Impersonation steps on SharePoint Designer 2013 workflows

At a client, we were working on a workflow that required changing permissions. The project had to be out-of-the-box. By default, changing permissions or doing other actions that require an impersonation stepfor workflows build in SharePoint Designer 2013 are not possible. But there is a solution.

SharePoint Workflow Interop Bridge

When you create a SharePoint 2013 workflow, this the list with all possible actions. Because SharePoint 2013 workflows are build on WF4, it executes workflows in Windows Azure. That means some actions are not available. Microsoft solved this by suggesting you to use the Workflow Interop Bridge:

SharePoint workflow interop enables SharePoint 2010 workflows (which are built on Windows Workflow Foundation 3) to be called from SharePoint 2013 workflows, which are based on Windows Workflow Foundation 4. This allows you to execute 2010 workflows from within 2013 workflows.

This means that you create a SharePoint 2013 workflow that calls a SharePoint 2010 workflow. Here is the list with actions that are available now!

Create a SharePoint 2010 workflow in SharePoint Designer 2013

When you create a new workflow for your list, make sure that you select the “SharePoint 2010 workflow” at platformtype.

Select the right platform type

My opinion

No idea why it works like this, but I find it a bit annoying. Thankfully, the SharePoint 2010 workflows work like a charm.

About: Marijn

Marijn Somers (MVP) has over 14 years experience in the SharePoint world, starting out with SP2007. Over the years the focus has grown to Office 365, with a focus on collaboration and document management. He is a business consultant at Balestra and Principal Content Provider for "Mijn 365 Coach" that offers dutch employee video training. His main work tracks are around user adoption, training and coaching and governance. He is also not afraid to dig deeper in the technicalities with PowerShell, adaptive cards or custom formatting in lists and libraries. You can listen to him on the biweekly "Office 365 Distilled" podcast.

%d bloggers like this: