PowerShell Activity: Issues with GUIDs in Workflow Activities and Sync Rules

I recently faced a problem with GUIDs generated in a PowerShell Workflow Activity. As you can see in my previous blog posts I use the FIM PowerShell Workflow Activity a lot of times (nearly most the time).

Currently I’m working on provisioning of user accounts with exchange mailboxes, in addition I have to activate/create the Online Archive for users.

I’m following this blog article from Eihab Isaac for the correct attributes to set, except that I want to do all this with portal sync rules and declarative provisioning.
If you take a look at the article you can see that you have to provide a new GUID to the msExchArchiveGUID attribute in order to get the archive feature to work. Read more of this post


Remove leading zeros from attribute values with a portal sync rule custom expression

Note to Self.

Today I having the requirement of removing leading zeros from attribute employeeID.
Special situation is that employeeIDs can be range from 1 to 5 chars, like:

00002, 00013, 00204 and so on.

Looking at the possible function on sync rules first thought was that this would not be possible, but sometimes things can be easier than they look alike.

Simple replacing the 0 (zero) by spaces, then perform an LTrim and after that replacing the spaces back to 0 (zero) works very well.

So the portal sync rules custom expression goes like this:

ReplaceString(LTrim(ReplaceString(employeeID,"0"," "))," ","0")


Error using the Null() function with IIF in FIM workflows

After some time I ran into the same error a second time, so I think it is worth a blog post to avoid this happening again in the future and in addition as information to you all.

So here is my situation:

From the HR system I’m importing Team Information which should only be used on initial creation of the users. So I have an attribute called PrimaryTeamInitial that on user create we copy over to the PrimaryTeam attribute in portal.

So what I have done is a workflow that triggers on update of the PrimaryTeamInitial attribute, which in normal cases only occurs once in the lifetime of an object.
(Why I don’t use the Create event I will tell you in possibly my next post).

The workflow uses a custom expression like in the screenshot below:


Because I only need to check if the attribute PrimaryTeam is not present, but there is no function for that in FIM I used the IsPresent and try to do nothing when the IIF statement is true using the Null() function.

I tested the workflow by creating a new user with a PrimaryTeamInital set by HR and all seems to work fine.

However a day later I saw “System Events” with “Postprocessing Errors” in FIM portal and in addition there where the following eventlog errors.

System.InvalidOperationException: There was an error generating the XML document.
System.InvalidOperationException: The type Microsoft.MetadirectoryServices.FunctionLibrary.NoFlowSingleton was not expected. Use the XmlInclude or SoapInclude attribute to specify types that are not known statically.
   at System.Xml.Serialization.XmlSerializationWriter.WriteTypedPrimitive(String name, String ns, Object o, Boolean xsiType)
   at Microsoft.Xml.Serialization.GeneratedAssembly.XmlSerializationWriterRequestParameter.Write1_Object(String n, String ns, Object o, Boolean isNullable, Boolean needType)
   at Microsoft.Xml.Serialization.GeneratedAssembly.XmlSerializationWriterRequestParameter.Write9_UpdateRequestParameter(String n, String ns, UpdateRequestParameter o, Boolean isNullable, Boolean needType)
   at Microsoft.Xml.Serialization.GeneratedAssembly.XmlSerializationWriterRequestParameter.Write11_RequestParameter(Object o)
   --- End of inner exception stack trace ---
   at System.Xml.Serialization.XmlSerializer.Serialize(XmlWriter xmlWriter, Object o, XmlSerializerNamespaces namespaces, String encodingStyle, String id)
   at System.Xml.Serialization.XmlSerializer.Serialize(XmlWriter xmlWriter, Object o)
   at Microsoft.ResourceManagement.WebServices.WSResourceManagement.RequestType.AddParameter(RequestParameter parameter)
   at Microsoft.ResourceManagement.WebServices.WSResourceManagement.RequestType.SetRequestParameters(OperationType operation, UniqueIdentifier targetObject, List`1 requestParameters)
   at Microsoft.ResourceManagement.WebServices.WSResourceManagement.RequestType..ctor(UniqueIdentifier creator, UniqueIdentifier targetIdentifier, OperationType operation, List`1 requestParameters, CultureInfo locale, Boolean isChildRequest, Guid cause, Boolean maintenanceMode, UniqueId messageIdentifier, UniqueIdentifier requestContextIdentifier)
   at Microsoft.ResourceManagement.WebServices.RequestDispatcher.CreateRequest(UniqueIdentifier requestor, UniqueIdentifier targetIdentifier, OperationType operation, String businessJustification, List`1 requestParameters, CultureInfo locale, Boolean isChildRequest, Guid cause, Boolean doEvaluation, Nullable`1 serviceId, Nullable`1 servicePartitionId, UniqueId messageIdentifier, UniqueIdentifier requestContextIdentifier, Boolean maintenanceMode)
   at Microsoft.ResourceManagement.WebServices.RequestDispatcher.CreateRequest(UniqueIdentifier requestor, UniqueIdentifier targetIdentifier, OperationType operation, String businessJustification, List`1 requestParameters, CultureInfo locale, Boolean isChildRequest, Guid cause)
   at Microsoft.ResourceManagement.Workflow.Hosting.RequestWorkItemProcessor.CreateRequest(UniqueIdentifier requestor, UniqueIdentifier objectId, OperationType operation, List`1 requestParameters, Guid parentRequest)
   at Microsoft.ResourceManagement.Workflow.Hosting.RequestWorkItemProcessor.ProcessPutWorkItem(UpdateRequestWorkItem updateWorkItem)
   at Microsoft.ResourceManagement.Workflow.Hosting.RequestWorkItemProcessor.ProcessWorkItem(WorkItem workItem)

After some investigation on the net I remember that I have similar errors is the past using the Null() function and so I changed the workflow like you can see in the screenshot below:


Now setting the attribute to the current attribute value in case IIF is true, the error is gone and all is working like expected without errors.

I am currently not quite sure if this error only occurs on reference attribute like my team attribute, but be careful using the Null() function if you want to do nothing it does not always work like you expect.

I wish all readers a merry Christmas and a happy new year.


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