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?
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.
Then click “Modify” for your version of Visual Studio.
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.
Once the installer completes we can rebuild your solution and now our Workflow project builds!
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.