Workflow Manager Server is a technology that is used to host high-scale, high-density workflows. It allows you to develop workflows as declarative model. In other words, there is no code in the workflows to be developed, only their declarations. It is aimed to apply business logic to the flow by communicating with the background systems over the services. It is built on Microsoft .Net Framework 4.5 and Windows Workflow Foundation.
The general use of Workflow Manager is running SharePoint Workflows on Microsoft SharePoint Server. Although Workflow Manager is not a technology created for SharePoint, it is mainly used with SharePoint product.
It works in Farm topology. So, just like SharePoint or Exchange Server farms, you perform a farm configuration after the initial server setup. Then, you can add servers to this farm that you created by installing applications on new servers. If we talk about SharePoint specific, you can also install directly on servers that have SharePoint Server installed without a separate server. (Not recommended, however)
After a brief summary about Workflow Manager, I would like to come to the main issue I want to address in this article. As with all server applications, you may want to move Workflow Manager to a different environment over the server that it is currently configured. Your reasons may be one of the following;
- After the difficulties experienced in the current environment, you could not be able to make in-place corrections and you want to re-install.
- After an architectural decision, you may want to install Workflow Manager as a separate farm.
- After a disaster scenario, you may only have up-to-date Workflow Manager databases and want to continue your work with a new configuration.
- You may want to renew the configuration due to infrastructure operations such as Windows upgrade, domain upgrade / change etc. in the installed environment.
It is possible to increase these reasons. Basically, re-installing and configuring an application does not seem like a serious problem. However, when it comes to a structure like Workflow Manager, one of the important issue is business continuity. You can have dozens of workflows that have been deployed on their existing setup, and thousands of instances of these workflows associated with SharePoint lists and libraries. Of course, you will not want to re-deploy all of your workflows, nor to lose the ongoing instances and restart them. At this point, it is significant to configure a healthy environment and to ensure that the existing farm works with ongoing instances of this environment.
To perform this process, we first need to define our prerequisites.