SharePoint Experts Blog

SharePoint 2013 Designer and Workflow Tips, Tricks & Traps

In this article, I want to share my experience working with SharePoint Workflows via SharePoint Designer. Sometimes it may be very painful, but I hope after reading the article you will not step on same rake.

Do not log Dictionary variable to Log to History

This is very common issue, your workflow just stuck in started state with following error:

Retrying last request. Next attempt scheduled in less than one minute. Details of last request: HTTP InternalServerError to'04dc3f6a-968e-4ce0-a7cc-10949dfb15db')/Items Correlation Id: f54b9d7e-5242-1408-b066-5239a7b01c0a Instance Id: 967e7b1b-96cd-4fbf-b6d4-4df91199831b 

Invalid text value.

A text field contains invalid data. Please check the value and try again. 
Retry now

It occur because your data is too big. This workflow action can display limited number of symbols. Otherwise such error occurs. As a workaround, you can use Send E-Mail with Attachments (SMTP) instead of log to history.

If you send dictionary by email you can receive it’s structure in JSON format. It is very helpful to understand the structure.

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Posted in: Products, Workflow Actions Pack

How to Start SharePoint 2013 Workflows on Selected Items

This blog post appeared as an email response to one of our clients, he described very common use case where you have two libraries of documents, the first library where the users works with draft documents and the other library which is stored the final versions of documents. In this case, users want to be able to select finished documents and move it in one click.
Oblivious solution for this is to use a workflow that will move documents to the final document library. But there is one question how we can start the workflow on selected list items? When I was thinking about the answer to that question – I realized that is not as trivial as it seems, because list level workflow can be started only on singl document. How to start multiple workflows on selected documents? In the article, I will describe how you can implement such solution.

I divided this article into three main parts:

  • Get selected items via JavaScript;
  • Start SharePoint 2013 workflow from JavaScript;
  • Add custom button to the list ribbon

Before we start, I want to show what we will get in result. On the figure below you can see the custom button on the ribbon, which will launch a workflows on selected documents.

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Posted in: Products, Workflow Actions Pack

Deploy custom SharePoint 2013 workflows with site template

It is common scenario when you did some customizations, saved site as template and want to reuse it in SharePoint 2013. Such site templates can include workflows with custom workflow actions. Unfortunately if you save site with custom workflow actions as template and then try to create new site you can receive such annoying error:

Microsoft.Workflow.Client.ActivityNotFoundException:The activity named 'WorkflowXaml_988fe3c3_dc3e_47a9_8ff3_c912c82eb56d'from scope '/spo/216722f1-1dc0-4c6d-aafd-86b12ef60a14/1f87e1ae-da77-44d4-92d1-502507b5f2d4/34ceaf02-5217-46be-a307-e09dd93da230' was not found. HTTP headers received from the server -ActivityId:224e672a-4e00-44ed-8b55-894a059608c2.NodeId:.Scope:.ClientActivityId: f6cadd9c-c011-1000-aa42-85eedd28fc19.--->System.Net.WebException:The remote server returned an error

The reason of such behavior is related to incorrect processing of template by SharePoint 2013. I described it in detail in other my blog article. But this article is not about reasons of such behavior. We created small utility program TemplatePackageFix which fixes site templates with custom workflow actions and allows to reuse them as many times as you need.

We decided to implement such utility because some of our customers had questions about correct site template provisioning. Especially when custom site template included workflow actions from our product Workflow Actions PackRead more…

Posted in: Products, Workflow Actions Pack

Researching Site Template Structure with SPD workflows


Usually SharePoint development process looks as follows. You create a new site which is based on one of the standard SharePoint templates (Team Site, Blog, Project Site, etc.) after that, you work hard and customize it very deep (add new lists, views, workflows, customize UI) and finally you will get complete business solution.

But there is another question: “How to deliver your solution to a client?”. One of the answers to this question is to use site templates. You can save customized site to WSP package and deploy the package to the customer’s environment.

The issue with deployment of template with custom workflow actions

Looks very interesting and useful, but in SharePoint’s world the Devil is in the detail. For example if you’re using custom workflow actions in your workflows you will get an error during deployment process:

Microsoft.Workflow.Client.ActivityNotFoundException: The activity named 'WorkflowXaml_988fe3c3_dc3e_47a9_8ff3_c912c82eb56d' from scope '/spo/216722f1-1dc0-4c6d-aafd-86b12ef60a14/1f87e1ae-da77-44d4-92d1-502507b5f2d4/34ceaf02-5217-46be-a307-e09dd93da230' was not found. HTTP headers received from the server - ActivityId: 224e672a-4e00-44ed-8b55-894a059608c2. NodeId: . Scope: . Client ActivityId : f6cadd9c-c011-1000-aa42-85eedd28fc19. ---> System.Net.WebException: The remote server returned an error

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Posted in: Products, R&D, Workflow Actions Pack

Navigate over SharePoint data by using draggable charts

In this article I will demonstrate how to configure navigation over data by dragging a SharePoint chart created with Dashboard Designer using the mouse or swipe gestures. For instance, I’ve created a chart that displays number of completed tasks per day. If the project lasts for long, it can be difficult to display all the data at once. As the solution I will display data for last 6 days only and allow users to swipe the chart to view other time periods.

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Posted in: Dashboard Designer

How to add drill-down to SharePoint chart

In this article I will show you how to add drill-down to a SharePoint chart created with Dashboard Designer to navigate through details of your data by using linked list or another chart that visualizes the detailed information on the selected series of the main chart. For instance, I will implement two cases: a chart linked to a list and a chart linked to another chart.

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Posted in: Dashboard Designer

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