Walkthrough: Creating a simple Sequential Workflow with a custom Task Form in SharePoint 2010 using Visual Studio 2010 (Part 1 of 2)

In this walkthrough I want to show you how to create a Sequential Workflow with Visual Studio 2010 for use in SharePoint 2010. – I will show how to create a custom Task Form for interaction with users. The Task form will be a native SharePoint list form. No InfoPath. There are many InfoPath samples out there but they cannot be used on a SharePoint Foundation 2010 platform. But workflows can be used on SharePoint Foundation 2010 too!

To reproduce the following steps you need to create a SharePoint site. – In the walkthrough I’ll use a Site Collection located at “http://sharepoint.local/sites/workflow”.

This blog post is part 1 of 2. It describes the steps 1 to 15. Read part 2 here: https://blog.kenaro.com/2011/03/30/walkthrough-creating-a-simple-sequential-workflow-with-a-custom-task-form-in-sharepoint-2010-using-visual-studio-2010-part-2-of-2/

You can download – and help to develop – the whole demo project source code at Codeplex: http://spworkflowdemo.codeplex.com/

(If you need assistance for the deployment process because of deployment errors please see this third post of this series: https://blog.kenaro.com/2011/04/22/walkthrough-creating-a-simple-sequential-workflow-with-a-custom-task-form-in-sharepoint-2010-using-visual-studio-2010-part-3-of-21/)

Let’s start…

1. We create the Site Collection. Use the “Blank Site” site template.


2. In Visual Studio 2010 we create a Empty SharePoint Project. I named it “ik.SharePoint2010.Workflow”


We create it with “Deploy as farm solution” and specify the location “http://sharepoint.local/sites/workflow/”.


3. This is the project structure at start:


4. First we need to create an instance of the Workflow History list that is needed for the workflow.

Create a new “Empty Element” project item named “Workflow History”.


Open the created “element.xml” file and modify it as shown below.

1: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
2: <Elements xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/">
3:  <ListInstance Title="Workflow History"
4:  OnQuickLaunch="TRUE"
5:  TemplateType="140"
6:  FeatureId="00BFEA71-4EA5-48D4-A4AD-305CF7030140"
7:  Url="Lists/WorkflowHistory"
8:  Description="">
9:  </ListInstance>
10: </Elements>

The “TemplateType” attribute represents the “Workflow History” list template. It resists on a SharePoint feature with ID “00BFEA71-4EA5-48D4-A4AD-305CF7030140”. It’s a native SharePoint feature.

You can add the attibute “Hidden” to the “ListInstance” tag and set it’s value to “TRUE” to hide the list as it’s done by SharePoint by default for this list. In this case you should also change “OnQuickLaunch” to “FALSE”. For my demo purpose I want to have “Workflow History” visible and on the Quick Launch bar.

5. Now we will create all tools we need for a “Workflow 1”. (May be I’ll create more workflow demos later. So it’s number 1.)

6. We create the SharePoint fields for “Workflow 1”. Therefore we create another “Empty Element” project item named “Workflow 1 Fields”.


I’ll create 3 fields for use in the Task Form we will create: Test1, Test2, Test3. They are all fields of type Text.

1: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
2: <Elements xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/">
3:  <!-- Fields for Task 1 of Workflow 1-->
4:  <Field ID="{2FE15855-3CAB-44A6-AB29-1600204FCA20}" Name="Workflow1Task1_Test1"
5:  MaxLength="255" DisplayName="Test1" Description=""
6:  Direction="None" Type="Text" Overwrite="TRUE"
7:  xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/" />
8:  <Field ID="{517B22A5-1B89-4C24-82BE-3D4FD99645BC}" Name="Workflow1Task1_Test2"
9:  MaxLength="255" DisplayName="Test2" Description=""
10:  Direction="None" Type="Text" Overwrite="TRUE"
11:  xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/" />
12:  <Field ID="{3ECFF1FE-F56B-4556-8805-4570D9422FF4}" Name="Workflow1Task1_Test3"
13:  MaxLength="255" DisplayName="Test3" Description=""
14:  Direction="None" Type="Text" Overwrite="TRUE"
15:  xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/" />
16: </Elements>

7. Now we create a new “Module” project item named “Workflow 1 Forms”. In this module we will store the Task Form.


Remove the “Sample.txt” file from the created module.

Create a new “Application Page” project item named “Task1Form.aspx”.


This project item will stored in the folder “Layoutsik.SharePoint2010.Workflow”.


Move the project item “Task1Form.aspx” using Drag & Drop into the module “Workflow 1 Forms”.


Remove the “Layouts” folder from the project. It should be empty.

8. We open “Task1Form.aspx”

First we need to edit the “Page” tag of the ASPX site.

1:  <%@ Page Language="C#" AutoEventWireup="true" CodeBehind="Task1Form.aspx.cs" Inherits="ik.SharePoint2010.Workflow.Task1Form" MasterPageFile="~masterurl/default.master"  %>

Now we insert the following code into the “PlaceHolderMain” content placeholder.

1:     <asp:ScriptManagerProxy runat="server" ID="ProxyScriptManager">
2:     </asp:ScriptManagerProxy>
3:     <table width="100%" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0">
4:         <tr>
5:             <td valign="top">
6:                 <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="4" border="0" width="100%">
7:                     <tr>
8:                         <td class="ms-vb">
9:                             &nbsp;
10:                         </td>
11:                     </tr>
12:                 </table>
13:                 <table border="0" width="100%">
14:                     <tr>
15:                         <td>
16:                             <table border="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%">
17:                                 <tr>
18:                                     <td class="ms-formlabel" valign="top" nowrap="true" width="25%">
19:                                         <b>Title:</b>
20:                                     </td>
21:                                     <td class="ms-formbody" valign="top" width="75%">
22:                                         <SharePoint:FormField runat="server" ID="ff4" ControlMode="Display" FieldName="Title" /><br />
23:                                     </td>
24:                                 </tr>
25:                                 <tr>
26:                                     <td width="25%" class="ms-formlabel">
27:                                         <b>Test1:</b>
28:                                     </td>
29:                                     <td width="75%" class="ms-formbody">
30:                                         <SharePoint:FormField runat="server" ID="ff1" ControlMode="Edit" FieldName="Workflow1Task1_Test1" />
31:                                         <SharePoint:FieldDescription runat="server" ID="ff1description" FieldName="Workflow1Task1_Test1"
32:                                             ControlMode="Edit" />
33:                                     </td>
34:                                 </tr>
35:                                 <tr>
36:                                     <td width="25%" class="ms-formlabel">
37:                                         <b>Test2:</b>
38:                                     </td>
39:                                     <td width="75%" class="ms-formbody">
40:                                         <SharePoint:FormField runat="server" ID="ff2" ControlMode="Edit" FieldName="Workflow1Task1_Test2" />
41:                                         <SharePoint:FieldDescription runat="server" ID="ff2description" FieldName="Workflow1Task1_Test2"
42:                                             ControlMode="Edit" />
43:                                     </td>
44:                                 </tr>
45:                                 <tr>
46:                                     <td width="25%" class="ms-formlabel">
47:                                         <b>Test3:</b>
48:                                     </td>
49:                                     <td width="75%" class="ms-formbody">
50:                                         <SharePoint:FormField runat="server" ID="ff3" ControlMode="Edit" FieldName="Workflow1Task1_Test3" />
51:                                         <SharePoint:FieldDescription runat="server" ID="ff3description" FieldName="Workflow1Task1_Test3"
52:                                             ControlMode="Edit" />
53:                                     </td>
54:                                 </tr>
55:                             </table>
56:                         </td>
57:                     </tr>
58:                 </table>
59:                 <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="4" border="0" width="100%">
60:                     <tr>
61:                         <td nowrap="nowrap" class="ms-vb">
62:                             <asp:Button Text="Save As Draft" runat="server" ID="btnSaveAsDraft" />
63:                         </td>
64:                         <td>
65:                             <asp:Button Text="Complete Task" runat="server" ID="btnComplete" />
66:                         </td>
67:                         <td nowrap="nowrap" class="ms-vb" width="99%">
68:                             <asp:Button Text="Cancel" runat="server" ID="btnCancel" />
69:                         </td>
70:                     </tr>
71:                 </table>
72:             </td>
73:             <td width="1%" class="ms-vb" valign="top">&nbsp;</td>
74:         </tr>
75:     </table>

Now we add some ASP.NET code into the “PlaceHolderPageTitle” content placeholder.

1:     <SharePoint:ListFormPageTitle runat="server" />

Furthermore we add this lines of code into the “PlaceHolderPageTitleInTitleArea” content placeholder.

1:     <span class="die">
2:         <SharePoint:ListProperty Property="LinkTitle" runat="server" ID="ID_LinkTitle" />
3:         : </span>
4:     <SharePoint:ListItemProperty ID="ID_ItemProperty" MaxLength="40" runat="server" />

At least we add the following code into the “PlaceHolderAdditionalPageHead” content placeholder.

1:     <SharePoint:UIVersionedContent UIVersion="4" runat="server">
2:         <contenttemplate>
3:             <SharePoint:CssRegistration Name="forms.css" runat="server"/>
4:         </contenttemplate>
5:     </SharePoint:UIVersionedContent>

You can see the input fields for the three fields of Task 1. Furthermore you see three buttons. For them we now create some “code behind”.

1: using System;
2: using Microsoft.SharePoint;
3: using Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls;
4: using Microsoft.SharePoint.Utilities; 
6: namespace ik.SharePoint2010.Workflow
7: {
8:     public partial class Task1Form : WebPartPage
9:     {
10:         protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
11:         {
12:             btnSaveAsDraft.Click += new EventHandler (btnSaveAsDraft_Click);
13:             btnComplete.Click += new EventHandler (btnComplete_Click);
14:             btnCancel.Click += new EventHandler (btnCancel_Click);
15:         }
17:         void btnCancel_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
18:         {
19:             CloseForm();
20:         }
22:         private void CloseForm()
23:         {
24:             if ( ( SPContext.Current != null ) && SPContext.Current.IsPopUI )
25:             {
26:                 this.Context.Response.Write("<script>window.frameElement.commitPopup();</script>" );
27:                 this.Context.Response.Flush();
28:                 this.Context.Response.End();
29:             }
30:             else
31:             {
32:                 string str = this.Page.Request.QueryString["Source"];
33:                 if ( ( str != null ) && ( str.Length > 0 ) )
34:                 {
35:                     SPUtility.Redirect(string.Empty, SPRedirectFlags.UseSource, this.Context);
36:                 }
37:             }
38:         }
40:         void btnComplete_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
41:         {
42:             SPList l = SPContext.Current.List;
43:             SPListItem li = SPContext.Current.ListItem;
44:             li[SPBuiltInFieldId.TaskStatus] = "Tasks_Completed";
45:             li[SPBuiltInFieldId.PercentComplete] = 1;
47:             SaveButton.SaveItem(SPContext.Current, false, "" );
49:             CloseForm();
50:         }
52:         void btnSaveAsDraft_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
53:         {
54:             SaveButton.SaveItem(SPContext.Current, false, "" );
56:             CloseForm();
57:         }
58:     }
59: }

We need to modify the “Elements.xml” file of the module named “Workflow 1 Forms”.

1: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
2: <Elements xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/">
3:  <Module Name="Workflow 1 Forms" Url="Workflow1Forms" RootWebOnly="FALSE">
4:  <File Path="Workflow 1 FormsTask1Form.aspx" Url="Task1Form.aspx" />
5:  </Module>
6: </Elements> 

This specifies there to store the “Task1Form.aspx” file in the site structure.

9. In the next step we create the task list that will contain our workflow tasks.

First create a “List Definition” project item named “Workflow 1 Tasks”.


Use “Workflow 1 Tasks” as name of the list definition and “Tasks” as base type. Check “Add a list instance…”.


10. Now open “Elements.xml” of the new list definition project item.


We need to change the identifier of the list type we create! – It must be “107”. This is the list template ID for workflow tasks lists in SharePoint. The workflow designer will search for a list with this type inside the site where a new workflow will be created.

Here is the content of “Elements.xml” after our modification:

1: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
2: <Elements xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/">
3:  <ListTemplate
4:  Name="Workflow 1 Tasks"
5:  Type="107"
6:  BaseType="0"
7:  OnQuickLaunch="TRUE"
8:  SecurityBits="11"
9:  Sequence="360"
10:  DisplayName="Workflow 1 Tasks"
11:  Description="Tasks of Workflow 1"
12:  Image="/_layouts/images/itgen.png"/>
13: </Elements>  

11. Now we modify the “Elements.xml” file of the list instance that will be created during deployment:


Here we also need to modify the type identifier to “107”. Furthermore we change the list url: “Lists/Workflow1Tasks”.

Here is the complete content of “Elements.xml”:

1: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
2: <Elements xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/">
3:  <ListInstance Title="Workflow 1 Tasks"
4:  OnQuickLaunch="TRUE"
5:  TemplateType="107"
6:  Url="Lists/Workflow1Tasks"
7:  Description="Tasks of Workflow 1">
8:  </ListInstance>
9: </Elements> 

In a “real world” scenario we would prevent the list from being listed on the Quick Launch bar. So the corresponding parameter must be set to “FALSE”.

12. Now we need to modify the “Schema.xml” file of the list definition.


First we set the list type to “107” and configure some other attributes:

1: <List xmlns:ows="Microsoft SharePoint" Title="Workflow 1 Tasks"
2:  FolderCreation="FALSE" Direction="$Resources:Direction;"
3:  EnableContentTypes="TRUE" VersioningEnabled="TRUE"
4:  Url="Lists/Workflow1Tasks"
5:  Type="107" BaseType="0"
6:  xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/">
7: […]

Now remove the the content types defined in the “ContentTypes” tag in the “schema.xml” file.


Insert this content type definition into the “ContentTypes” tag:

1:  <ContentType ID="0x01080100FFbc98c2529347a5886b8d2576b954ef"
2:  Name="Workflow 1 Tasks 1"
3:  Group="Workflow 1 Tasks"
4:  Description="Content Type of Tasks 1 of Workflow 1">
5:  <FieldRefs>
6:  <FieldRef ID="{2FE15855-3CAB-44A6-AB29-1600204FCA20}" Name="Workflow1Task1_Test1" DisplayName="Test1" Required="FALSE" Hidden="FALSE" ReadOnly="FALSE" PITarget="" PrimaryPITarget="" PIAttribute="" PrimaryPIAttribute="" Aggregation="" Node="" />
7:  <FieldRef ID="{517B22A5-1B89-4C24-82BE-3D4FD99645BC}" Name="Workflow1Task1_Test2" DisplayName="Test2" Required="FALSE" Hidden="FALSE" ReadOnly="FALSE" PITarget="" PrimaryPITarget="" PIAttribute="" PrimaryPIAttribute="" Aggregation="" Node="" />
8:  <FieldRef ID="{3ECFF1FE-F56B-4556-8805-4570D9422FF4}" Name="Workflow1Task1_Test3" DisplayName="Test3" Required="FALSE" Hidden="FALSE" ReadOnly="FALSE" PITarget="" PrimaryPITarget="" PIAttribute="" PrimaryPIAttribute="" Aggregation="" Node="" />
10:  <FieldRef ID="{c042a256-787d-4a6f-8a8a-cf6ab767f12d}" Name="ContentType" />
11:  <FieldRef ID="{fa564e0f-0c70-4ab9-b863-0177e6ddd247}" Name="Title" Required="TRUE" ShowInNewForm="TRUE" ShowInEditForm="TRUE" />
12:  <FieldRef ID="{c3a92d97-2b77-4a25-9698-3ab54874bc6f}" Name="Predecessors" />
13:  <FieldRef ID="{a8eb573e-9e11-481a-a8c9-1104a54b2fbd}" Name="Priority" />
14:  <FieldRef ID="{c15b34c3-ce7d-490a-b133-3f4de8801b76}" Name="Status" />
15:  <FieldRef ID="{d2311440-1ed6-46ea-b46d-daa643dc3886}" Name="PercentComplete" />
16:  <FieldRef ID="{53101f38-dd2e-458c-b245-0c236cc13d1a}" Name="AssignedTo" />
17:  <FieldRef ID="{7662cd2c-f069-4dba-9e35-082cf976e170}" Name="Body" />
18:  <FieldRef ID="{64cd368d-2f95-4bfc-a1f9-8d4324ecb007}" Name="StartDate" />
19:  <FieldRef ID="{cd21b4c2-6841-4f9e-a23a-738a65f99889}" Name="DueDate" />
20:  <FieldRef ID="{58ddda52-c2a3-4650-9178-3bbc1f6e36da}" Name="WorkflowLink" />
21:  <FieldRef ID="{16b6952f-3ce6-45e0-8f4e-42dac6e12441}" Name="OffsiteParticipant" />
22:  <FieldRef ID="{4a799ba5-f449-4796-b43e-aa5186c3c414}" Name="OffsiteParticipantReason" />
23:  <FieldRef ID="{18e1c6fa-ae37-4102-890a-cfb0974ef494}" Name="WorkflowOutcome" />
24:  <FieldRef ID="{e506d6ca-c2da-4164-b858-306f1c41c9ec}" Name="WorkflowName" />
25:  <FieldRef ID="{ae069f25-3ac2-4256-b9c3-15dbc15da0e0}" Name="GUID" />
26:  <FieldRef ID="{8d96aa48-9dff-46cf-8538-84c747ffa877}" Name="TaskType" />
27:  <FieldRef ID="{17ca3a22-fdfe-46eb-99b5-9646baed3f16}" Name="FormURN" />
28:  <FieldRef ID="{78eae64a-f5f2-49af-b416-3247b76f46a1}" Name="FormData" />
29:  <FieldRef ID="{8cbb9252-1035-4156-9c35-f54e9056c65a}" Name="EmailBody" />
30:  <FieldRef ID="{47f68c3b-8930-406f-bde2-4a8c669ee87c}" Name="HasCustomEmailBody" />
31:  <FieldRef ID="{cb2413f2-7de9-4afc-8587-1ca3f563f624}" Name="SendEmailNotification" />
32:  <FieldRef ID="{4d2444c2-0e97-476c-a2a3-e9e4a9c73009}" Name="PendingModTime" />
33:  <FieldRef ID="{35363960-d998-4aad-b7e8-058dfe2c669e}" Name="Completed" />
34:  <FieldRef ID="{1bfee788-69b7-4765-b109-d4d9c31d1ac1}" Name="WorkflowListId" />
35:  <FieldRef ID="{8e234c69-02b0-42d9-8046-d5f49bf0174f}" Name="WorkflowItemId" />
36:  <FieldRef ID="{1c5518e2-1e99-49fe-bfc6-1a8de3ba16e2}" Name="ExtendedProperties" />
37:  </FieldRefs>
38:  <XmlDocuments>
39:  <XmlDocument NamespaceURI="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/v3/contenttype/forms">
40:  <FormTemplates xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/v3/contenttype/forms">
41:  <Display>ListForm</Display>
42:  <Edit>ListForm</Edit>
43:  <New>ListForm</New>
44:  </FormTemplates>
45:  </XmlDocument>
46:  <XmlDocument NamespaceURI="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/v3/contenttype/forms/url">
47:  <FormUrls xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/v3/contenttype/forms/url">
48:  <Edit>Workflow1Forms/Task1Form.aspx</Edit>
49:  </FormUrls>
50:  </XmlDocument>
51:  </XmlDocuments>
52:  </ContentType>

You see the “FormUrls” tag? Inside this tag we specify our custom form template we created before.

The new content type is derived from the “Workflow Task” content type 0x010801. – In the “FieldRefs” section we add our fields we need inside the workflow.

13. Now we need to add the field definitions of our custom fields to the “Schema.xml”. Copy them from the “Elements.xml”  file of project item “Workflow 1 Fields” into the “Fields” tag of “Schema.xml”:


Furthermore you need to add a field definition for the field “Completed”:

1:  <Field ID="{35363960-D998-4aad-B7E8-058DFE2C669E}" Name="Completed"
2:  SourceID="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/v3"
3:  StaticName="Completed" Group="Base Columns" Type="Boolean"
4:  DisplayName="Completed" Hidden="TRUE" Sealed="TRUE"
5:  Overwrite="TRUE" xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/">
6:  <Default>FALSE</Default>
7:  </Field> 

14. Now deploy the project.

While deployment you may get this dialog:


Check “Do not prompt…”. Press “Resolve Automatically”  – it’s your only option Smile.

15. Have a look into the site using the browser. – We will test our “Edit” form. Remember that we did not specify special “New” form or “Display” form. This you could do the same way as you created the “Edit” form.

We see our lists in the Quick Launch.


Open the “Workflow 1 Tasks” list. On the Ribbon open the “Items” tab. We see our Content Type in the New Item submenu:


Create an item of this type. You see a standard “New” form and on it you see our three “Test” fields:


Enter some data and press  “Save”.


Open the item  in “Edit” form. Now you should see our custom list form.


If you click “Save As Draft” your changes will be stored in the task item. If you click “Complete Task” two item fields will be changed in addition to the changes made in the form: It sets “Status” to “Tasks_Completed” and “% Complete” to “100”. You can see this in the Code Behind file of the list form.

Test all buttons.

After “Complete Task”:


You see: “% Complete” is set to “100 %”.

So far our projects works as expected.

See Part 2 for the next steps… There I will show you how to create a simple Sequential Workflow that uses our Task Form.

Here is part 2: https://blog.kenaro.com/2011/03/30/walkthrough-creating-a-simple-sequential-workflow-with-a-custom-task-form-in-sharepoint-2010-using-visual-studio-2010-part-2-of-2/

63 thoughts on “Walkthrough: Creating a simple Sequential Workflow with a custom Task Form in SharePoint 2010 using Visual Studio 2010 (Part 1 of 2)

    1. Hi Ingo,
      Manage to follow this walktrough, and it gave me error when I tried to save the task. I am using SharePoint 2010 Enterprise.

      “Invalid Yes/No value
      A Yes/No field contains invalid data. It should be either 1 or 0. Please check the value and try again”

      After I google a bit, it turns out the error was caused by

      <Default> FALSE </Default>

      I change it to ‘0’ and the error is gone.

      Now when I edit the task, it gave me

      Parser Error Message: The attribute ‘autoeventwireup’ is not allowed in this page.

      And it also happen to the sample for this article that you’ve share on codeplex, have any idea why?

      1. Hi Eru,

        this is strange! – Of course I’ve tested the solution before I deployed them to Codeplex. For me everything works fine. Did you remove the attribute from the Task1Form.aspx files “Page” tag?


        1. Yeah my bad, I forgot to change the aspx 🙂 It’s working now. Thanks.

          I have other question though, How do you send value from Workflow to the form? (I’ve tried ExtendedProperties but I don’t know how to access it inside the form. Do I have to modify the Task Custom Fields directly?

          And I agree with what Clem said “The only one of it’s kind on the internet and has been particularly helpful”

          1. Just found out how, I don’t realize that we have to use Field Guid to populate the custom-fields using CreateTask ExtendedProperties.

            So basically to pass value to the custom task we have to use Field Guid on the ExtendedProperties.

            taskprop.ExtendedProperties[workflowProperties.TaskList.Fields["CustomField"].Id] = "Value"

            BTW, Thx Ingo 🙂

    2. Removing the space before False fixes the problem as well. Should be “FALSE” and not ” FALSE”

      1. Hi Clem!

        Was it a mistake in my posts or a mistake by yourself 😉 In the first case I’d like to correct the posts. Please write me where to find the mistake. Thanks! – (In the second case: Congratulations for fixing it. It took me hours and hours in the past to solve such problems…)


          1. Hi Clem,

            thanks for the information! – I see there are some mistakes like this: Too much spaces. I encountered this error in a post and figured out that the Visual Studio 2010 Extension that I used for Copy’n’Paste was buggy: Spaces in XML node content and attributes, incorrect closing tags in HTML… I’ve solved the bug in the extension (“code4blog v1.4“) but I forgot to fix this post. I’m sorry.

            I’ll do this ASAP.

            Kind regards

          2. No problem at all. This is an awesome blog. The only one of it’s kind on the internet and has been particularly helpful.

  1. Any good way to trouble shoot getting a 404 error when you try to edit the task item?
    Obviously a path mismatch somewhere but everything looks the same every place I look.
    I used something like this in my forms Elements.xml

    1. hi railgun!

      I think it’s an incorrect setting in the modules elements.xml file. after you deployed the project have a look into sharepoint designer and go into “all files”. you should see the module you deployed in the VS project. I think you have deployed URLs at two points: in the module and in the file definition. in the sharepoint designer you should see that you have “too much” URL parts.


    2. OK. Now I get this error when I try to build my own forms and edit a Task Item. The project download works fine

      The file /LeaveRequestWorkflowForms/masterurl/default.master does not exist.

  2. I have implemented your tutorial 1. Strangely, when I want to edit my task, the custom fields do not display their values. When I display the form before clicking Edit button, the values are there. Something wrong?

    1. Hi!

      Can you verify that you use the same form on A) select list item -> edit list item or B) select list item -> display list item -> edit list item ??! If it’s the same I’ve no idea! – You could send me the source code, if you like.

      Please keep me up to date on this!

      kind regards

      1. I have found the problem. The field names in Workflow Field’s Elements.xml do not correspond the names in Schema.xml

  3. Was able to get the task edit form up and save changes. However when clicking the “Complete” button on the edit form, it says the task is locked by a running workflow and cannot be edited.
    Any ideas?

    1. I received this error because I changed the status to “Completed” which is one of the valid values for the status column. By using the value you have “TASKS_COMPLETED”, it works. Unfortunately this is NOT a valid value. Microsoft should probably be notified of this bug!

  4. Can you explain how this solution would change to deploy to a subsite instead of a collection level site?

  5. What is the field “Completed” used for? Since it is not populated in the code, it just receives a “FALSE” setting and will never be changed. Can this field just be left out? The status is set to “Complete” for the task.

    1. I think I answered this one. When we built the content type, we inherited from Task and changed the base type to 107. This is because workflow task is a hidden content type. To adapt this new content type to a workflow task content type, this field needs to be included. It’s an internal field that is required but not used for our purposes.

      I am curious why TASKS_COMPLETED is the value set for status since this is not a valid value in the list of choices for the status field?

      1. In fact, if you set the value to “Completed” which IS one of the valid values, it blows up. This is really confusing. Not sure how you figured this value out since it is not valid! My task list now shows a value that is not in the list of choices. Nice!

  6. I’m not really sure how the task status works. When setting the value in the code behind, it’s set to “TASKS_COMPLETE” which populates the actual value on the take with “TASKS_COMPLETE”. I think the objective is to use the RESOURCE:CORE TASKS_COMPLETE variable which has a value of “COMPLETE”. Ideally, the value of the status column would be “COMPLETE” and not “TASKS_COMPLETE” since this is not valid. Any ideas on how to reference the $resources:core TASKS_COMPLETE variable value?

  7. I am getting a “page not found” error. I have checked the path in my element.xml in my module and everything seems to be ok.
    Any Idea how I can troubleshoot this?


    1. Please check the 14-hive in the file system and search the page in the site structure with SharePoint Designer 2010. – Can you find the page? Can you access them by specifying the page url in the browser directly?

  8. Great tutorial! Thanks.
    Please fix ” FALSE” to “FALSE”.
    And in step 8 codebehind has parasite ‘ symbol in line this.Context.Response.Write(“window.frameElement.commitPopup();” );

    1. Please check your “Module” project item. (Step 8). There must be a wrong definition for that. You should check the 14-hive in the file system whether the form is there. Also check the file with SharePoint Designer 2010!

      1. I have checked all that and everything looks OK.
        I was able to solve this issue, removing the MasterPage atrribute from the page tag. But doing so, causes the lossing of all the css and all the content templates

  9. I am getting error while opening the edit form:

    The file /sites/workflow/Workflow1Forms/masterurl/default.master does not exist.

    Here is my Page directive:

    Any ideas?

    1. Hi! – I can’t see the Page tag in your comment… – Please check it againt the source code I’ve published. I think the MasterPageFile attribute is wrong. Do you have a “~” before “masterurl/default.master” = “~masterurl/default.master”?

  10. Thanks for The Detailed Information.

    Just a Question , Why can’t we design form in SPD and create User Controls for Buttons ?
    I think that would be easier and saves lot of time.
    – Keyur

  11. Thanks for your really helpful posts Ingo

    Like several of your readers, I also had the problem with the 404 error “The file /sites/workflow/Workflow1Forms/masterurl/default.master does not exist.”. I spent quite a bit of time checking the code before giving up. Eventually I took one of your readers’ tips to override the OnPreInit method to the Task1Form class, which resolved the problem very simply:
    protected override void OnPreInit(EventArgs e)
    this.MasterPageFile = SPContext.Current.Web.MasterUrl;

    Also, as I think Clem remarked, I received the error “This task is currently locked by a running workflow and cannot be edited”. This happened when I had saved the task as a “draft” before marking it as “complete”. There are various posts about this problem (for example http://blogs.technet.com/b/meamcs/archive/2011/03/26/workflow-error-this-task-is-currently-locked-by-a-running-workflow-and-cannot-be-edited.aspx) from which it seemed that the easy fix was to add a line to the btnComplete_Click method:
    void btnComplete_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
    SPList l = SPContext.Current.List;
    SPListItem li = SPContext.Current.ListItem;
    //Next line is a kludge to prevent ‘This task is currently locked by a running workflow and cannot be edited’ error
    li[SPBuiltInFieldId.WorkflowVersion] = 1;
    Which solved the problem

    Now onto Part 2…

    1. Hi
      For the error, “This task is currently locked by a running workflow and cannot be edited”, you might not be able to use it in part 2 because OnTaskChanged activities NOT to be triggere.

  12. Hi,
    I got this error, “Task is currently locked by a running workflow and cannot be edited”, when I tried to edit the task form the 2nd time. The 1st time I press the save as draft button, it works. The 2nd time i clicked on it, this error comes up.
    Do you have any idea? Thanks.

  13. Hi ikarstein,
    nice article, i hav jst implemented this..
    but i get an Error like : ” is not a valid identifier.
    i had followed as u mention in ur project. i’l check twice the code..
    But im unable to fix..

  14. Great post. Helped me a lot!

    For people that create a Site Content Type instead of a List Content Type: Make sure you have not set Inherits=”TRUE” in the ContentType definition. Otherwise, the FormUrls Element will not be used and you will still get the default form when editing the Task.

  15. HI ikarstein

    Thanks for this post

    I have three level of Approvers


    Your document works fine for first level(Users),When I completed the first level automatically workflow completed

    I need to go second level,Can you please help me


  16. Hi ikarstein,

    Thanks for good article, however, when I grant permission for a user with contribute permission on this task item, this user has limited access permission on this site, then this user just be view this task item and cannot edit this task item, when user edit this task item then a error message “Error: Access Denied” will be displayed.

    Could you give me some solutions to solve it.

    Phu Dang.

  17. It would have been nice if there was the option to copy and paste code elements without having the line numbers.

  18. I should have said this earlier: Thank you for taking the time to bring this to us. It is greatly appreciative.

  19. Hi!
    Through this posting you sum up a bunch of of the more significant
    ideas… Simple to read and inclusive of very helpful know-how!

    Thanks for sharing Walkthrough: Creating a simple Sequential Workflow with a custom Task Form in SharePoint 2010 using Visual Studio 2010 (Part 1 of 2) « Ingo Karstein’s Blog!

  20. i want to have taskform with approve,reject,cancel,reassign in aspx page with workflow how is this possible.i need solution for this immediately

  21. Alas!

    The 404 is a problem from the Elements.xml of the Form Module.
    Path="Workflow 1 Forms/Task1Form.aspx" Url="Workflow 1 FormsTask1Form.aspx"

    I must say you have one of the most useful sharepoint 2010 blogs on the internet 🙂

  22. Closing task is much better this way:
    SPList l = SPContext.Current.List;
    SPListItem li = SPContext.Current.ListItem;
    li[SPBuiltInFieldId.Completed] = “TRUE”;
    li[SPBuiltInFieldId.TaskStatus] = SPResource.GetString(new CultureInfo((int)li.Web.Language, false), “WorkflowTaskStatusComplete”, new object[0]);
    li[SPBuiltInFieldId.PercentComplete] = 1;
    SaveButton.SaveItem(SPContext.Current, false,””);

  23. Hi,

    Is someone can help me with an issue with buttons. I can’t deploy my project because I got three errors that telling me:
    Error 1 The name ‘btnSaveAsDraft’ does not exist in the current context
    Error 2 The name ‘btnComplete’ does not exist in the current context
    Error 3 The name ‘btnCancel’ does not exist in the current context

    Thank you

  24. Hi Profi!
    how did u get that FIELD ID values in step 6 for task fields:
    <Field ID="{2FE15855-3CAB-44A6-AB29-1600204FCA20}" Name="Workflow1Task1_Test1"

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