Issue

Microsoft O365 SharePoint Online was used for collaboration between internal and external users. Custom site was created which had workflows developed using SharePoint designer. After the initial deployment of the site in 2011, things were stable and workflows didn't have any issue.

Microsoft upgraded the O365 SharePoint version to SharePoint 2013. However, our sites hosted in O365 SharePoint were still running in SharePoint 2010 mode and hadn't been upgraded to 2013 yet.

Soon after, we had users reporting numerous issues regarding workflows not working as intended, failing to kick off etc.

So to investigate the issue, we tried to analyse the workflow to start off with as the original person who did the workflow had already left.

When we tried to view the workflow settings using SharePoint designer 2010, we faced a number of issues:

  1. The list of workflow actions on the server references an assembly that does not exist. Some actions will not be available.

      2. SharePoint Designer 2010 couldn't load the workflow settings page, and instead it would give you an error message: "SharePoint Designer couldn't display the item".

Thinking that it might be a compatibility issue as the workflows were created in SharePoint Designer 2010, we tested using SharePoint Designer 2013 as well. But still the issue persisted.

Resolution:

Original hunch was that it was somehow related to the SharePoint 2013 upgrade. So, while looking for resolution in Microsoft Forums, I came across this kb which listed the exact issue we were facing and the resolution.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2794961

Excerpt from the KB.

"If changes were made to the site by using SharePoint Designer 2010 before you installed SharePoint Designer 2013, you may continue to experience one or more of the symptoms in the "Problem" section. If you're still experiencing these issues, follow these steps: 
1.       Exit SharePoint Designer 2013. If you're using the Click-to-Run version of SharePoint Designer 2013, go to step 4. Otherwise, go to step 2.

  1. Install the SharePoint Designer 2013 hotfix that's dated June 11, 2013. For more information, see the following Microsoft Knowledge base article:

2768343

Description of the SharePoint Designer 2013 hotfix package (Spd-x-none.msp): June 11, 2013
Note This step doesn't apply if you're using the Click-to-Run version of SharePoint 2013.

  1. Start SharePoint Designer 2013, and then connect to your SharePoint site. If the issue persists, go to the next step.
  2. On the local computer, browse to the following folder:

C:Users<username>AppDataLocalMicrosoftWebsiteCache
Note To locate some of the files and folders, you may have to configure File Explorer or Windows Explorer to show hidden files, folders, and drives. To do this, use one of the following methods.

Windows 8

Open File Explorer, tap or click the View tab, and then select Hidden items
Windows 7

For more information about how to unhide hidden files or folders in Windows 7, see Show hidden files .

  1. Delete all the files and folders that are present.

6.   On the local computer, browse to the following folder:

C:Users<username>AppDataRoamingMicrosoftSharePoint DesignerProxyAssemblyCache

  1. Delete all the files and folders that are present.
  2. On the local computer, browse to the following folder:

C:Users<username>AppDataRoamingMicrosoftWeb Server ExtensionsCache

  1. Delete all the files and folders that are present.
  2. Start SharePoint Designer 2013, and proceed with your original intentions."

We followed the steps outlined in the resolution and only had to get to 3rd step at which point our issue was resolved. We had to install the SharePoint Designer 2013 update, so that we could access the workflow settings. After that, we just had to re-publish the workflows, and the workflow started working again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *