Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Unable to properly communicate with the workflow service

SharePoint 2013

It has been a long time since my last blog post. I have been busy. :-) Well I am back again and thought I would share my latest discovery on the SharePoint 2013 planet.

User clicks on List Item - Workflow, and receives error:

Unable to properly communicate with the workflow service.

The server which hosts the Workflow Manager doesn't reveal any errors in the Event Log, ULS Logs or the IIS Logs, but on other WFE servers the error pop's up in the ULS log:

UserAgent not available, file operations may not be optimized.
    at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPFileStreamManager.CreateCobaltStreamContainer(SPFileStreamStore spfs, ILockBytes ilb, Boolean copyOnFirstWrite, Boolean disposeIlb) ......

Failed to retrieve the workflow instance because the connection timed out with exception: System.TimeoutException: The HTTP request has timed out after 20000 milliseconds. ---> System.Net.WebException: The request was aborted: The request was canceled. 
    at System.Net.HttpWebRequest.EndGetResponse(IAsyncResult asyncResult)  ......

You would not say it has something to do with the BlobCache, well I didn't. Anyway, to resolve:


Open Powershell and run the following commands:

Add-PSSnapin microsoft.sharepoint.powershell -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue 

$webApp = Get-SPWebApplication "


*AND* remember to do an IISRESET on all your servers.

Thanks to David:

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