SharePoint 2013 site is FBA and Windows authenticated. I have created one SharePoint 2013 workflow with an active directory user.

When I initiated the workflow with the windows authenticated user, the workflow was initiated and executed without any error. But when I did the same with a FBA user, the workflow was canceled and got an error i.e.

There has been an error authenticating the request.

The user profile was fully synchronized but when I searched for FBA users, they weren't there. But those FBA users which were created using FBA User Management were found in the user profile.

I also tried to initiate the workflow using a FBA user which was created via FBA User Management but again reach to that error.

Any assistance in this will be very grateful.

2 Answers 2


FormsBasedAuthentication has tons of drawbacks. This seems to be another one. There are several posts on the net (here, here, here, ...) with no answer. This also matches my experience - i never got this running directly. Only one workaround:

What we did is used one higher authority user to execute these workflows instead of current context user and that solved our problems of this error.

This is one of the many reasons why i do not like FBA: It's cheap, but has tons of drawbacks. Implement WebApplicationProxy or even better AzureAD Application Proxy instead of FBA. It will save most or all of your FBA pains.

  • Agree with you @MHeld. Workflow is executed with FBA user by impersonating a step in the workflow. While the FBA user is having rights on Workflow task and history lists. I want to know which permission the FBA user requires to execute the workflow without impersonate step? Dec 21, 2017 at 12:23
  • Again: From my experience it is not possible to run a workflow directly as FBA-user without impersonation-workarounds. A FBA user is not a "full-featured" user in SharePoint. Full-Featured are only AD-Users. This is why i highly disagree with FBA-implementations.
    – MHeld
    Dec 22, 2017 at 6:01

Kindly refer this link. It’s product default behavior.

To impersonate a workflow step, kindly follow this link.

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