NOTE: This applies to all editions of Visual Studio 2017 except Community. RC2 is slated to have Workflow as a separate install-able component and it will then be supported on Community.

I was recently trying the Visual Studio 2017 RC to test out the new features. To my surprise, when I loaded it up one of my Windows Workflow projects it just threw build errors. What was going on?

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As it turns out, it’s not a bug, it’s a feature! One of the headline features of Visual Studio 2017 is a smaller footprint and a MUCH faster install experience. A basic install of Visual Studio can now be stood up in less than 5 minutes. The only problem is that many features that previously “just worked” on a brand new install of Visual Studio now throw cryptic build errors since the supporting components aren’t installed. Thankfully, it’s easy to install these components.

In the Start menu click the Visual Studio Installer.

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Then click “Modify” for your version of Visual Studio.

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For Workflow Foundation we need to go to the Workloads tab and click…Office/SharePoint Development (Workflow is heavily used in SharePoint). For other components click on the “Individual components” tab and check the boxes for anything you want to install.

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Once the installer completes we can rebuild your solution and now our Workflow project builds!

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Hopefully Microsoft will improve the experience and prompt to install missing components instead of just displaying cryptic messages but until then it’s very easy to correct.

For a more in-depth review of the new Visual Studio install process check out this post from Samir Behara.
Blake Helms

Blake Helms is a .NET Software Development Manager for EBSCO Industries, a global company with businesses in a range of industries including Information Services, Publishing and Digital Media, Outdoor Products, Real Estate, Manufacturing and Distribution, and Business Services, headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. There he is responsible for several core business applications and has been a driver for software craftsmanship and creating a culture that promotes mentorship and continuous improvement. He is also the cofounder of the Birmingham .NET Meetup with a mission to promote good development practices and .NET technologies in the Birmingham, Alabama area. Blake is incredibly passionate about technology in all areas from writing code for work, to audio/video production for his church to automating his home.