Project Server 2013 On-premises Workflow

I’ve already spent a lot of time using Project Online. You can find some information on my previous blog posts here and here. As Project Online is really awesome, there are off course some cases where you need to install Project Server on-premises. The installation process is quite easy to do (even with PowerShell).

If you want to use Workflows with your Project Server instance (in fact with SharePoint 2013 in general), you need an additional component called “Workflow Manager 1.0“. Let me quote the definition of this:

Workflow Manager 1.0 allows you to host and manage long-running Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) applications.  Workflow Manager was designed to meet the scale and multi-tenant needs of your modern enterprise applications while also increasing developer and administrator productivity.  Workflow Manager is the backing technology for SharePoint Workflows in SharePoint Server 2013 and the next version of Office 365, and SharePoint support has been a key focus for this first release of Workflow Manager.

The goal of this blog post is to guide you trough the process of installing the Workflow Manager 1.0. The process is quite straight forward, but there are some things that you need to know.

First step is to download the bits. You can download “WorkflowManager.exe” here. After the download, simply run the installer, and you should see Web Platform Installer popping up. Be sure that you log in with an Administrator account, otherwise, you will get some nice errors!

Note: You can install this on the SharePoint server, or you could use a separate server to host your workflows. In this example, I used my SharePoint 2013 server. Click next to install and follow the wizard:

Click “Continue” to start the configuration

Enter your SQL Server instance and a service account. I created a “WF_Service” account on my AD. Be sure that you also enter a Certificate Generation Key. You also may not forget to select “Allow Workflow management over HTTP on this computer“.

That’s it for the installation. Next step is the “Configuration“. In my case, I want to be able to create workflows on my Project Server 2013 instance, which is a Site Collection located at the url “http://ps2013lab/PWA“. I need to link this to the Workflow Host (which I’ve just installed). In my case, I want to use it with HTTP (instead of HTTPS), so the port of my workflow host is located at 12291 (you can see this on the summary screen of the installation).

You can also open the Workflow (or SharePoint) PowerShell console and type “Get-WFFarm“. This will show you all settings, including the ports that are being used.

So, we have all our settings. We now need to execute a PowerShell command “Register-SPWorkflowService” on the SharePoint server. You need to add the argument “SPSite” and “WorkflowHostUri“. In my case:

Register-SPWorkflowService -SPSite "http://ps2013lab/pwa" -WorkflowHostUri "http://ps2013lab:12291" -AllowOauthHttp

Note 1: This command will return nothing. It’s a silent command meaning that you have no process of whether the command worked, or when the process has been finished.
Note 2: If you installed the workflow manager on another server than the SharePoint server, you need to download and install the Workflow Client on the SharePoint server. You can download this here.

To check if your “Register” action is completed, you can go to the “Central Administration -> Service applications -> Workflow Service Application Proxy“. You should see:

Now the final test, just open SharePoint designer, connect to your Site Collection, and you should be able to create a new Workflow (Project Server 2013 in my case)

That’s it! Good luck with your Workflows!

Written by
Alexander Vanwynsberghe
Join the discussion

  • Hi,
    Don’t forget that SP and PS 2013 also has the legacy workflow engine still, meaning that you can still run your 2010 developed workflows without needing to set up the Workflow Manager infrastructure and redesign your workflows for the changed actions.

    • Hi Alex,
      That’s correct! You still have this option available out of the box. Thanks for this addition!

  • Hi Alex,

    Thanks for blogging this. I was struggling with finding the right steps. The Powershell command was my down fall and after seeing your syntax, I was sailing.

    Michael Wharton,

  • I did all the steps but when i open the SharePoint designer i can’t find the last drop down list to create SharePoint 2013 Workflow – Project Server

  • Hi Alexander

    Great post. However, I am struggling with one point. I did all the steps on the installation and configuration. However, when I try to use the command on the PowerSheel, I get an error message that says “the term ´Register-SPWorkflowService´is not recognized as a cmdlet name, function, script file ou operational program”.

    I have a single server (App and DB) in HTTP. It is important to mention that my server is installed with the Portuguese-Brazilian language.

    Any thoughts about this issue? Thank you!

  • Hi Alex,
    Thanks a tonne for this post. Was struggling from weeks to set this up properly. Finally your post saved me 🙂
    Thanks again 🙂



Alexander Vanwynsberghe

Belgium-based entrepreneur. Into technology, innovation and a bit of cycling and running too. Evangelist for everything related to smart-tech.