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Work Management Service Application in SharePoint 2013

With this New Year let’s start the first post of the year with an introduction to one of the new service application introduced in SharePoint 2013 called as Work Management Service Application.

What is Work Management Service Application?

This is a new service application is available only in SharePoint 2013 Standard & Enterprise, this service application is responsible for aggregating SharePoint User tasks which are distributed across sites/ site collection or web application. In addition to this it pulls task created for the respective users in different systems like Exchange and Project Server. To be more precise it gives a single point for SharePoint Users to view their scattered tasks across the system.

How are these tasks accessible to SharePoint Users?

These tasks can be viewed in users respective My Site. There is a Tasks page which redirects you to the Highlights pages which displays list of tasks. These tasks are divided into the following sections.

  1. Important and Upcoming Tasks
  2. Active Tasks
  3. Completed Tasks

The tasks will be displayed in SharePoint site as follows

Tasks in SharePoint 2013 My Sites

Tasks in SharePoint 2013 My Sites

How to create a Work Management Service Application?

If you have already ran SharePoint Farm Configuration wizard  than the Work Management Service Application will be created by default else if you would like to create one you can navigate to Central Administration -> Click Manage Service Application -> On the Ribbon of Service Application click New -> Work Management Service Application. This would display a create service application screen as shown below

Work Management Service Configuration Screen

Create Work Management Service Application Screen

You can provide the necessary data and click Ok. There is no such specific configuration you have to do for this service.

How is this service application useful with respect to SharePoint 2010?

                If you have a corporate intranet or extranet built on SharePoint 2010/SharePoint 2007 which is been extensively used, you will find that the tasks created by workflows or any other process resides in different location. If you need these tasks to be aggregated and displayed at one place you would have ended up with the following things and indeed would require a good amount of effort.

  1. Either use Content Query Web part to display data which has a limitation of Site Collection scope
  2. Create a custom web part based on Search scope

So with the introduction of this service application some amount of effort is reduced from developer perspective.

Can we pull show data from any other sources apart from Exchange and Project Server?

                Microsoft claims that the application has a provider model which can be used or extended to pull data from different sources and display in SharePoint. I am yet to explore on this and will update this section once completed.

Does it have any dependency on any other Services or Service Applications?

                Yes it does. Since the data is displayed in My Site it needs User Profile Service Application and Search Service Application properly configured and in working condition. To have the task webpart populated make sure that the services associated to User Profile Service Application, Search Service Application and Work Management Service Application displays the status of Started under the Services on Server page in CA.

How does the Work Management Service Application work?

                Go through this link . In short the summary of video will explain the existence of Service Cache for tasks from which the tasks are pulled and shown in SharePoint UI at the same time there are some timer jobs which will pull task data from Exchange and Project Server and push it to Service Cache.

Hope this post gave you an idea about Work Management Service Application in SharePoint 2013.

Update: Work Management service application is available in SharePoint 2013 Standard & Enterprise. For feature comparison view this post http://www.fpweb.net/sharepoint-hosting/2013/compare-sharepoint-server-standard-enterprise

Thanks for the Article! I heard that custom providers are not working yet, so I’m curious, if you had time to explore it?

Hi Martin,

Thanks for dropping the comment. I am yet to explore the custom provider. Do you have any specific custom provider in your mind?

Did you implemented a custom provider with success?

Hi Peter,
Not yet , not able to manage time to work on it :(

Are you sure, Work management service application is just for SharePoint 2013 Enterprise? Because on http://www.apps4rent.com/sharepoint-2013-features-comparison.html they are saying, it is also available for SharePoint 2013 Standard. So which one is right, you or them?

When i try to add the “My Task” Web part in My site then it will gives the below error.

“Server Error in ‘/’ Application.

Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code.

Exception Details: System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

Source Error:

An unhandled exception was generated during the execution of the current web request. Information regarding the origin and location of the exception can be identified using the exception stack trace below.

Stack Trace:

[NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.]
Microsoft.Office.Server.WorkManagement.UI.AWIOPUtilities.GetSharedComponentManagerInitializationScript(Page page) +158
Microsoft.Office.Server.WorkManagement.UI.TaskListControl.GetTaskListInitializationScript(Page page, String clientId, String timelineDataSourceId, Boolean hidden) +30
Microsoft.Office.Server.WorkManagement.UI.TaskListControl.OnLoad(EventArgs e) +104
System.Web.UI.Control.LoadRecursive() +94
System.Web.UI.Control.AddedControl(Control control, Int32 index) +728
Microsoft.Office.Server.WorkManagement.UI.TaskListWebPart.CreateChildControls() +240
System.Web.UI.Control.EnsureChildControls() +188
System.Web.UI.Control.PreRenderRecursiveInternal() +72
System.Web.UI.Control.PreRenderRecursiveInternal() +239
System.Web.UI.Control.PreRenderRecursiveInternal() +239
System.Web.UI.Control.PreRenderRecursiveInternal() +239
System.Web.UI.Control.PreRenderRecursiveInternal() +239
System.Web.UI.Control.PreRenderRecursiveInternal() +239
System.Web.UI.Control.PreRenderRecursiveInternal() +239
System.Web.UI.Page.ProcessRequestMain(Boolean includeStagesBeforeAsyncPoint, Boolean includeStagesAfterAsyncPoint) +4089

Version Information: Microsoft .NET Framework Version:4.0.30319; ASP.NET Version:4.0.30319.18446”

What the solution?

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