Importing a SharePoint Designer (SPD) Workflow with InfoPath Task Forms to Visual Studio 2010 (Huma Qureshi)

SharePoint Designer (SPD) workflows are declarative i-e they have no code and the entire workflow is defined using xml files. When working against SharePoint Server 2010 SPD auto-generates InfoPath task edit forms for the workflow with fields defined by the user in the workflow for each task action. When you import this workflow to Visual Studio 2010, using ‘Import Reusable Workflow’ template, the InfoPath forms are brought over in Visual Studio but they are not hooked up to run on F5 with the converted Visual Studio workflow. Here are the steps explaining how to get SPD’s task forms working in Visual Studio. The below steps are for an SPD workflow having a single task form which is generated in SPD when you add a “collect data from user” action in the workflow definition. Remember, if you have initiation/association forms as well in the SPD workflow you need to import those as well in-order to see your task form working (see my previous post on how to do this -

1. Set up the form for deployment

1) After you import your workflow into Visual Studio using the “Import Reusable Workflow” project type, the imported form is placed under the “other imported files” folder in solution explorer. In the Visual Studio solution explorer, drag the form (*.xsn) under the workflow SharePoint Project Item (SPI) to which the form belongs.

2) Using the property grid, change the ‘Deployment Type’ property of the *.xsn form to be “Element File”. This will automatically deploy the form on the server along with the workflow.

2. Set form registration settings

1) Now that the form is set to be copied over on deployment with the workflow, you need to make sure that it is also registered on the forms server when it is deployed. To do this, you need to add a feature receiver to the workflow feature which will take care of forms registration. To do this, select the workflow node in solution explorer, then in the property grid expand the feature receiver property, and set the following two sub-properties:

FeatureReceiverAssembly: Microsoft.Office.Workflow.Feature, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c

FeatureReceiverClass: Microsoft.Office.Workflow.Feature.WorkflowFeatureReceiver

2) In the property grid, in the ‘Feature Properties’ collection add these two property/value pairs.

GloballyAvailable: true

RegisterForms: [MIGRATED_WORKFLOW_NAME]\*.xsn

3) Hookup the form with the workflow

In order to hook up the form with the workflow you need to add its URN to the workflow elements manifest.

1) Open the form folder in windows explorer and right click and choose ‘design’. This will open the form in InfoPath in design mode.

2) Click File->Info->Form template properties and you will see ID of the form:


3) Copy the form ID from InfoPath in the following XML snippet and add the following snippet in workflow elements manifest file in Visual Studio under the MetaData element:


Now the form is all hooked up set and will be deployed with the workflow. There is one catch though; SPD forms are not generated to run with code-based workflows. We can however do a little fix-up on the form to make sure it runs with our code based workflow.

Note: This example only applies to a single task form in a workflow. If you have multiple forms you need to add multiple <TaskID_FormURN> entries in the workflow elements manifest containing each forms URN with TaskID being the TaskId property of corresponding CollectDataTask activity in the workflow definition. For more details on usage of this see:

4) Fix-up the auto-generated InfoPath form

1) Add references to

a. Microsoft.Office.Workflow.Pages.dll - located in %programfiles% \Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\CONFIG\BIN directory.

b. Microsoft.Office.InfoPath.dll - located in GAC.

c. Microsoft.Office.InfoPath.Server.dll - located in GAC

2) Add a new application page to the project. This is the custom host page which will host our InfoPath form. In below example I have named this “MyTaskFormHost.aspx”


3) Add below code to the application page code behind. Change the highlighted text to match your code behind file and class name.

<%@ Assembly Name="$SharePoint.Project.AssemblyFullName$" %>

<%@ Assembly Name="Microsoft.Office.Workflow.Pages, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c"%>

<%@ Import Namespace="Microsoft.SharePoint.ApplicationPages" %>

<%@ Assembly Name="Microsoft.SharePoint, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c"%>

<%@ Page Language="C#" DynamicMasterPageFile="~masterurl/default.master" CodeBehind="MyTaskFormHost.aspx.cs" Inherits="WorkflowImportProject5.Layouts.WorkflowImportProject5.MyTaskFormHost" EnableSessionState="true" AutoEventWireup="false"   %>

<%@ Import Namespace="Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls" %>

<%@ Register Tagprefix="SharePoint" Namespace="Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls" Assembly="Microsoft.SharePoint, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c" %>

<%@ Register Tagprefix="Utilities" Namespace="Microsoft.SharePoint.Utilities" Assembly="Microsoft.SharePoint, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c" %>

<%@ Import Namespace="Microsoft.SharePoint" %>

<%@ Assembly Name="Microsoft.Web.CommandUI, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c" %>

<%@ Register Tagprefix="InfoPath" Namespace="Microsoft.Office.InfoPath.Server.Controls" Assembly="Microsoft.Office.InfoPath.Server, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c" %>

<%@ Register TagPrefix="wssuc" TagName="LinksTable" src="/_controltemplates/LinksTable.ascx" %>

<%@ Register TagPrefix="wssuc" TagName="InputFormSection" src="/_controltemplates/InputFormSection.ascx" %>

<%@ Register TagPrefix="wssuc" TagName="InputFormControl" src="/_controltemplates/InputFormControl.ascx" %>

<%@ Register TagPrefix="wssuc" TagName="LinkSection" src="/_controltemplates/LinkSection.ascx" %>

<%@ Register TagPrefix="wssuc" TagName="ButtonSection" src="/_controltemplates/ButtonSection.ascx" %>

<%@ Register TagPrefix="wssuc" TagName="ActionBar" src="/_controltemplates/ActionBar.ascx" %>

<%@ Register TagPrefix="wssuc" TagName="ToolBar" src="/_controltemplates/ToolBar.ascx" %>

<%@ Register TagPrefix="wssuc" TagName="ToolBarButton" src="/_controltemplates/ToolBarButton.ascx" %>

<%@ Register TagPrefix="wssuc" TagName="Welcome" src="/_controltemplates/Welcome.ascx" %>



<asp:Content ID="Content1" ContentPlaceHolderId="PlaceHolderAdditionalPageHead" runat="server">


<asp:Content ID="Content2" ContentPlaceHolderId="PlaceHolderPageTitle" runat="server">

        <SharePoint:EncodedLiteral ID="EncodedLiteral1" runat="server" text="<%$Resources:dlc, WrkTask_PageTitle%>" EncodeMethod='HtmlEncode'/>


<asp:Content ID="Content3" ContentPlaceHolderId="PlaceHolderPageTitleInTitleArea" runat="server">

        <a tabindex=1  id=onetidListHlink HREF=<% SPHttpUtility.AddQuote(SPHttpUtility.UrlPathEncode(List.DefaultViewUrl,true),Response.Output);%>><%SPHttpUtility.HtmlEncode(List.Title,Response.Output);%></A>: <% SPHttpUtility.HtmlEncode(m_taskName,Response.Output); %>


<asp:Content ID="Content4" ContentPlaceHolderId="PlaceHolderTitleBreadcrumb" runat="server">

        <asp:SiteMapPath SiteMapProvider="SPContentMapProvider" id="ContentMap" SkipLinkText="" runat="server"/>


<asp:Content ID="Content5" ContentPlaceHolderId="PlaceHolderLeftNavBar" runat="server">


<asp:Content ID="Content6" ContentPlaceHolderId="PlaceHolderMain" runat="server">

        <SharePoint:FormComponent ID="FormComponent1" TemplateName="WorkflowEditFormToolBar" ControlMode="Edit" runat="server"/>

        <table class="ms-informationbar" style="margin-top: 10px;" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"




                        <td width="10" valign="center" style="padding: 4px;">

                                <img IMG SRC="/_layouts/images/Workflows.gif" alt=<%SPHttpUtility.AddQuote(SPHttpUtility.HtmlEncode(GetLocString("WrkTask_PageTitle")),Response.Output);%>/>



                                <% SPHttpUtility.NoEncode(m_pageDescription,Response.Output); %>




        <InfoPath:XmlFormView id="XmlFormControl" runat="server"



        <SharePoint:FormDigest ID="FormDigest1" runat=server/>


4) Now open the code for your custom task host page and derive the class from “Microsoft.Office.Workflow.WrkTaskIPPage”. Now add the code as shown below into your code behind class. Make sure you still use your original namespace and class name as highlighted.

using System;

using Microsoft.SharePoint;

using Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls;

using Microsoft.Office.InfoPath;

using Microsoft.Office.InfoPath.Server.Controls;

using Microsoft.Office.Workflow;



namespace WorkflowImportProject5.Layouts.WorkflowImportProject5


    public partial class MyTaskFormHost : WrkTaskIPPage


        protected override void OnInit(EventArgs e)


            XmlFormControl.Initialize += new EventHandler<InitializeEventArgs>(XmlFormControl_Initialize_Custom);

            XmlFormControl.SubmitToHost += new EventHandler<SubmitToHostEventArgs>(XmlFormControl_OnSubmitToHost_Custom);

            XmlFormControl.Close += new EventHandler(XmlFormControl_OnClose_Custom);





        protected void XmlFormControl_Initialize_Custom(object sender, InitializeEventArgs ea)





        protected void XmlFormControl_OnSubmitToHost_Custom(object sender, SubmitToHostEventArgs e)





        protected void XmlFormControl_OnClose_Custom(object sender, EventArgs e)





        private void ModifySettings()


            m_isCustomXsn = true;

            int taskType = (int)m_task[SPBuiltInFieldId.TaskType];

            if (taskType == 2)


                XmlFormControl.DefaultView = "ChangeView";






5) Now you need to change your Content Type definition to use the new form for displaying your InfoPath form. So in the content-type related to this form open the elements.xml file and change the form URLs for your Content Type to the deployment paths of the newly created application page. “_layouts/[ProjectName]/[ApplicationPageName].aspx”. The forms are specified under the FormsUrls node using “display” and “edit” node.


<Edit>_layouts/[ProjectName]/[ApplicationPageName].aspx </Edit>

6) Now right click the workflow node in solution explorer and select “Workflow Debug Settings”. This will let you set workflow association parameters so that your workflow can be auto-associated at debug time. Complete the wizard to select the settings as you want.

7) Now when you hit F5 your workflow will be deployed and ready to run with your new migrated task from. However there is one extra step: Since you have a custom content type for creating workflow task, you need to modify your task list settings and add your custom content type to the workflow task list before you run your workflow.

Comments (9)

  1. Amal says:


    After doing the above configurations, Was the behaviour of the workflow as expected. I mean was the workflow getting started/initiated, Was the Task infopath form showing the workflow tasks in it?

    I am also working on the same topic. I have imported Declarative workflow using the Import resuable workflow template of Visual Studio. Completed all the missing pieces like Workflow action dll references, Packaging the infopath forms, Adding the initiation, Association and Task Form URNs in the workflow manifest file, Adding the custom Approval content type id to the TaskContenttypeid in the workflow manifest file.

    I was able to associate the workflow to the content type or list, The workflow was getting started when an item was added to the list but the Infopath Approval Task form was showing blank values..I will be trying the Fix-up of the auto-generated InfoPath form which you have mentioned.

    Were you successfull with the approach mentioned by you??

  2. Amal says:


    Nice Post!

    I used the above configurations and implementation which you have demonstrated in the above example for the task form.

    I am able to associate the workflow to the content type. Workflow is getting started but the task form is showing blank values.

    I have done all the steps mentioned by you.

    When i right clicked the task form to see the source code it is not showing the custom host page created instead it is showing the default one (WrkTaskIP.aspx).

    Can you guide me to resolve the issue?

    Best Regards,


  3. Huma Qureshi says:

    Hi Amal,

    Yes I have tried this myslef and it works!

    For your form to use the new host page, make sure you modify your content type definition to use the new task from host page which is explained in step 5 in the "Fix-up the auto-generated InfoPath form" section in the post above.



  4. Casey says:

    Thanks so much for this post. It's been very helpful so far, although I keep getting a 404 error when I try to view the custom task form.  My task content type is set as the default on the list, and everything else in the project looks good.

    Any idea why this would be happening?  Thanks!

  5. Huma Qureshi says:

    Hi Casey,

    You need to make sure that the deployment location of your custom host page (MyTaskFormHost) is same as you have in the <Display> and <Edit> nodes in the content type definition.

    You can take a look at deployment location of your custom host page in the properties window. Make sure it matches where your browser is trying to find it.



  6. Huma Qureshi says:

    Hi Casey,

    You need to make sure that the deployment location of your custom host page (MyTaskFormHost) is same as you have in the <Display> and <Edit> nodes in the content type definition.

    You can take a look at deployment location of your custom host page in the properties window. Make sure it matches where your browser is trying to find it.



  7. Abdullah says:

    Can ou please reply how to bookmark/replace quick parts in wrod document programaticall with the help of shre point info path and office word

  8. Andrew says:

    I've tried everything above, but when I try to bring up the task form, I get a NullReferenceException when the form tries to call base.Oninit(e)

    Is there something I'm missing?

  9. TNJMAN says:

    I am currently migrating an older InfoPath workflow. This is very helpful. I'm trying to get upgraded to SP 2013. Still have to do an Interim upgrade to 2010, then 2013 – unless there's more "magic" where I can pull over everything (including InfoPath forms) from 2007 SP and just start with a fresh 2013? Thanks!

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