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The Concept of Work Management Service Application in SharePoint 2013

Taking care of all work tasks efficiently poses a big challenge and can be done only by systematic work management. Luckily, with SharePoint 2013, you get Work Management Service application (WMA) that allows you do so without facing any trouble.

Available with SharePoint Server 2013, Work Management Service is also referred as Task aggregation service. In this blog post, we will take an overview of WMA.

What All WMA Allows Users to Do?

With Work Management Service Application, users can do following –

1. Find all of their SharePoint, Project and Exchange work tasks, systematically aggregated and fully sorted, under unified “My Tasks

Work Management Software

2. Sort tasks, “pin” them (mark tasks as important), besides marking tasks as complete – directly in the aggregated task view.

3. Access special views of all “Active tasks”, “Completed tasks” and “Important and upcoming tasks” with a single click

WMA in Context of Task Providers

It’s basically the “Task Providers” model that forms the basis of whole Work Management Service system. WMA aggregates tasks from these “Task Providers“.

Only three task providers are fully supported at present and these include –

  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Microsoft Exchange
  • Microsoft Project Server


Microsoft SharePoint

Henceforth, users will view tasks from above mentioned sources only.

Why Adding Own Task Providers Is Not Supported in WMA?

There is a solid reason behind no support for adding own task providers. As different task providers form different underlying systems and there is lack of an easy way to facilitate aggregation and synchronization, own task providers cannot be added.

Providing an official API and easy methodology for addition of own providers used to be an agenda for Microsoft for quite some time in the past but is no more a priority now.

Provider Refreshes in Work Management Service Application

Task sync initiation with providers is facilitated by WMA with help of “Provider Refreshes“. So, what does the term “Refresh” refer to?

Refresh in WMA refers to the start of sync (task aggregation) process. These Provider Refreshes are triggered as per demand that simply implies absence of any background process that refreshes the tasks for users at definite intervals of time.

Work manament software online

Typically, whenever a user accesses his “My Tasks” section, a Refresh is triggered. Following are some other key points related to Refreshes –

  • A Refresh in progress is indicated by a small spinning circle
  • After every refresh, tasks get reloaded, thus allowing users to view their tasks
  • There also exists an artificial refresh limit that refers to one refresh in every five minutes

We hope you liked this post and this blog post is clearly able to explain the concept of Work Management Service application (WMA) in SharePoint 2013.


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