Problem with Custom Workflow Activities in CRM 2011

The workflow activities framework for CRM 2011 has been upgraded from CRM 4.0. The dependance properties have been removed and it now support the simplified datatypes used in CRM 2011 like DateTime.

I was developing a custom activity today and I had an output argument that was of the type EntityReference. However, when I tried to run it I got a weird error:

“The argument of type ‘Microsoft.Xrm.Sdk.EntityReference’ cannot be used. Make sure that it is declared on an activity.”

The argument declaration looked like this:

[Output(“The Output of special entity”)]
public OutArgument specOut { get; set; }

And I am trying to set it with the following code:

specOut = new OutArgument();
Entity outent = entities.Entities[0];
specOut.Set(executionContext, outent.ToEntityReference());

I had also tried creating the entity reference with a default contstructor and filling id and logicalname, with the constructor setting id and logicalname. I had even tried setting it using the entity directly but they all give the same error. I had not found anything useful on the internet or in the SDK.

After some rethinking I looked closer at the error message and thought that there might be something wrong with the declaration or definition of the OutArgument. And after some tries I found that the error was that I had created a new OutArgument which is wrong, it is precreated and this was the reason for the error. Hence I just removed the line:

specOut = new OutArgument();

and it work like it should have from the beginning.

It is always interesting to work with new technology!

Gustaf Westerlund
CEO, Chief Architect and co-Founder at CRM-konsulterna AB