Approval Workflow Data Sources Broken in SharePoint Online - Need fixed please!
Perhaps the community can help figure this out or get a message to the product team for me. Our approval workflows broke about a month ago (August 14 2018) in SharePoint Online, I have been on Microsoft Partner Cloud Support for over a month back and forth and am on the 7th technician who cannot figure this out. This is simple to recreate the issue on SharePoint online, as I have shown 7 separate technicians how to recreate the issue and have included in the instructions below. The error I started getting in the workflow history was: error: "Coercion Failed: Input cannot be null for this coercion." About this same time the library would not show our read only users the last major version of documents if it was checked out waiting for approval, this has resolved itself but for some weeks all read users had this issue. I thought perhaps if I recreate the workflow I could resolve this but when doing so I cannot set variables as I cannot choose custom made lists. I have tested this on a new site collection, and a simply ootb list with no added columns, just to set a variable to the Title column but you cannot even choose the list from the options as it does not show in the drop down options. Recreate this from the below instructions.
- Create a new site collection
- Create a list
- Enable SharePoint workflow from site collection features
- Set the default Documents library to be used for publishing.
- Set the default Documents library settings - "Require content approval for submitted items?" to Yes
- Create an OOTB "Approval - SharePoint 2010"
- Open SharePoint Designer 2013, connect to the site
- In Designer, Edit the OOTB workflow, do NOT edit the actual Action "Start Approval process on Current Item with Parameter: Approvers"
- In Designer, Click above the Action "Start Approval process on Current Item with Parameter: Approvers" and type "set", hit enter, select "Set Workflow Variable" you can also see this issue by trying the same on "Set field in current item".
- Now, from your selection in step 9, from the popup for "Define Workflow Lookup" click the drop down "Data source:", you will NOT see your custom list or any list or library you have created that you may need to pull data from.
- Scratch head and question your sanity.
Tickets I have submitted to report on bugs found when all this started happening:
1. 11082610 cannot get data source in workflow
2. 11144725 Microsoft Office Updates breaks Word from connecting to SharePoint Properties, solution is to roll back Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc...) on your desktop to the version of July 10 2018, then the properties will start showing again. Funny, free support claims it's a new feature rolling out that has been in "launched" status for almost a year (It has in fact worked for the last decade just fine). Feature ID: 24085
3. 11152888 Users cannot see last major version published if the item is being edited. Solution, issue resolved itself after some weeks. The cloud support team was denying it had ever worked that way all the way up till it started working again.
Apparently if you use the option on the Workflows page, to "Copy & Modify" there is the option to add the workflow variables set to other lists and libraries in the site. It used to work the other way as well, but not anymore it seems.
Brian Barbagallo commented
Edit: Step 6 set this to "Start this workflow to approve publishing a major version of an item. "