I needed to make some modifications to one of my sites with custom SharePoint designer workflows. I open SharePoint Designer, click Workflows, click my workflow and I get Message box that
Unable to load workflow actions from the server
Investigation of the error – steps:
- Turn on Failed Request Tracing on IIS – this did not show any more specific error, only 500 Internal Server Error on SharePoint web service call
- Checking ULS, nothing logged there
- Created empty site collection with Publishing feature and workflow – workflows open correctly
- Same site restored to another server – workflows open correctly
- I do not have any custom developed Workflow actions!
- I compared farm solution on one server and another server. I see some differences in solutions. I think, can have something to do with installed solutions. There is one suspicious looking solution there that we once tried to use to move site with workflows and forms from one farm to another (by saving site as WSP package). It is installed globally. I know we abandoned idea as it fad site backup/restore instead. I retract this solution. I go back to designer and find workflow working.
Checking custom solutions is another checkpoint in investigation of this nasty error. I have read tones of msdn threads on this one, and causes can be different, but Designer will always give you same error message. My solution was generated from saving site as template (WSP package). It was site with custom workflows and some infopath forms deployed to this site as content type.