Windows Workflow is now an individual component in VS 2017 RC

With the initial release of Visual Studio 2017 RC, there were multiple issues reported related to Windows Workflow Foundation in the VS Developer Community site . I use Windows Workflow Foundation heavily in my projects, and to my surprise when I tried to open one of my existing solution, the projects containing WCF Workflow Service failed to load – as if they were not supported in VS2017.

I reported this problem to Visual Studio Team, who have been very active in evaluating and responding to the bugs reported by the community members –

Thanks to Blake Helms for his blog post which had a solution  to the above problem –

It actually turned out not to be a bug, but the way Workflow had to be installed. To have Workflow working, you had to install the ‘Office/Sharepoint development‘ workload. Once you had that particular workload installed, you could successfully build your workflow projects. Although it was not the convincing way of having Workflow enabled, it did work!

There was another issue which was brought up by the .NET Community members –         The ‘Office/Sharepoint development’ was not available in the VS Community Edition – which was again a kind of blocker for workflow users using that edition of VS.

Time for some Good News now

On 12th December, 2016 – Visual Studio team announced an update to the VS 2017 RC, which contains multiple enhancements and bug fixes to the .NET Core Tools.

For details, you can refer the complete announcement from the VS Team –

One nice thing which is not mentioned in the above blog, is that this update has Windows Workflow as an Individual Component. There is no need to install the  ‘Office/Sharepoint development’ workload anymore. So this makes Workflow available across all Visual Studio Editions.

I tried to update to the latest version of VS2017 RC, but did not see any notification on the upper right of my Visual Studio. So I downloaded the installer again, and updated my version. I did get stuck while updating, so have reported the issue to Visual Studio Team –

However out of eagerness I tried to uninstall and then reinstall – and it worked!

As you can see in the screenshot below –

Windows Workflow Foundation is now an Individual Component, under ‘Development activities’ section.


Once I was done with the install, I tried to build my workflow projects and it did build successfully.

I just wish that if someone doesn’t have this component installed and tries to open a Workflow Project, Visual Studio should throw a missing installation popup, just like it does for WCF. I will probably put in a feature request for this 🙂


I would like to thank Dustin Metzgar for letting me know regarding this feature. He and his awesome Workflow Team rocks!


Dustin Workflow Team

Related Posts –

New Installation Experience with Visual Studio 2017 RC


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Categories: C#, Visual Studio, Visual Studio 2017

3 replies

  1. Unfortunately XamlBuildTask.dll is added only to 32-bit directory “c:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\2017\Enterprise\MSBuild\15.0\Bin\XamlBuildTask.dll”

    It is missing in amd64/ subfolder…..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is still broken for me. I selected the Windows Workflow option and the XamlBuildTask.dll still isn’t added to the amd64 directory: Could not load file or assembly ‘file:///C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\2017\Professional\MSBuild\15.0\Bin\amd64\XamlBuildTask.dll’ or one of its dependencies.



  1. Missing Project Subtype, Workflow Foundation – Dynamics 365 blog

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