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, in (Web Server Extensions, GAC and on the database "WFResourceManagementDB", table "Scopes", path "SharePoint", default workflow configuration xml file) 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?

EDIT: Just upgraded to March Update on the staging server. After doing the Register-SPWorkflowService command again (after the update), the Workflow works. However, this is not the version on the production server. I still need to find a way to avoid the update on the production server, since I don't believe the customer wants to proceed with an upgrade on production.

  • You found a solution for this brother??
    – Muhammedh
    Apr 20, 2015 at 13:55
  • 1
    Yes. Worked hard to convince the customer that their version of SP was pretty old and encourage an upgrade to at least the March Update. Before the March Update, it was impossible to work with the newer stuff... and because of security vulnerabilities, it simply is worth it. I just did what Slaven Semper suggested, pretty much.
    – Mamsaac
    Jul 15, 2015 at 8:00
  • We ended up doing the same. we had to sync all the dev machines, stagging and production to the exact CU version.
    – Muhammedh
    Jul 15, 2015 at 8:17

1 Answer 1


From the information provided in your post I see that you developed your solution on a version of SharePoint which is newer than the version of SharePoint used on production environment. IMO, this is a bad practice if you don't plan to upgrade the production environment, because who knows what has changed between two builds of SharePoint.

If I was you, I wouldn't even bother to look for a solution to this issue because when you solve this issue, there is a big chance you will run into another issue. The only reasonable thing to do, IMO, is to level the versions. So you have two options:

  1. Persuade your client to upgrade the production environment to the version of SharePoint which has been tested on staging environment. Recommended
  2. Downgrade your development environment to RTM version and fix issues with the workflow. Not recommended because you are rolling back to a version which is far less stable.

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