SharePoint Sharpener

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Developing Workflows Not Possible on 64-Bit SharePoint

with 7 comments

As most companies are moving to the 64-bit platform of Windows Server and MOSS, more SharePoint developers are adopting this as their main dev environment.

However, if you plan to develop SharePoint workflows in Visual Studio 2008 on your new 64-bit box, you’re going to be disappointed.

Upon creating a new workflow in VS, an “Object reference not set to an instance of an object”-error pops up:


Object reference not set to an instance of an object


You can still get to the next step in the process where you have to chose the site which will be used to debug the workflow. Here too, you will be faced with an error:


SharePoint site location entered is not valid. The SharePoint site at --- could not be found. Verify that you have typed the URL correctly. If the URL should be serving content, the system administrator may need to add a new request URL mapping to the intended location


The solution

Well, there isn’t any. Not right now anyway.

The only thing you can do is to continue developing in your old 32-bit environment and then move your WSP to the 64-bit box for installation.

All this is not a bug per se, rather, it’s down to Microsoft’s lack of resources in their dev team:



Written by Thomas Sondergaard

January 12, 2009 at 10:17 pm

7 Responses

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  1. There’s definitely a way around the 64bit issue, because I’ve built MANY workflows on my windows 2008, 64bit box. Maybe it’s a 2k3 thing. All I know is if you don’t use the SharePoint extensions and you create a generic .NET workflow, create your own feature/wsp to deploy it, you can build/deploy/unit test on a 64bit box just fine. Have you tried not using the sharepoint extensions and/or win2k8?


    Phil Wicklund

    January 23, 2009 at 3:28 am

  2. Phil, you’re right – it’s the SharePoint extensions that are causing the problems.

    Since most developers rely on the convenience of the extensions, I assume that the 64-bit problem is a widespread one.

    We really shouldn’t have to resort to these workarounds to develop in a 64-bit environment, I’m sure you agree 🙂


    January 24, 2009 at 1:28 pm

  3. You know what I want to know? Why VSeWSS works perfectly to deploy other solutions like webparts but not workflows….Anyone?

    Brady Huskey

    June 8, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    • Microsoft didn’t develop 64bit supported workflow extensions for VS. Plain and simple.

      They sold everyone on 64 bit servers, and sold them on SharePoint, and didn’t make the two compatible.

      Think of it as someone selling you a microwave and set of metal bowls for it. All you get is a bunch of pissed off consumers.


      September 4, 2009 at 4:43 pm

  4. does anybody know how is possible to move my WSP to the 64-bit box for installation
    I implement my workflow in 32 bit and made wsp file but when I add the solution in 64 bit I can not see the workflow for specific list?


    December 18, 2009 at 4:27 pm

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