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Custom Site Definitions and Web Templates with WorkflowServiceStore and WorkflowTask Features

I was trying to setup variations in one of my SharePoint 2013 sites and I used a custom web template to create my site collection. In my web template I activated all Publishing and other features as I used to do in SharePoint 2010.

<SiteFeatures>
 <!-- Workflow Expiration -->
 <Feature ID="C85E5759-F323-4EFB-B548-443D2216EFB5" />
 <!-- DLC Workflows -->
 <Feature ID="0AF5989A-3AEA-4519-8AB0-85D91ABE39FF" />
 <!-- "A44D2AA3-AFFC-4d58-8DB4-F4A3AF053188" -->
 <Feature ID="A44D2AA3-AFFC-4d58-8DB4-F4A3AF053188" />
 <Feature ID="A392DA98-270B-4e85-9769-04C0FDE267AA">
  <!-- PublishingPrerequisites -->
 </Feature>
 <Feature ID="7C637B23-06C4-472d-9A9A-7C175762C5C4">
  <!-- ViewFormPagesLockDown -->
 </Feature>
 <Feature ID="AEBC918D-B20F-4a11-A1DB-9ED84D79C87E">
  <!-- PublishingResources -->
  <Properties xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/">
   <Property Key="AllowRss" Value="false"/>
   <Property Key="SimplePublishing" Value="false" />
   <Property Key="EnableModerationOnDocuments" Value="false" />
   <Property Key="EnableModerationOnImages" Value="false" />
   <Property Key="EnableModerationOnReusableContent" Value="false" />
   <Property Key="EnableSchedulingOnDocuments" Value="false" />
   <Property Key="EnableSchedulingOnImages" Value="false" />
   <Property Key="EnableApprovalWorkflowOnDocuments" Value="false" />
   <Property Key="EnableApprovalWorkflowOnImages" Value="false" />
  </Properties>
 </Feature>
 <Feature ID="F6924D36-2FA8-4f0b-B16D-06B7250180FA">
  <!-- Office SharePoint Server Publishing -->
 </Feature>
 <Feature ID="6E1E5426-2EBD-4871-8027-C5CA86371EAD">
 </Feature>
</SiteFeatures>
<WebFeatures>
 <!-- Include the common WSSListTemplateFeatures used by CMS -->
 <Feature ID="00BFEA71-DE22-43B2-A848-C05709900100" > </Feature>
 <Feature ID="00BFEA71-E717-4E80-AA17-D0C71B360101" > </Feature>
 <Feature ID="00BFEA71-52D4-45B3-B544-B1C71B620109" > </Feature>
 <Feature ID="00BFEA71-A83E-497E-9BA0-7A5C597D0107" > </Feature>
 <Feature ID="00BFEA71-4EA5-48D4-A4AD-305CF7030140" > </Feature>
 <Feature ID="00BFEA71-F600-43F6-A895-40C0DE7B0117" > </Feature>
 <Feature ID="22A9EF51-737B-4ff2-9346-694633FE4416">
  <!-- Publishing -->
  <Properties xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/">
   <Property Key="ChromeMasterUrl" Value="~SiteCollection/_catalogs/masterpage/abc/abc_landing.master"/>
   <Property Key="DefaultPageLayout" Value="~SiteCollection/_catalogs/masterpage/PageFromDocLayout.aspx"/>
   <Property Key="WelcomePageUrl" Value="$Resources:osrvcore,List_Pages_UrlName;/home.aspx"/>
   <Property Key="PagesListUrl" Value=""/>
   <Property Key="AvailableWebTemplates" Value="*-CMSPUBLISHING#0;*-BLANKINTERNET#2;*-ENTERWIKI#0;*-SRCHCEN#0"/>
   <Property Key="AvailablePageLayouts" Value=""/>
   <Property Key="AlternateCssUrl" Value="" />
   <Property Key="SimplePublishing" Value="false" />
   <Property Key="EnableModerationOnPages" Value="false" />
   <Property Key="EnableModerationOnDocuments" Value="false" />
   <Property Key="EnableModerationOnImages" Value="false" />
   <Property Key="EnableSchedulingOnPages" Value="false" />
   <Property Key="EnableSchedulingOnDocuments" Value="false" />
   <Property Key="EnableSchedulingOnImages" Value="false" />
   <Property Key="EnableApprovalWorkflowOnPages" Value="false" />
   <Property Key="EnableApprovalWorkflowOnDocuments" Value="false" />
   <Property Key="EnableApprovalWorkflowOnImages" Value="false" />
  </Properties>
 </Feature>
 <Feature ID="541F5F57-C847-4e16-B59A-B31E90E6F9EA">
  <!-- Per-Web Portal Navigation Properties-->
  <Properties xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/">
   <Property Key="InheritGlobalNavigation" Value="true"/>
   <Property Key="IncludeSubSites" Value="true"/>
   <Property Key="IncludePages" Value="false"/>
  </Properties>
 </Feature>
 <Feature ID="94C94CA6-B32F-4da9-A9E3-1F3D343D7ECB">
  <!-- Office SharePoint Server Publishing -->
 </Feature>   
</WebFeatures>

But my variations were failing and I could see following errors recorded in the variations log.

The Variations Create Hierarchies job failed with the following error message: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
The variation system failed to create a new site variation for en under the en label. The field with Id {40270da4-0a34-4c14-8c30-59e065a28a4d} defined in feature {2c63df2b-ceab-42c6-aeff-b3968162d4b1} was found in the current site collection or in a subsite.

Even though the error message logged is not that clear, I came to know that SharePoint 2013 is using a new Workflow Management service to deal with Workflow related stuff and feature id mentioned in the log message is one of them called “Workflow Service Store”. I was getting this error since I didn’t activate that feature in my web template.

Solution:

Activate following Web features in the custom web template/ site definition.
<!-- Workflow Service Store -->
<Feature ID="2c63df2b-ceab-42c6-aeff-b3968162d4b1" />
<!-- Workflow Task -->
<Feature ID="57311b7a-9afd-4ff0-866e-9393ad6647b1" />

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