Solution: Errors were found when compiling the workflow. The workflow files were saved but cannot be run. (Cannot set unknown member)

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Several days ago I stumbled into an issue. I could not publish even simple 2013 workflow which contained the only “Start a task process” activity (WF with the only “Log” activity worked well). The check for errors passed well, but I could not publish it. I got the following error message:


Microsoft.Workflow.Client.ActivityValidationException: Workflow XAML failed validation due to the following errors:
Cannot set unknown member 'CompositeTask.RelatedContentLinkListItemIntegerId'. HTTP headers received from the server - ActivityId: 2f090e55-b398-4c28-b0b2-67d9e0d3ef2f. NodeId: CH02SP01. Scope: /SharePoint/default/be686262-11df-4abf-a80d-0e2a92d67a78/ddcdc146-6605-46ca-8b58-da3a117e6972. Client ActivityId : 44460a9c-d9a7-7088-afc4-e004a705ce90. ---> System.Net.WebException: The rem

What was interesting in that issue that I could not publish WF using SPD installed on SP server, whereas my colleague could do it using his account and the same SPD on the same server. Also, I could work with WFs using SPD on my Windows 7 machine.

So, I started to think that this is a some sort of the caching issue and cleared the SPD cache on the SP server; however, it didn’t help. Anyway, I could not publish a workflow.

A lot of things were tried: changing permissions, reinstalling SPD, reinstalling WF Manager and so on, but all to no avail.

Fortunately, yesterday, google led me to the solution which Tarek Yehia had posted recently on his blog and MSDN.

The solution is to re-register Workflow Service. You can use the following PowerShell cmdlet for that:

Register-SPWorkflowService -SPSite 'http://myhost/mysite' -WorkflowHostUri 'https://workflowhost:12290' -AllowOAuthHttp -Force

Or if you stumbled into this issue on the development (not production) farm, you can register workflow service using HTTP (not HTTPS protocol) to not to worry about certificates.

Register-SPWorkflowService -SPSite 'http://myhost/mysite' -WorkflowHostUri 'http://workflowhost:12291' -AllowOAuthHttp -Force

So, thanks to Tarek, this issue is solved!

Regards, Michael

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8 thoughts on “Solution: Errors were found when compiling the workflow. The workflow files were saved but cannot be run. (Cannot set unknown member)

    • Hi Ruby,

      The following article should help you in that: Configure Workflow Manager to work with the SharePoint Server 2013 farm.

      Generally speaking you have to run a PowerShell cmdlet which lets SP know where to find Workflow Manager (you should have it installed somewhere).

      If some questions remain after reading the article on the link above, don’t hesitate to let me know and I will describe it in more detail.

      PS: This solution applies only to on-premise installations. So, if you use SharePoint Online, you can’t use it.

  1. Thanks a million, it saved me….So far I had checked following to resolve this issue.
    1) check app service (not application) is running on server.
    2) re-created app service application
    3) reconfigured farm services using wizard to enable WF svc.
    4) checked association to my application.
    5) Re-registered workflow manager to my app on http

    • Thank you very much.
      I tried first to Register but I still got the same error. Once I executed IISRESET, I was able to publish.

  2. Yay! This worked. Initially I didn’t use Force but because I’d already registered the workflow service earlier and only then set-up the App Management Service and started the service, I had to to use Force. Running fine now.

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