SharePoint 2013 workflow troublehsooting

If you are using workflow manger in sharepoint 2013 you might face different issues  which you are not sure either the issue is comming form workflow manger or sharepoint , by following troubleshooting check list you might find at least the area you need to focus more


check list in workflow manager server  :
1. Check https://[wfms]:12290 or http://[wfms]:12291 if they are responding
2. Check ”WorkflowMgmtPool” is started
3. Following services are running

  • Workflow Manager Backend
  • Service Bus Message Broker
  • Service Bus Gateway
  • Windows Fabric Host Service (FabricHostSvc)

4. Get workflow farm information , workflow database  by  Start Workflow Manager PowerShell
• get-WFfarm
5. Check if the Workflow Manager farm running(workflow service backend and  front end should be rennin)  by  Start Workflow Manager PowerShell
• get-WFfarmStatus

6. Check oAut in accessible by http:// [wfms]:12291/$SYSTEM/$Metadata/json/1

7. Restart the WorkflowServiceBackend service

  • net stop WorkflowServiceBackend
  • net start WorkflowServiceBackend


If all is fine then time to focus on sharepoint 🙂

check list SharePoint server :

1. check if you are at least in version March PU 2013
2. Check “workflow service application” started
3. Check , workflow service application “workflow is connected”
4. Check “User Profile Service”
5. Check “App Management Service” is started
6. Check https://[FQDN]:12290 or http://[FQDN]:12291 if they are responding
7. Check http://[myserver]/Lists/Workflow History for error message
8. Check in SharePoint designer if you see workflow 2013 option



9. Try to register workflow manager
Register-SPWorkflowService –SPSite "https://myserver/mysitecollection" –WorkflowHostUri ""  –force

10. Each server in the SharePoint Server 2013 farm must have the Workflow Manager Client installed.
11. Make sure workflow initiator is not a system account
12. workflow initiator must have a user profile
13. Check following " Microsoft.SharePoint.WorkflowServices.Activities.dll" version are sync with each other

  •  C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\assembly\GAC_MSIL\Microsoft.SharePoint.WorkflowServices.Activities\v4.0_15.0.0.0__71e9bce111e9429c   Will be installed with Developer tools
  •  C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\15\TEMPLATE\WorkflowActivities  Will be installed with SharePoint
  •  Database "WFResourceManagementDB", table "Scopes", path "SharePoint "check the default workflow configuration xml  file 

 14. We recommend to have all SharePoint and workflow manager (Office developer tools  in development environment ) sync and have in latest version


Hope it helps 🙂

Comments (8)

  1. Manuel Aude Morales says:

    I know this post is 3 months old, but I got into this situation just this week.

    We have a customer who is using SharePoint Server 2013 RTM. We developed the workflows using VS 2013, and when pushing the workflow into the Staging servers, they do not activate.

    The error shown on ULSViewer: System.InvalidOperationException: Microsoft.Workflow.Client.ActivityValidationException: Workflow XAML failed validation due to the following errors: Cannot set unknown member 'LookupSPListItem.ItemId'. HTTP headers received from the server

    I tried installing  SharePoint Server 2013 Client Components SDK. I checked that the three dlls, shown in your checklist, are the same. (They are all three on the 15.0.4615.1000 version). I did an IISRESET and I also re-registered the workflow service with the -Force argument.

    I cannot upgrade to a newer SharePoint Server 2013 version. Is there anything I can do?

  2. In order to use workflow 2013 you need  be at least  in version March PU 2013

  3. Francois says:

    Hi, thanks for a great resource.  I've come across a sticky site where the 12291 site is not responding.  I've successfully configured WF on another environment, so was just wondering what I can look into?  Thanks.

  4. Francois says:

    I've gotten past the 12291 site issue, but now when I issue the Register-SPWorkflowService command I receive a NT Authority anonymous access issue in the the logs.  Any ideas?

  5. Thanks a whole lot for this post ! I can't believe how scarce is documentation on WorkFlow Manager and the way it works with SharePoint.

  6. Muhammedh says:

    WFResourceManagementDB", table "Scopes", path "SharePoint " shows me 15.0.4481.1000 and my other two folder show me 15.0.4615.1000.

    Any idea how to fix this? Please this is urgent.

  7. Ronald says:

    Works well. Just something to watch. I thought it wasn't working at first but My document was still checked out so it was just sitting on stage 1 until I checked it in. All good. Many that's for the clear instructions, I real breath of fresh air.

  8. Esther says:

    Hi Laleh, I too have variation versions of the C:WindowsMicrosoft.NETassemblyGAC_MSILMicrosoft.SharePoint.WorkflowServices.Activities DLLs How do I align them? Obviously I don't want to update the value in the Scope table.

    Both environments have the same version of SP and WFM installed yet they are referencing different versions. Can you explain why this is and how to update please?

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