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Error occurred in deployment step Activate Features System.NullReferenceException Object reference not set to an instance of an object error in Visual Studio 2015 workflow SharePoint 2016

Recently while I was trying to develop and deploy a visual studio 2015 workflow for SharePoint 2016 I got the below error:

An error occurred in deployment step ‘Activate Features’: System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
at Microsoft.SharePoint.WorkflowServices.WorkflowSubscriptionStorageEventReceiver.ItemUpdating(SPItemEventProperties properties)

Just to give a background of what I was trying to do was, I installed SharePoint 2016 on a windows server 2012 r2 machine. And then I tried to develop a visual studio workflow and then when I tried to deploy I got the above error.

Also, you can read:
Steps to add custom Tile to Office 365 App Launcher

Create Azure App and Deploy to SharePoint Online as an App Step by Step

How to integrate Yammer with SharePoint 2013 online and SharePoint 2013 on-premises?

Basically, as we know from the SharePoint 2013 version, we have to separately install and configure workflow manager for SharePoint, unlike SharePoint 2010 workflow will not appear.

There is no separate SharePoint designer for SharePoint 2016, we can use the same SharePoint designer 2013 to connect to SharePoint 2016 site. After SharePoint 2016 or SharePoint 2013 installation, if you will open SharePoint designer 2013 and try to create a new workflow, you will see that only workflow platform type 2010 will appear. So to make workflow platform type 2013 to available we need to install and configure workflow manager.

So I realize without installing and configuring workflow manager I was trying to create a workflow using visual studio 2015.

So you can follow my article on Configure workflow manager for SharePoint 2016 workflow in windows server 2012 r2 and then try to create the workflow using visual studio 2015, the error will not come.

Hope this will be helpful.

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About Bijay Kumar

I am Bijay from Odisha, India. Currently working in my own venture TSInfo Technologies in Bangalore, India. I am Microsoft Office Servers and Services (SharePoint) MVP (5 times). I works in SharePoint 2016/2013/2010, SharePoint Online Office 365 etc. Check out My MVP Profile.. I also run popular SharePoint web site

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