Import and export SharePoint workflows

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Visio includes a template and shapes for designing workflows that can be imported into SharePoint Designer. For example, a business analyst can design a workflow in Visio, and send the workflow to the IT department to implement directly.

You can also use Visio to open workflow files that were created in SharePoint Designer. Visio generates a diagram of the workflow that you can view and modify. You can pass a file back and forth between the two applications with no loss of data or functionality.

What do you want to do?

Export a SharePoint workflow from Visio

  1. Open the SharePoint workflow diagram.

  2. On the Process tab, in the SharePoint Workflow group, click Export.

  3. Save the file in the format Visio Workflow Interchange (*.vwi).

Visio runs validation on the workflow using the SharePoint Workflow rule set to ensure that the file can be imported into SharePoint Designer. Validation issues have to be fixed before the workflow can be exported.

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Import a SharePoint workflow into Visio

  1. In SharePoint Designer, save the workflow in the Visio Workflow Interchange (*.vwi) file format.

  2. In Visio, open a new Microsoft SharePoint Workflow template:

    1. Click the File tab.

    2. Click New.

    3. Click the Flowchart category.

    4. Double-click the Microsoft SharePoint Workflow template.

  3. On the Process tab, in the SharePoint Workflow group, click Import.

  4. Browse to the VWI file, and then click Open.

If the file has been opened in Visio before, the diagram is updated to show any changes that were made in SharePoint Designer. If the file has not been previously opened in Visio, Visio generates a new diagram based on the workflow.

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