b) find some decent "modify .aspx form" in MSVS/Office Tools, or c) hack the .aspx directly (e.g. in Notepad). WRONG ON ALL COUNTS.

It appears InfoPath is deprecated, so I thought it might be time to learn some PowerApps. I didn't want to "mess up" my work, so I decided to create a new subsite and export/import my work from the original subsite. WRONG AGAIN: SharePoint Designer "exports" the workflow as a .wsp ... and I can't "activate" the .wsp in my new subsite. It looks like I'm blocked with "Export/import", too!

Q: How can I tell what version of SharePoint my "personal site" is running? I suspect "SharePoint 2016", On-premises. How can I tell?

Q: Are any lists or workflows I create in SharePoint Designer 2013 a "dead end"? Must I switch tools?

Q: What are the "right technologies" to be using in order to implement a viable SharePoint workflow in the year 2020? SharePoint "Add-ins"? Or "something else"?

Q: Are "List Workflows" still viable going forward? I believe "yes". But if not, what is the preferred alternative?

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Here is the answer of your each questions :

Q: How can I tell what version of SharePoint my "personal site" is running? I suspect "SharePoint 2016", On-premises. How can I tell?

Answer: To get SharePoint on-premise version type the below URL in the browser. https://yoursiteurl/_vti_pvt/service.cnf

To check the version of SharePoint Online, use below URL : https://yoursporootsite.sharepoint.com/_vti_pvt/service.cnf

Q: Are any lists or workflows I create in SharePoint Designer 2013 a "dead end"? Must I switch tools?

Answer : I think present version of SharePoint you are running on SharePoint on premises, and there is no news from Microsoft about SharePoint designer workflow will be stopped in 2020 or near future. So, the answer is no.

Q: What are the "right technologies" to be using in order to implement a viable SharePoint workflow in the year 2020? SharePoint "Add-ins"? Or "something else"?

Answer : If you are using SharePoint online, sharepoint 2016 /2019, Microsoft Flow would be the recommended choice.

However, if you use the SharePoint online, strictly adopt the modern workflow engine i. e power Automate (Microsoft Flow) and if use SharePoint on-premise you can continue to use the SharePoint designer workflow. And if you have Nintex workflow license in your server, you can use this product as well for the workflow development. If needed, you can develop the workflow using visual Studio tool also where coding effort is required and that should be scoped only to SharePoint on-premise.

Q: Are "List Workflows" still viable going forward? I believe "yes". But if not, what is the preferred alternative?

Answer : As long as you are using the SharePoint on premise, you can continue to use the SharePoint list workflow. Your understanding is right.

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  • Beautiful - thank you for all your comments. FYI: 1) https://yoursiteurl/_vti_pvt/service.cnf says vti_extenderversion:SR|16.0.0.19918, 2) https://yoursiteurl/personal/my_name gives HTTP 404: NOT FOUND, and 3) SP Designer for my "yoursiteurl/personal/my_name" subsite says 15.0.0.4455. So I still don't know if I'm SP 2013, 2016, or 2019; or if I'm truly "on-premises" or not :( ANYWAY - great advice, extremely helpful. Thank you! – FoggyDay Mar 30 at 3:36

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