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.
While planning out a new series I want to do around PowerApps and Flow I realized one of the things I needed to do was get the value of a lookup field into a text field. Now we all know that using a calculated field for this isn’t going to work since they can’t see lookup fields. Yes I could use a choice field instead, but in this case I wanted a lookup field so that the users could easily update the choices from the lookup list. There are a number of examples of doing this with a SharePoint Designer Workflow. So I got thinking, but about Flow? I found a number of examples of users asking for ways to do this or having problems doing it, but nothing really concrete. So I decided to write something up quick as it really is very easy to do with flow.
Back in October I did an overview of the different ways to wait for a change in a SharePoint Workflow. You also have the option to wait for a certain time, there are two options which are waiting for a set duration or waiting until a set date. Either of which are easy to control or set. I am not focusing on these actions in this post, but just a quick note if you want the date to be dynamic when using wait until a date, then you will have to set the date you want in a workflow variable prior to setting the wait value. Otherwise your date is going to have to be static and that’s probably not going to work for you in 99% of your workflows.
Today, however I want to discuss waiting for a value to change on the list your workflow is attached to.
Bit of a disclaimer: Why am I still talking about SharePoint Designer? Why not Microsoft Flow? Don’t worry, I have some Flow blogs planned. However, Designer is still widely used and will be for some time. I encourage others to use flow where they can, but remember that not everyone has access to that yet. Designer is free and anyone with a SharePoint environment can make use of it. Hence, I still see providing insight and knowledge on this product very important.
I have a bit of a TLDR here as you may be just looking for the answer, and not WHY it is occurring. I strongly urge you to read the whole post to understand why things are the way they are and to make you a better person ;-p, but if you are in a hurry or think I talk\write too much, just click here to find out what you need to do.
There are already a ton of posts out there where a SharePoint 2013 workflow becomes stuck at started or starting. Well I have another one. This problem actually originated in a SharePoint 2013 farm. If you are using SharePoint Online, the cause is actually pretty easy to determine. So for those of you not lucky enough to be working with SharePoint Online, I will go through the symptoms you could come across and a possible resolution.
In my previous post on the different ways to determine the return message from a REST API call in a SPD workflow I covered using a test list and Fiddler to build your web call in a SharePoint Designer workflow. In this post I want to discuss manipulating REST API calls in SharePoint Designer 2013 workflows. Basically I want to show how you can determine what your read string is going to look like based on the values coming back from SharePoint.