I am trying to create a Collect Feedback and an Approval workflow in SharePoint 2010 Designer. I always get error occurred when permission is granted/revoked to multiple user (supplied by the user) in the workflow. When permissions are granted to a single user, the workflow functions.

First, I am setting user permissions, then starting the approval/feedback task. The error occurs while assigning permission to multiple users.

Some More details - The workflow is working on a document set with content approval and versioning enabled.

  • having the same issue, can't add the users into a group coz they are entered by user... any solution?
    – user12843
    Nov 6, 2012 at 8:48
  • i am still searching. Nov 7, 2012 at 5:50

5 Answers 5


Here is how we assigned permissions based on a multiple-choice people field in SharePoint 2010:

1) Set a STRING variable to the multiple-choice people field, returning the field as a STRING.

2) In an Impersonation Step, add the action to Add/replace item permissions. Use the string variable you just defined as the User.

Hint: If you need to also send an email to the users that just received permissions, you will need to set a second, string variable to the multiple-choice people field, returning the field as a email addresses, semi-colon delimited.


If you give the "Add List Item permission" activity the users string in the below format it will work

UserId;#Full Name;#UserId;#Full Name;#UserId;#Full Name


53;#Alex Kropp;#28;#Bill Maxwell;#22;#Thomas Wite;#31;#Nancy dJ

You just need to create activity that accepts two parameters (Display Names with semi colon and User Ids with semi colon) and this activity will generate the above string and place it into a variable.

Then use this string variable with "Add List Item permission"


What about assigning permissions in multiple impersonated steps? Other thing you can do is see what the error is, if you have access to SharePoint server. There you can open the log with ULS viewer, and filter by category "Workflow Infrastructure". Hope that helps.

  • I do not know the multiple users. All I get is semicolon separated login id. And that thisng need to be dynamic. I tried doing this in sharepoint designer but it did not work. Now I going for adding event receivers and then doing that. But still if somehow it is possible with sharepoint designer it would be very helpful. Nov 22, 2012 at 4:20
  • 1
    In that part you might not know how SPD handles this out of the box. If you want to keep it with SPD, maybe you could create a custom Workflow Activity for SharePoint Designer
    – Gomiunik
    Nov 22, 2012 at 7:49

SharePoint Designer workflow does not handles adding permissions to multiple user separated via semicolon in a listitem field with Out-of-box available actions.

The requirement is that I do not have a fix set of users and users access vary with each listitem (document set library item) specified by item field.

I even checked this issue with the Microsoft guys and they told me this limitation of SharePoint Designer.

So we have to create custom workflow activity. For creating Custom workflow activity refer this link. The technique for creating csutom workflow activity is not very different from SharePoint 2007. This is a very good tutorial to do the same and despite the tutorial is for SharePoint 2007 it works even for SharePoint 2010.


I solved the problem this way, when permissions are granted the variable who contains the users select return field as "User Ids, semicolon delimited" enter image description here

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