Adding site columns in SharePoint Designer

I created a SharePoint Designer workflow which handles the approval of list items. Now I would like to have some extra site columns added to my approval form’s form fields.

When I do this in SPD I can add an existing site column (sometimes a few more) but after a while I’m getting the following error when I try to save the workflow:

Could not save the field changes to the server. The Object has been updated since it was last fetched.

Working around the problem

When I get this error I have to close the Site in SharePoint Designer, Reopen it and try again. After while,  I managed to get all my fields on the form. So I can still get the job done, but this is quite annoying.

Ok, I found the cause of the problem.

Creating new form fields

When you use an already existing site column then 90% of the time SPD fails to handle the column. If you however create a new field then it SPD simply works. This is a bit of a shame as the columns already exist in my site. Remember I just wanted a column used by my item to be displayed on the task, and therefore the field already exists.

By Pieter Veenstra

Business Applications and Office Apps & Services Microsoft MVP working as a Microsoft Productivity Principal Consultant at HybrIT Services. You can contact me using

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