Walkthrough/Solution for Workflow Error in SharePoint 2010 State Machine Workflow: Event “OnWorkflowActivated” on interface type “Microsoft.SharePoint.Workflow.ISharePointService” for instance id “” cannot be delivered.

Today I got the following error and did not find a clear description and solution for it:


Error message: “Event “OnWorkflowActivated” on interface type “Microsoft.SharePoint.Workflow.ISharePointService” for instance id “<guid>” cannot be delivered.”


The Solution: …in my case was a missing “EventDriven” activity.

My “Initialization” state looks like this:


I’ve added a “StateInitialization” Workflow Activity and added some code to it. But this is a SharePoint Workflow and it needs at least an “OnWorkflowActivated” event driven activity.

Let’s walk through the solution:

1. Drag a “EventDriven” activity to the “Init” state. Its name may defer in your project.


2. Name the EventDriven activity “onWorkflowActivatedHandler”. (You can use an other name too!)

3. Double click the EventDriven activity.

4. Drag a “OnWorkflowActivated” activity from the Toolbox pane into the “onWorkflowActivatedHandler” activity:


5. Add a correlation token to “onWorkflowActivated1”!!

6. Add a binding for “WorkflowProperties” !!!


7. That’s it. Now you can add activities behind “handleExternalEventActivity1”… As you like.

Walkthrough: Add List Event Receiver dynamically at runtime in SharePoint 2010

This time a tiny neat walkthrough of how to add an Event Receiver at runtime in SharePoint 2010.

Let’s say you have a SharePoint site that your colleagues already use. In this site you have an existing list. Now you want to add some automation to this existing list. – You cannot deploy the list as List Definition w/ List Instance again in a VS 2010 SharePoint project, because the list exists and the data must not be touched.

One solution is to add an List Event Receiver that is contained in a VS2010 solution package.

1. You create a Empty SharePoint 2010 project in Visual Studio 2010.

2. Now you add an “Event Receiver” project item


3. Now you add the events you want to handle. Select “List Item Events” and “Custom List”.


4. Implement some functionality in the newly created Event Receiver class.

5. Now create or open an Feature Event Receiver for the SharePoint feature that will configure the event receiver. – You have to create a new feature or use an existing feature… If you create a new feature event receiver you have to uncomment the methods “FeatureActivated” and “FeatureDeactivating”.

6. Add this code to the “FeatureActivated” method:

try {
    SPWeb web = (SPWeb)properties.Feature.Parent;
    SPList l = web.Lists["My SharePoint List"];
    if( l != null )
        bool found = false;
        foreach( SPEventReceiverDefinition er in l.EventReceivers )
             if( er.Class == "Full.Namespace.Qualified.Class.Name.Of.Your.Event.Receiver.Class")   {
                 found = true;

        if( !found )
            SPEventReceiverDefinition newERD = l.EventReceivers.Add();

//the next line is only valid if the event receiver class is in the same assembly as the feature event receiver!!!

            newERD.Assembly = System.Reflection.Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().FullName;
            newERD.Class = "Full.Namespace.Qualified.Class.Name.Of.Your.Event.Receiver.Class";
            newERD.SequenceNumber = 1000;

//you may add more “received” events in the following line.

            newERD.Type = SPEventReceiverType.ItemUpdated | SPEventReceiverType.ItemAdded;
            newERD.HostId = l.ID;
            newERD.HostType = SPEventHostType.List;
catch {

This installs the event receiver when the feature gets activated.

7. Add this code to the “FeatureDeactivating” method:

try {
    SPWeb web = (SPWeb)properties.Feature.Parent;
    SPList l = web.Lists["My SharePoint List"];
    if( l != null )
        SPEventReceiverDefinition d = null;
        foreach( SPEventReceiverDefinition er in l.EventReceivers )
            if( er.Class == "Full.Namespace.Qualified.Class.Name.Of.Your.Event.Receiver.Class" )
                d = er;

        if( d != null )
catch {

This will remove the event receiver when the feature gets deactivated.

8. Now remove the “Elements.xml” file in the Event Receiver project item in the Solutions Explorer:


9. For me this works very well.

PS2EXE: Tool for “converting” PowerShell scripts to “standalone” EXE files

In the last days I created the tool “PS2EXE”. It is able to “convert” PowerShell scripts to “standalone” EXE files.

Project site here: http://ps2exe.codeplex.com – It’s ALPHA in the current version

Version Update from to at 2011-08-22.

But: It does not convert the PowerShell script to an other language! It encapsulates the script with a lightweight PowerShell host written in C# and compiles the dynamically generated C# source code in memory to an EXE file. The resulting EXE is an .NET assembly that contains the source script encoded in Base64. The EXE includes all stuff that is needed to execute an PowerShell through the .NET object model. It is based on classes in the namespace System.Management.Automation that reperents the PowerShell engine. – Therefore the EXE file is not a real “standalone” EXE file. It needs PowerShell to be installed!!! And – of course – it needs .NET Framework v2.0. Furthermore “script execution” have to be allowed (see cmdlet: set-execultionpolicy). – The resulting EXE is “MSIL” and is able to execute as x64 or x86.

The tool “PS2EXE” itself is a PowerShell script! – It does the in-memory compilation and generates the EXE file. It uses the CSharpCodeProvider class of namespace Microsoft.CSharp.

The script is really simple. I contains a multiline string that represents the PowerShell host I’ve written. This is much more interesting than the PS2EXE.ps1 script itself. – Have a look into it!


Call  the script with this parameters:

-inputFile PowerShell script file
-outputFile file name (with path) for the destination EXE file
-debug (switch) generate debug info in the destination EXE file. The dynamically generated .CS file will stored beside the output EXE file. Furthermore a .PDB file will be generated for the EXE file
-verbose (switch) shows also verbose informations – if any.



This creates “test.exe” out of the PowerShell source file “test.ps1”

Limitations: It’s not easy to create a fully functional PowerShell host such as “Console host” (powershell.exe) or “ISE” (powershell_ise.exe). So there may be functionality that does not work properly.


The generated EXE can also be calls using command line options. There are 4 options that are used by the PowerShell host:

-debug Forces the EXE to be debugged. It calls “System.Diagnostics.Debugger.Break()”.
-extract:”Filename” Extracts the PowerShell script inside the EXE and saves it as “Filename”. The script will not be executed.
-wait At the end of the script execution it writes “Press a key…” and waits for a key to be pressed.
-end All following options will be passed to the script inside the EXE. All preceding options are used by the EXE and will not be passed to the script.


I create a script file containing this line of code:

$args | Write-Host


I save it as “c:test2.ps1” and convert it as EXE by using PS2EXE:


Sample 1.: “-wait” forces the “Hit any key…” message. All options following “-end” will be passed to the script.

Sample 2., 3. : The script will not get options preceding to “-end”.

Sample 4: “-wait” follows to “-end” and so it’s passed to the script. No message “Hit any key…”.

So. That’s it for the moment. Please feel free to modify the script and let me know.

Possible tasks:

  • Sign the script inside the EXE with code signature
  • Sign the EXE with code signature
  • Compress the script inside the EXE
  • Improve the PSHost implementation inside the EXE.

Have fun!

RoboPowerCopy – A PowerShell based RoboCopy clone

UPDATE 2021-07-23: Because of the Codeplex shutdown I have archived the project here: https://github.com/ikarstein/robopowercopy

Today I want to announce my latest development project.

RoboPowerCopy (v0.1.0.0)

It’s a PowerShell 2.0 based clone of Microsoft’s famous RoboCopy tool.

Get it on Codeplex: http://robopowercopy.codeplex.com

RoboCopy tool is part of my daily work. At work and at home. – You all now it! I hope so Zwinkerndes Smiley

I spend the spare time of some weeks for this project and now it’s ready to be published as ALPHA version (v0.1.0.0). The development is still in progress!! – Hopefully there is somebody out there that will use it – beside me.

I’ve done this using the (also) famous PowerGUI (Community Edition) by Quest.

“But way” you may ask.

RoboCopy is an EXE file and it has closed source. We (the customers) are not able to change it’s behavior. E.g. I’m missing a “verify” feature for years. Some people say: “It’s a copy tool not a backup tool”. Okay. That’s right. But I want to be sure that the copied data is valid and identical to the source data.

Because of that I thought about the possibility to realize a RoboCopy clone with PowerShell. – So I did it now.

RoboPowerCopy is plain PowerShell. No assemblies or PowerShell extensions are needed. – It uses some inline C# code.

RoboPowerCopy should “understand” at least the commands (options) of RoboCopy. – Currently I’ve implemented a lot of RoboCopy’s abilities. Not all. But some new features on top, e.g. verify and “read-and-check-before-copy”. “Verify” uses .NET hashing algorithms to compare the written data to the source data. If the destination file already exists the “Read-and-check-before-copy” feature reads every portion of data from the destination file before it replaces the data portion on the destination file with the source file’s data. This should reduce the time that is needed to copy large files that have only a few binary changes.

As you may now .NET has no build in capabilities to handle with very long paths with more than 256 characters. I have developed a set of helper classes in C# that enable RoboPowerCopy to deal with very long paths. – This C# is included in the script an will be compiled at runtime into an assembly in memory.

Here are the abilities:

  • Long path support (!!)
  • Restartable mode using a temporary “copy header” at the end of the copied file.
  • Copy security: SACL, DACL, Owner
  • Copy file attributes and timestamps
  • Same option set as RoboCopy (not completely implemented)
  • Can be extended because it’s open source
  • Customizable
  • Pure PowerShell with some inline C# code
  • Compare file times as UTC
  • Modify it on any Windows Operation System >= Win XP / Windows 2003 Server with Microsofts PowerShell development tol Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment that is part of PowerShell.

These are the limitations:

  • No multithreading support
  • No “Job” files at the moment
  • Slower than RoboCopy (Because RoboPowerCopy is Powershell and/based on Managed Code but RoboCopy is native optimized code…)

The following options I have implemented (v0.0.1.0). There are some options that are not available in RoboCopy. These I’ve marked red.


since Version

/ACopy only files that have the Archive attribute set

/MRemoves Archive attribute of source file.

/A+:[HRAS]Add this file attributes to destination file

/A-:[HRAS]Remove this file attributes from destination file

/ECopy subfolder, including empty

/SCopy subfolders that are not empty. – “Not empty” means: at least one file is exists and is not excluded by any exclude option

/PURGERemove files on destination that does not exist on source

/MIRMirror the directory tree, like “/PURGE” combined with “/E”

/COPYALLCopy all file info: Timestamps, Attributes, Data, Owner, DACL, SACL

/COPY:[DATSOU]Copy selected file info: D=Data, A=Attributes, T=Timestamps, S=DACL, U=SACL, O=Owner

/DCOPY:[T]Copy selected directory info: T=Timestamps

/CREATEDoes only create the directory structure. Files will have zero size.

/SECCopy files with security. Like “/COPY:DATS”

/LEV:nCopy only n directory levels. 1=Copy only the given root directory.

/ISCopy even destination file seems to be the same as the source file.

/RCBWDuring overwrite this methos reads a file portion of data of the destination file and compares them with the source files portion of data before writing it. This my be useful while copying large files that have only few changes.

/VERIFYReread written data and compare them to the source data.

/SECFIXReplaces the security info of all destination files even if they are equal to the source.

/TIMFIXReplaces the timestamps of all destination files even if they are equal to the source.

/MAX:nMax file size to copy (in bytes)

/MIN:nMin file size to copy (in bytes)

/MAXAGEUsed to specify maximum file age based upon “LastWriteTime”. That will exclude files older than n days/date.
(If n < 1900 then n = no of days, else n = YYYYMMDD date).

/MINAGEUsed to specify minimum file age based upon “LastWriteTime”. That will exclude files newer than n days/date.
(If n < 1900 then n = no of days, else n = YYYYMMDD date).

/MAXLADUsed to specify maximum file age based upon “LastAccessTime”. That will exclude files unused since n days/date.
(If n < 1900 then n = no of days, else n = YYYYMMDD date).

/MINLADUsed to specify minimum file age based upon “LastAccessTime”. That will exclude files used since n days/date.
(If n < 1900 then n = no of days, else n = YYYYMMDD date).

/XD:<directory> [<directory> […]]Exclude this directories. Wildcards can be used for name matching.

/XF:<file> [<file> […]]Exclude this files. Wildcards can be used.

/XJExclude Junction Points, Symbolic Links (directories), Hard Links (files)

/XJDExclude Junction Points, Symbolic Links (directories)

/XJFExclude Hard Links (files)

/VDetailed output.

/VV[+][:<file>]Verbose output. If no file name is specified the messages will be written to the Powershell host using “write-verbose”

/CHUNK:nSize of the size of a portion of data during copy. In bytes. Default: 10mb.

/ZRestartable mode. A “copy header” will be used at the end of each file during the copy process. The header will be removed after copy is finished.

/BYTESShows file sizes in bytes

/R:nMaximum retry count if copy fails

/W:nWait duration before next retry. (In seconds)

/256Disable Long Path Support. This will use standard .NET classes (FileInfo, DirectoryInfo) instead of the special classes for file and directory names longer than 256 characters.

/NPNo progress – does not display “%”…

Using this option (except the red once) with RoboPowerCopy and RoboCopy should have the same result in both tools.

This features of RoboCopy does not work in RoboPowerCopy in v0.1.0.0:

  • Copy directory attributes
  • Set “Encrypted” attribute on destination files
  • Set “Compressed” attribute on destination files
  • …some more

Once more: It’s “ALPHA” in v0.1.0.0! – Therefore I want to ask for your help! – Please help to improve RoboPowerCopy. The project needs people how test and develop the script.

Please contact me at the projects Codeplex page if you would to spend your spare time for RoboPowerCopy.

Problem and Workaround: Organization Browser Silverlight Web Part is empty on other site than “MySite”

At first: This is a common problem. Using the "Organization Browser" Web Part on another page than on the MySite host web application results in an empty view. This means, the "Organization Browser" does not have any content. – As I said: This is a common problem.

First step to fix this is to create a “clientaccesspolicy.xml” file in the IIS directories of the SharePoint Web Applications.

See this blog post of Adam Preston:



In my current case it remains empty!!!

I used Fiddler to analyse the problem.

The Silverlight App “Organization Browser” executes a Web Service request but the response is empty. Not like an error but the Web Service does not find any data for the given account. Please see this screenshot for the request and its response:


I modified the request in Fiddler and removed the claim info “i:0#.w|” in the request. – And now it works. The Web Service does respond correct data!!!


I checked the authentication mode of both sites:

The MySite Web Application uses “Classic Authentication” and the Web Application from within I call the Organization Browser App is “Claims Based Authentication”. This results in bad request data for the Web Service. The “Claims Based” Web Application sends the user name in “claim format” but the MySite Web App cannot handle it. So I have to migrate the MySite Web App to Claims Based Authentication.

For the Migration of the MySite Web App from Classic Authentication to Claims Based Authentication I’ve written this script:

Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue


  $url = "http://personal.sharepoint.local"
  $webapp = Get-SPWebApplication $url -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue
  if( $webapp -ne $null) {
     Write-Host "Web Application: $($webapp.Url)"
     Write-Host "  Active Claim Based Authentication"
     $webapp.UseClaimsAuthentication = "TRUE"
     Write-Host "  Update Web Application"
     Write-Host "  Provisioning Web Application"
     #Claims Migration

     Write-Host "  Set Authentication Provider"
     $webapp = Get-SPWebApplication $url -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue
     Set-SPwebApplication $webapp -AuthenticationProvider (New-SPAuthenticationProvider) -Zone Default

     Write-Host "  Migrate Users to Claim Based Authentication"
     $webapp = Get-SPWebApplication $url -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue

After that I realized that the personal site collection does not have correct Site Collection Admin settings any more: There the original “Classic Mode” users are registered not the “Claim” user (login) names.

I’ve written this script to fix this:

Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue


  $url = "http://personal.sharepoint.local"

  $webapp = Get-SPWebApplication $url -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue
  if( $webapp -ne $null) {
     $sites = Get-SPSite -Limit all
     $sites | % {
         $site = $_
        if( $site.Url.StartsWith("http://personal.sharepoint.local/sites/domain_", [System.StringComparison]::InvariantCultureIgnoreCase) ){
            Write-Host "$($_.Url)" -ForegroundColor Green
            $site.RootWeb.SiteUsers | ? { $_.IsSiteAdmin } | % {
                $user = $site.RootWeb.EnsureUser("i:0#.w|" + $_.LoginName)
                $user.IsSiteAdmin = $true
        } else {
            Write-Host "$($_.Url)" -ForegroundColor Red

BUT: It does not work eighter Trauriges Smiley!!!

It seems to be a known limitation of the Organization Browser not to work at “Claims Authentication” enabled Web Applications.

BUT: I could create a wolkaround for this!!!

You need to edit the page where you want to use the “Organization Browser” in SharePoint Designer 2010 in Advanced Mode. – In my case I created a new Page Layout for my page derrived from the Page Layout “Welcome Links – Table Of Content”. In this case I modified this custom Page Layout.

This is the JavaScript code including the Content Placeholder ASP.NET tag for the code:

<asp:Content ContentPlaceHolderID="PlaceHolderUtilityContent" runat="server">
    <script type="text/javascript">
        var oldCreateHierarchyChartControl = CreateHierarchyChartControl;

        function CreateHierarchyChartControl(parentId, profileId, type) {
            var i = profileId.indexOf("|");
            if(i >=0 )
               profileId = profileId.substr(i+1,profileId.length-i-1);

                    var initParam = profileId + ',' + type;
                    var host = document.getElementById(parentId);

                    host.setAttribute('width', '100%');
                    host.setAttribute('height', '100%');

                                                top: '30',
                                                width: '100%',
                                                height: '100%',
                                                version: '2.0',
                                                isWindowless: 'true',
                                                enableHtmlAccess: 'true'
                                                onLoad: OnHierarchyChartLoaded


I’ve inserted this JavaScript code that overrides a JavaScript function created by the “Organization Browser” SharePoint Web Control. – This customized function removes the “Claim part” of the user name that is send to the Web Server by the Silverlight Application.

NOW IT WORKS!!! SmileySmileySmiley – On the Claim Authentication based Web Application the “Organization Browser” can be used!!!

Error while publishing an InfoPath 2010 form to SharePoint: “The following URL is not valid”

Today I got this error:


I tried to deploy a simple form to the SharePoint location http://sharepoint.local. – This location is a root site collection!!!

I got the error:

The following URL is not valid: “http://sharepoint.local”

I swear: It is valid!!! Smiley


The URL uses a host header name. Specifying the Central Administration URL (using the machines name) did work at the same time.

Than I activated the network adapter of the virtual machine to have Google available in the machine to research into the problem. – In this moment the problem was gone! – I turned off the network adapter and the problem was back. – OK. That’s it. – Deactivating the “System Event Notification Service” (net stop sens at command line) solved the problem. But you should restart the service as soon as possible!