All posts in SharePoint 2013

Email an External User in a SharePoint 2013 Workflow

I am sure we can all agree that at some point or another we had a need to email a user that did not have an account within our domain via a SharePoint Designer (SPD) 2013 workflow.  And while attempting to set it up we were surprised to find out it wouldn’t work.  Not only did it NOT send the email, but to add insult to injury the attempt actually would suspend the workflow if forced to try.  If you have never had the need, well thanks for coming to my post anyways and let me tell you… it can’t be done.  An easy workaround is to build a SharePoint 2010 workflow, which doesn’t have this limitation, but then you lose the other fantastic benefits of a 2013 workflow.  Microsoft removed this ability as a security enhancement.  Today I am going to demonstrate how to email an external user in a SharePoint 2013 Workflow.

Quick note: Microsoft Flow does NOT have this limitation.  I am describing how to to it in SharePoint Designer because so many still use this tool

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Proper way to handle workflows that throw a Microsoft.Workflow.Client.ActivityValidationException

I had to build a fairly complex workflow not long ago.  The workflow was built in SharePoint Designer 2013 and had a lot of moving parts to it.  So many, that when I went to publish it I received the following error message: “Microsoft.Workflow.Client.ActivityValidationException: Workflow XAML failed validation due to the following errors: Activity “SomeXActivity” has 65 arguments, which exceeds the maximum number of arguments per activity (50).”  This error message is actually telling us that our workflow has too many variables within it.  Basically, this is happening because when the workflow is running the Workflow Manager has to manage more 58 (in my case) variables.  Workflow Manager only allows there to be 50 variables in the workflow… by default.

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SharePoint Site Architecture – Flat, Deep or Something In The Middle

Hi recently had the privilege to do another presentation with Joanne Klein.  This time we built a presentation off of a post that she had written around whether we should use flat or deep structures with our site collections and sub sites or if we should have something in between when designing a SharePoint site architecture.  It was a lot of fun and we probably could have done entire presentation on just a portion of it.  Either way, I promised our attendees that I would post our slide deck.  You can find the slide deck here.  Thank you very much to everyone who attended.

 

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Read XML Data Files Stored in a SharePoint Library with PowerShell

I recently had a need to read data from an xml configuration file that was stored within a SharePoint library.  To make things easier I of course went to Google (or Bing) and checked to see if someone else had yet blogged this.  Couldn’t find anything, so in order to help out someone else that may need to do the same at some point, I wrote up a quick little blog.  Note: this will only work for on-premises versions of SharePoint.  I’ll update with a SharePoint Online version in the future.  I’ll also write up how to add and delete contents in a future post as well.

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An Error Occurred While Running Detection when patching SharePoint Servers

Ugh, patching servers.  Yet another reason to move to SharePoint Online.  I recently started another patching process as the servers were getting out of date and needed to have the environments upgraded.  So while doing one server in particular I ran into a snag where the installer wouldn’t even run past the detection point.  It simply kicked off and immediately returned the error “An Error Occurred While Running Detection”

An Error Occurred While Running Detection - Error Message

I am going to go over the different steps I took to resolve this issue.  I am even going to list the ones that should have worked but didn’t in case they will work for you.

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