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VSTO SharePoint 2007 Workflow Wizard/Template crashes on 64 bit Platform by Oisín Grehan


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Type: Bug
ID: 325668
Opened: 1/31/2008 6:57:24 AM
Access Restriction: Public
Duplicates: 345347
3
Workaround(s)
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50
User(s) can reproduce this bug

Description

Choosing vsto2007 SharePoint 2007 workflow project on Windows2003/64 running SharePoint 2007 64 bit edition locally causes a "Object reference not set to an instance of an object" dialog to pop up. Additionally, attempts to continue the wizard fail due to it being unable to detect the local instance of SharePont/64.

I have marked this a blocking issue even though it is possible to work around it manually. However, when one commits to a timeline based on promised functionality and it fails to deliver leaving you with egg on your face in front of a client, this to me is a blocking issue.

It seems crazy that Microsoft fails to support a product (MOSS 2007) that begs to be installed on a 64bit platform due to its immense complexity and size. People are being coaxed into moving to 64 bit platforms yet when they do, they get smacked down, hard.

* Visual Studio 2005 extensions for SharePoint - Not supported on 64bit.
* Visual Studio 2008 vsto extensions for SharePoint - Not supported on 64bit.

MOSS is your FLAGSHIP PRODUCT. Visual Studio is your FLAGSHIP DEVELOPMENT ENVIRONMENT. Win64 is the FUTURE. The least you can do is have them all work together. We really don't care if your WORDs became DWORDs, or if IntPtrs cease to point to where they should. This is supposed to MANAGED code.
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Posted by Philo Janus on 1/25/2011 at 11:25 AM
Just as a note for the next time around - none of this would've been a problem if the SharePoint team had understood the difference between a "server" and a "workstation."

SharePoint development should be supported on a Windows 7 (x86 or x64) *workstation* without having SharePoint installed. I really don't understand what is so hard about this - Microsoft has supported development on Windows clients forever (I seem to recall around the Windows Server 2000 or 2003 era that installing Visual Studio on Windows Server wasn't supported).

Is it really harder than putting the schemas and dll interface stubs into the VS template package?

Hard to believe that eight years after we jumped up and down screaming about the crappy treatment of developers on SharePoint 2003 that it seems some folks still don't understand.

Remember SteveB jumping around on stage yelling DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS? Developers need to be first class citizens with respect to SharePoint. That means that *before* the first public beta:

- Visual Studio templates are also ready in beta
- Visual Studio v.current and v.next are supported
- Developer documentation is roughed and ready (APIs with examples, solution starters, end-to-end scenarios)
- Various combinations of server/workstation are provided for
- Various install combinations are provided for (farm, single server, single machine farm configuration)
- Virtualization scenarios are documented
- A cluster of planners/QA folks are ready to cover the discussion groups to identify new developer scenarios and identify Won't Fix, Fix before release, Just need to know how, unforeseen but important scenario, etc.

Yes, I know it costs money. So does losing sales to PHP, Adobe, and Drupal because people can't make your stuff work right and you don't seem to care.
Posted by Soptik Dutta on 11/13/2010 at 1:05 AM
Is this issue fixed yet ?
Posted by D-Frag on 11/9/2010 at 1:52 PM
So I took Microsoft's advice to "create, develop and debug your Workflow projects on a 32bit workstation and then later you can move your solution to a 64bit server for testing and production" but now I get errors when attempting to deploy the workflow in my 64-bit environment. Basically, the same as being reported here...

http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en/sharepointworkflow/thread/a8830b75-21a2-4bf5-95f4-483412a86e68?prof=required

Ok, so now what?
Posted by Lawrence Armour on 10/26/2010 at 4:31 AM
It's now October 2010 and this problem has never been fixed. On of the workaround suggest using manual VS 2005 methods (rediculous), another give links to a page that's deleted and another says that something else works but this doesn't. How come this is a closed issue. IF IT DOESN'T WORK, IT'S NOT FIXED!!!
Posted by AndyBell UK on 6/21/2010 at 9:00 AM
NOT IMPRESSED - same as original post above, but having added SP1 for VS2008, I now get an error message saying that a 32 bit version of Sharepoint was not found.

What a joke. I have come down a lengthy path of planning to get to here and now I face having to advise a client that they can't use 64 bit Windows.

Has anyone found a solution yet??????
Posted by SColeman on 3/11/2010 at 7:03 AM
It's requiring all of my strength to keep from weeping on my keyboard. I have been beating myself up trying to figure this out for a couple weeks now. I have need of a complex workflow beyond the abilities of SPD and NEED to get this working. I cannot believe MS pushes us to 64 bit platforms that aren't supported by the development environment. Why not allow the VS Workflow to be run on a development machine instead of directly on the server? I really don't understand why that cannot be done? That would solve this problem and if that can't be done easily then the SP piece of VS was developed very poorly. Besides that, not every developer has administrative access to the server itself, so it's also a security concern. Thankfully VMWare exists and I can fabricate a server out of thin air to do this on...
Posted by Hikmer on 3/3/2010 at 3:25 PM
Come on guys....why do you make SharePoint sooo painful! FIX THIS! YOU ARE MICROSOFT...SHAME ON YOU FOR MAKING US GO THROUGH THIS!
Posted by Curiousdork on 3/3/2010 at 1:56 PM
I wish this had been documented and was more visible, it would have saved me three days of pain trying to figure out why my 64-bit environment didn't work. All I can say is, you (i.e., Microsoft) made baby jesus cry.
Posted by Johanna Aqui on 11/25/2009 at 11:55 AM
I too am very frustrated to find out about this limitation after setup. And while its suggested that the user shoulder some of the blame for not throughly reading the fine print, I see others making the same arguements that I do. Is the only place this limitation is documented is in the VS 2008 readme? What about the SharePoint installation instructions? Or better yet what about the MSDN published instructions for setting up a development environment -- http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb330848.aspx?

Installing on a 64-bit system seemed obvious as its the recommended setup for SharePoint. Also, MS has made it difficult to maintain the typical shared development environment of multiple developer workstations against a single development server. Now I have to go back to my server team and explain why I need another server build done. It's hard enough getting resources to support a development-testing-production environment without wasting their time on mistakes like this.

Posted by pritishjacob on 6/4/2009 at 3:39 AM
A similar project creation failure occurs using Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 on the 64 bit MOSS 2007 server too. In the case of the newer IDE however, there is no dialog box, rather the status bar on the bottom says

Creating project 'SharePointWorkflow1'... project creation failed.

So it seems like the "plan" as indicated by the Program Manager is currently half implemented. The VS2010 Beta 1 actually shows these project templates to the user on a 64 bit environment (not according to plan), however the project creation fails (seemingly by design).

>The plan for Visual Studio 2010 is to still not support SharePoint 2007 Workflow projects on a 64bit workstation. VS 2010 will avoid the problem of throwing exceptions by hiding the Project Templates for those two project types: SharePoint 2007 Sequential Workflow or SharePoint 2007 State Machine Workflow. However Visual Studio 2010 will support 64bit development of the future version of SharePoint.


Is Microsoft really taking SharePoint ECM development seriously? e.g. at TechEd (a couple weeks ago), the keynote reinforced the 64-bit-everywhere mantra for MOSS, but this doesn't look promising thus far.
Posted by Microsoft on 3/18/2009 at 5:55 PM
Currently Visual Studio 2008 throws exceptions on a 64bit workstation if you try to create a SharePoint 2007 Sequential Workflow project or SharePoint 2007 State Machine Workflow project. The workaround is to create, develop and debug your Workflow projects on a 32bit workstation and then later you can move your solution to a 64bit server for testing and production.

The plan for Visual Studio 2010 is to still not support SharePoint 2007 Workflow projects on a 64bit workstation. VS 2010 will avoid the problem of throwing exceptions by hiding the Project Templates for those two project types: SharePoint 2007 Sequential Workflow or SharePoint 2007 State Machine Workflow. However Visual Studio 2010 will support 64bit development of the future version of SharePoint.

I hope this explanation helps you plan your project development. We understand that it is very inconvenient and expensive to maintain a 32bit workstation and a 64bit workstation.

Sincerely,

Christin Boyd
Program Manager
Visual Studio
Posted by Nikos_Y on 3/17/2009 at 2:13 PM
Hmm...It's 2009 and I'm having this problem..too. I'm developing with a 64-bit server and have all of the service packs and updates for visual studio and sharepoint installed ... Is this ever going to get fixed? Do I have to wait for VS 2010?
Posted by Microsoft on 3/11/2009 at 3:05 PM
We are paying attention to the number of customers who are rating this issue on Connect. The Visual Studio team is evaluating our options for addressing this issue and we will keep you updated if we are able to provide a workaround. Thank you for your feedback. We are listening.

Sincerely,

Christin Boyd
Program Manager
Visual Studio
Posted by AnthonyS on 11/14/2008 at 6:02 AM
I think the thankyou for fixing this was sarcasm. Intriguingly MS say above they can't reproduce this error? I'm reading this and dare not try unless I get some kind of days of free time and curiosity. If its not reproducable, can we know what is the environment that does work. The only thing I can think of that may make a difference and I could be wrong, is to set the project to build targeting any CPU not 64bit or 32bit specifically, but thats just a thought.
Posted by Anonymous2418530 on 11/5/2008 at 9:09 AM
where is the fix for this issue?
Posted by Pavel Minaev [MSFT] on 7/28/2008 at 12:30 AM
Thank you for fixing this.
Posted by Bryan H on 7/22/2008 at 10:24 AM
I agree with Dodge13 - the work around needs a proper explanation. The Workflow Wizard does not work with VS 2008 on Windows Vista 64, either.
Posted by Dodge on 7/17/2008 at 11:34 AM
This issue should not be closed. There is not a good explanation of what the work around entails as well as no indication on when we can expect a solution for this problem. Please re-open this issue and prepare documentation that addresses these items.
Posted by njtex on 7/2/2008 at 7:56 AM
Do you have any idea when this issue may be addressed and fixed? It is very frustrating waiting for an answer for so long only to be told it has not been fixed.
Posted by VanceCollins on 6/26/2008 at 10:15 PM
Are you kidding? Five months after this bug was posted the answer is "yeah we know, but it was in the readme file of the tools that you would not get too until AFTER deploying the 64-bit server.
Posted by Microsoft on 6/20/2008 at 11:42 AM
Hi- I can relate to your frustration with the 64-bit support issue. (btw: some confusion about who should respond to your query has caused more than a lengthy delay, I know).

In any case, we really wanted to support 64-bit in the VS 2008 release, but the effort required more resources than we had. Admittedly, the exception is not terribly graceful, and we have targeted to rectify this in a future release.

Someone in VS support already pointed out that the Readme explains that the tools are not supported on 64-bit machine

"Visual Studio 2008 throws two exceptions if you try to create a SharePoint workflow project (SharePoint 2007 Sequential Workflow or SharePoint 2007 State Machine Workflow) on a 64-bit computer. The first exception message is: "Object reference not set to an instance of an object". The second message is: "SharePoint site location entered is not valid. The SharePoint site at http://<serverpath> could not be found. Verify that you have typed the URL correctly".

But readme's are notoriously obscure, and I'm hoping we will indeed improve this going forward.

Let me know if I can be of further help to you.

Best,

John R. Durant
Program Manager VS
Posted by Pavel Minaev [MSFT] on 5/12/2008 at 12:27 AM
Why, exactly, has this been closed without explanation? And what do you mean by "by design"? Do you imply that MOSS2007 development in VS2008 is knownly broken "by design", and won't be fixed? Or maybe that Microsoft products throw unhandled exceptions "by design"?
Posted by Francisco Fagas on 2/11/2008 at 8:31 PM
I develop the workflow in x32 plattform and work fine, but when manually install/activate feature and deploy the assembly in GAC i see that the custom workflow template have error, the first time work fine, but in the second instance the status is directly finished and not execute the dll code. Any solution? this issue exist in deploy phases??
Posted by Microsoft on 2/1/2008 at 10:57 PM
Thanks for your feedback.

We are escalating this issue to the appropriate group within the Visual Studio Product Team for triage and resolution.
These specialized experts will follow-up with your issue.

Thank you,
Visual Studio Product Team
Posted by Oisín Grehan on 2/1/2008 at 6:30 AM
btw, that's win2003r2/64 SP2 and MOSS 2007/64bit SP1. sorry.
Posted by Oisín Grehan on 2/1/2008 at 6:15 AM
I'm running:

* Win2003R2/64bit
* MOSS 2007/64bit
* VS 2008 RTM

btw, in the meantime I noticed that this issue is even mentioned in the Visual Studio 2008 Readme.htm ;-)

http://download.microsoft.com/download/9/a/e/9ae0f6cc-7032-408e-9ca7-989f9e4af4ec/VS2008Readme.htm#General%20Issues


2.3.5.5. Using Office SharePoint workflow templates on a 64-bit operating system is unsupported and causes an exception.

Visual Studio 2008 throws two exceptions if you try to create a SharePoint workflow project (SharePoint 2007 Sequential Workflow or SharePoint 2007 State Machine Workflow) on a 64-bit computer. The first exception message is: "Object reference not set to an instance of an object". The second message is: "SharePoint site location entered is not valid. The SharePoint site at http://<serverpath> could not be found. Verify that you have typed the URL correctly".

So if you cannot reproduce it, I guess you have an internal fix? right? :D I'm kidding.
Posted by Microsoft on 1/31/2008 at 9:53 PM
Thanks for reporting the issue.
In order to fix the issue, we must first reproduce the issue in our labs. We are unable to reproduce the issue with the steps you provided.

We need to know the edition of your Win2003/64

If we do not receive a response from you after 7-days , we will automatically close your issue. There is no obligation to respond -- at any time you may edit your issue via Connect and change the status to “Active.”

Thank you,
Visual Studio Product Team
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Posted by Leeeeeenda on 11/9/2009 at 9:13 AM
I got this to work for sequential but not for state machine workflows. Have you managed to have a state machine run with the WSP solution?
Posted by Cédric Dauvillier on 11/7/2008 at 3:07 AM
Found a workaround :
Workflow templates included in WSPBuilder are working !

cf
http://pointstoshare.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!AEC42F315B4528B0!3018.entry
Posted by Oisín Grehan on 1/31/2008 at 6:58 AM
build, install, deploy and debug manually as if you are using VS2005.