OOB Approval Workflow error


Hello everyone,

Today I’ll talk about a strange moment in the life of SharePoint Consultant. One of those moments where the reaction can only be « WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT??? ».


That moment came when I found myself in front of an error. This error has occurred on a OOB workflow « Approval 2010 ».

This workflow worked properly for weeks when all of a sudden he started not wanting to go on documents submission.

The error message displayed in the « workflow status » was: « The workflow operation failed because the workflow lookup found no matching item ».

With a little searching, I found this msdn link explaining the frequent errors of workflow development: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/dn449112(v=office.15).aspx#bkmk_error09

I admit I laughed a little reading the passage dealing with the error:

“The workflow operation failed because the workflow lookup found no matching item

This indicates there is an error in the workflow logic. Check to ensure that you are selecting the correct list and field in your lookup.”

(Recall that the workflow is a OOB, so developed by the MS team :p).


It’s funny but it does not help me. By analyzing the logs, I found the following error « WinWF Internal Error, terminating workflow Id# »

My research led me to this msdn topic: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/f582ad6b-f3f8-4451-85c1-95d88e953481/ootb-workflow-error explaining that the error appears when you tick the option « Enable Content Approval : Update the approval status after the workflow is completed (use this to control content approval) »



Indeed, by unchecking this option, the approval workflow creates tasks correctly, but does not validate the document. So I ended up using an event « onworkflowcompleted » to validate my document after my approval workflow is finished.

I have now 2 questions:

« Why was it working at first? » and « Why is it not working anymore? »


If anyone knows the answer, I’m interested.



4 thoughts on “OOB Approval Workflow error

  1. Andrew Goodwin

    Incidentally, I have an identical error with a document workflow on a library which includes an impersonation step. It works fine for one user (teacher), doesn’t for another (student).
    Both users have contribute rights on the library.
    Go figure.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s