I'm attempting to use Sharepoint 2016 (RTM) to convert a PPTX to PDF. Whenever I attempt a conversion, I receive the following error:

AsyncResult operation exceeded timeout of 00:05:00.

I do notice that when I start a conversion, the SQL Server and Windows Server App Fabric processes seem to use higher CPU (~50%) than normal (~1%). Also, each time a conversion is initiated, a new folder appears under C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\SharePoint\PowerPointConversion\<some GUID>\<MYDOMAIN_MyUser>\, containing my original source PPTX, and a folder called 00000000000000000000000000000012 with no contents. (See image below)

empty folder that appears after initiating a conversion

I'm using IronPython, but I've also tried and received the same results with a C# rewrite.

Things I've tried based on other questions (e.g. here)

  • Checked that PowerPoint automation services is running
  • Checked that my code is running as a user with Farm Administrator privileges
  • Checked that my code is running on the server that Sharepoint resides
  • Checked that my code is running as a user with local Administrator privileges
  • Ensured that my user has memberships of the WSS_ADMIN_WPG, WSS_WPG, and WSS_RESTRICTED_WPG_V4 groups
  • Ensured that my user has all server roles available to it in SQL Server
  • Ensured my user is the one running the application pool in IIS containing the PowerPointConversion
  • Ensured my server is not a Domain Controller and that that resides on another machine.
  • Ensure that my user has explicit full control (r/w etc) on the C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\SharePoint\PowerPointConversion folder.

Here's my code:

import clr
import os
import sys

from System.IO import FileStream, MemoryStream, FileMode, FileAccess

from Microsoft.SharePoint import SPSite, SPServiceContext

clr.AddReferenceToFileAndPath("C:\\Windows\\Microsoft.NET\\assembly\\GAC_MSIL\\Microsoft.Office.Server.PowerPoint\\v4.0_16.0.0.0__71e9bce111e9429c\\Microsoft.Office.Server.PowerPoint.dll")  # noqa
from Microsoft.Office.Server.PowerPoint.Conversion import PdfRequest

OUR_SHAREPOINT_SITE_URL = "http://name_of_my_sharepoint_machine/"

def convert_powerpoint_to_pdf(input_office_file_path, output_pdf_file_path):
    with SPSite(OUR_SHAREPOINT_SITE_URL) as site:
        with site.OpenWeb() as web, \
            FileStream(input_office_file_path, FileMode.Open) \
                as office_file_contents, \
                MemoryStream() as pdf_contents:
                # The PowerPoint automation services API irritatingly requires
                # the input file extension
                extension = os.path.splitext(input_office_file_path)[1]
                request = PdfRequest(office_file_contents, extension,

                # The callback for this method is none, and we capture the
                # output in the result object
                result = request.BeginConvert(
                    SPServiceContext.GetContext(site), None, None)

                with FileStream(output_pdf_file_path, FileMode.Create,
                                FileAccess.ReadWrite) as output_file_stream:
                    # just to be safe
                    return "Yay"

            except Exception as e:
                return "PPT Conversion failed with error message:\n{}".format(

if __name__ == "__main__":

Which gives the following output:

C:\Windows\system32>ipy64 C:\sharepoint_example.py C:\pptx.pptx C:\pptx.pdf
PPT Conversion failed with error message:
AsyncResult operation exceeded timeout of 00:05:00


I can also supply the trace log on request if needed.


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