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Cannot Export a Customer 2013 Workflow to Visio from SharePoint Designer 2013

    Question

  • When I attempt to export even a single stage workflow that does nothing but write a single message to the history log, SP Designer appears to be exporting the workflow, but I get no file, and no error message. I have the most recent updates to Visio 2013 (x64) and SharePoint Designer 2013 (x64), running on Windows 7 Pro (64-bit), connecting via URL to a site hosted on a 2016 SharePoint Server (64-bit) site collection web.  We are running Workflow Manager 1.1 on the SharePoint Server.  The server OS is Windows 2012 Standard R2, with SQL Server 2014.  This is a new, on-premise SharePoint 2016 installation, and I have full control permissions in SP, and Administrator privileges on all machines.

    The machine running SharePoint Designer 2013 (x64) does have Microsoft Office 2016 Pro Plus installed.  When I started working with SharePoint Designer.  I uninstalled Visio 2016, and installed the complete Microsoft Office 2013 Pro (x64) and Visio 2013, alongside Microsoft Office 2016 (x64).

    I plan to test SharePoint Designer 2013 (x64) workflow export with Visio 2013 (x64) on a completely different machine that has never had any version of MS Office 2016 installed on it.

    I have been researching this issue far too long.  We need a good way to save a workflow to a file so that I have the ability to re-import it and don't have to keep re-creating it from scratch.  Packaging the workflow is not a good option, as there seems to be no good way to decompile it.  This is a custom workflow that will not be used for anything other than the business process for which it was designed.


    Osky Programmer

    Tuesday, February 21, 2017 8:12 PM

Answers

  • Hi.

    This is a long shot but may be related. 

    The SharePoint integration components of MS Office can't co-exist across versions.  If it's installed in both versions, I recommend uninstalling it from the 2016 version (office tools sections) and then run a repair of the 2013 installation.

    Hope this helps.

    Ed

    • Marked as answer by OskyProgrammer Wednesday, February 22, 2017 7:49 PM
    Tuesday, February 21, 2017 9:06 PM

All replies

  • Hi.

    This is a long shot but may be related. 

    The SharePoint integration components of MS Office can't co-exist across versions.  If it's installed in both versions, I recommend uninstalling it from the 2016 version (office tools sections) and then run a repair of the 2013 installation.

    Hope this helps.

    Ed

    • Marked as answer by OskyProgrammer Wednesday, February 22, 2017 7:49 PM
    Tuesday, February 21, 2017 9:06 PM
  • Thank you, Ed,

    I did run test exports on the machine that had never had MS Office 2016 installed on it.  The process kept hanging with a Server Busy error:

    This action cannot be completed because the other program is busy.  Choose 'Switch To' to activate the busy program and correct the problem.

    To try to resolve this problem I did two things based on documentation found on line:

    1. Removed X-Powered-By HTTP Response Header item for the site in IIS on the SP server
    2. Cleared the MSOCache by selecting Start>Microsoft Office 2013>Office 2013 Tools>Office 2013 Upload Center, selecting "Settings" and clicking "Delete cached files.

    Neither of these resolved the problem.

    I was finally able to get an exported workflow file on the "clean" machine by doing the following:

    • Ran the SP Designer 2013 export process, which prompted me for a save location and file name
    • When the error message popped up, instead of clicking the "Switch To" button on the error message, I opened Windows Task Manager, and on the Applications tab selected Microsoft Visio, then clicked "Switch To".
    • A dialog box popped up for Visio:  Do you want to save Drawing2?
    • Clicked "Save", and a "Save As" dialog box popped up.
    • Navigated to the desired path and clicked "Save".
    • Back in SharePoint Designer, clicked "Retry".

    I have removed MS Office 2016 Pro from my regular development workstation and will attempt to run the SharePoint Designer export again from there.  I tried several times to deactivate the SharePoint features on the MS Office 2016 Pro installation, with restarts, etc., but they remained activated no matter what I did.  A complete uninstall finally seemed to be the only option.

    I'll report back later to this thread with the results from working on the machine that had MS Office 2016 Pro installed on it.


    Osky Programmer

    Wednesday, February 22, 2017 6:42 PM
  • I have now had a chance to test the results of uninstalling MS Office 2016, and am delighted to say that the export worked flawlessly.  There wasn't even the error message that was encountered on the "clean" machine!

    Thank you, Ed!


    Osky Programmer

    Wednesday, February 22, 2017 7:49 PM
  • The issue mentioned here and in other threads are already a year old, and I was wondering if there was by now, perhaps a permanent solution like a patch by Microsoft?

    I have a new laptop with Office2016 and I just realized that SPD2013 does not work with Visio2016.

    Anyway, I cannot imagine that Microsoft would still advise (after the issue was communicated a year ago) to downgrade Visio to 2013 version.
    What is the workaround, patch or solution by Microsoft?

    I am not keen to de-install Office2016 and downgrade, or get an older laptop with Office2013.

    (Installing older Office versions on my new laptop with Office2016 is unfortunately not possible due to Company IT policies)

    I hope Microsoft has a solution for this seriously frustrating problem.


    • Edited by AA052530 Monday, March 6, 2017 1:04 PM
    Monday, March 6, 2017 1:03 PM
  • That was the same issue we ran into.  We started out with a new SharePoint on premise installation, expecting that we would be well-positioned for moving forward with the latest technologies, only to discover that the recommended MS Access screens would not work for our situation, and we had to either program new screens in Visual Studio 2015, without the benefit of the WYSIWYG GUI, or go back to InfoPath 2013.  We ran into issue after issue with our 2016 SharePoint installation.  Our project ended up being 2 months behind because of problems with Service Bus, App Fabric, MS Access Services, and Workflow.  I attempted to build workflows for SharePoint 2016 using VS 2015, but still can't find adequate documentation for coding conditional statements, etc., which is required in that environment.  We ended up having to re-install our SharePoint test environment, and doing all development from a different workstation using the 2013 technologies.  Lessons learned there were carried over to our production side.

    I'll be very glad to get useful SharePoint updates to either Visual Studio or Office.


    Osky Programmer

    Monday, March 6, 2017 1:58 PM