If only I had the magic round button that in one click will do this…. it’s not a huge request, isn’t it? just migrate workflow with its history from one platform to the other.  But for the sake of our job security, and the sheer enjoyment of overcoming challenges, there is no such magical button for solving this task ( and taking over our job ). the options available contains the following :

  1. Using a third party tool – be aware there are limitation of using such tools, including finding yourself outside Microsoft license support, especially if the tool directly writes to the DB and bypass SharePoint API  limitation. For example, Content Matrix does provide the option to migrate workflow instances (history), but it warns you, that creating a direct DB connection to export workflow history is not supported and , it is actually in  violation of the MS product license agreement ( sounds like Sheldon’s notorious  roommate agreement).
  2. Export the list with the data as a template,  and export it to the list gallery on the 2013 environment, with the good intention of using this template to create a new list with the data. So first, its too long as a sentence,  and second  it doesn’t work exactly.  There are some rumors on Google, about a mystical way of changing the PST file to cab, changing the xml, and redeploying to the 2013. Haven’t tried it myself, and further more even if in a magical way this will work, you will still face the limitation of the list data size, there is a limit of how many records and how big the list data can be. for small list it may be a solution if you can make it work.
  3. I have reached out to my friendly support team in Microsoft, and they suggested using the backup and restore method, meaning migrating content DB through backup and restore between environments. I am going to try and implement this solution and will provide you with a follow-up post. If I don’t post back in a week at least I tried…

Following on this one,  so please note there is a different between import and export, VS the backup and restore, as described on option three. the last is the only solution that will migrate the workflow history. The challenge with this solution that in some cases the content DB is so big that it’s not worth messing with.