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Using RunAs to Deploy a Process from K2 Studio

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When you cannot, or do not wish to, give individuals or groups Export rights on the K2 Server in order to deploy processes from K2 Studio, you can instruct your process designers to run K2 Studio as a different account that does have the Export right.

In Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7, the menu item to run a program as a differnet user has been removed, but you can download a utility from Microsoft to add the item back to the context (right-click) menu. See below for more information.


In this Knowledge Base article there are two different users:

  1. The currently logged-on user. This user is typically a K2 process designer who has K2 Studio installed on their development machine.
  2. The Deployment User. This user has the necessary rights to deploy processes to SharePoint, as well as Export rights on the K2 server.

Before running K2 Studio as the Deployment User, you must be sure to give the Deployment User the following rights:

  • Site Collection Administrator, or Full Control on the site collection and Modify rights on the Features folder on all Web Front Ends (WFEs)
  • SharePoint Farm Administrator. This is required in order to add features to a SharePoint site collection, which is how K2 processes integrate with SharePoint.
  • K2 Server Export rights

Using RunAs from the Context Menu on the K2 Studio Shortcut

In order to see the Run as different user... item on the context (right-click) menu on the K2 Studio shortcut, you must first install the ShellRunas utility. This applies to Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7 only, as prior versions of Windows included this functionality.

  1. Extract the executable file and place it in a folder on the local drive, such as C:\Windows\System32
  2. Open the command window and type "C:\Windows\System32\ShellRunas.exe /reg"
  3. Accept the license terms

You will now see the following menu when right-clicking the K2 Studio (or any other) program icon.

 Run as different user context menu

When you click Run as different user... you specify the credentials of the Deployment User.

Enter Deployment User Credentials

Note that the account name and password are required, so this will be shared among your process designers. Also, it is important to remember that the Deployment User information will appear on the Versions page of the process in the Management Console and there will be no record of which user actually deployed the process. In the figure below, DENALLIX\K2WebService is the Deployment User.

Versions Page

If you choose to allow process designers to deploy processes from K2 Studio without running as a different user, you will have to grant each process designer the rights as outlined above.

The K2 Designer for SharePoint automatically deploys as the account configured during installation, so this workaround only applies to K2 Designers installed on development machines.