SharePoint Designer 2013 list workflow stops with message "The root activity type is invalid." RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I have written a very simple SharePoint Designer list workflow which only writes text to the workflow log. The workflow is triggered by the new and edit event and it works well when I add or edit an item in the list. But when I try to trigger the workflow within my SharePoint Service which adds a new item in the list I ran into the workflow error "Failed on start". In the SharePoint logs I found this entry:

    RunWorkflow: Microsoft.SharePoint.SPException: <Error><CompilerError Line="1" Column="1" Text="The root activity type is invalid." /></Error>   
    Microsoft.SharePoint.Workflow.SPNoCodeXomlCompiler.LoadXomlAssembly(SPWorkflowAssociation association, SPWeb web)   
    Microsoft.SharePoint.Workflow.SPWinOeHostServices.LoadDeclarativeAssembly(SPWorkflowAssociation association, Boolean fallback)   
    Microsoft.SharePoint.Workflow.SPWinOeHostServices.CreateInstance(SPWorkflow workflow)   
    Microsoft.SharePoint.Workflow.SPWinOeEngine.RunWorkflow(SPWorkflowHostService host, SPWorkflow workflow, Collection`1 events, TimeSpan timeOut)   
    Microsoft.SharePoint.Workflow.SPWorkflowManager.RunWorkflowElev(SPWorkflow workflow, Collection`1 events, SPWorkflowRunOptionsInternal runOptions)

    The code to add an item looks like this:

    using (SPSite oSiteCollection = new SPSite(guidSiteID, userToken))
        using (SPWeb oWeb = oSiteCollection.OpenWeb(guidWebID))
            oWeb.AllowUnsafeUpdates = true;
            oNewItem = ParentList.AddItem();

    With the "userToken" I ensure that I use a specific account and not a system account what would prevent that the workflow starts. When I run the code the workflow tries to start but failed with the error above.

    When I add an item with powershell the workflow works fine.

    Does someone have an idea what I’m doing wrong?

    Wednesday, April 8, 2015 12:38 PM


  • Hi,

    According to your description, my understanding is that when you adding new items using Server Object Model, the workflow not be triggered.

    I reproduce your issue and finally I figure out by adding the code workflowmanager.dispose() after item.update() function like below:

                string url = "http://sp2013sps/sites/test";
                SPSite site = new SPSite(url);
                SPWeb web = site.OpenWeb();
                SPUserToken token = web.AllUsers[@"i:0#.w|contoso\11"].UserToken;
                Guid id=new Guid("b8776ff2-ca4f-4da0-830a-6c4ff91c943b");
                SPSite newsite = new SPSite(id, token);
                SPWeb newweb = newsite.OpenWeb();
                SPList list=newweb.Lists["list45678"];
                SPListItem newitem = list.AddItem();
                newitem["Title"] = "Test";

    More information:

    SharePoint object model updates not triggering workflow


    Best Regards

    TechNet Community Support
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    • Proposed as answer by Eric Tao Monday, April 27, 2015 5:44 AM
    • Marked as answer by Eric Tao Tuesday, April 28, 2015 2:10 PM
    Friday, April 17, 2015 9:37 AM