Apr 9, 2015

SharePoint 2013 workflow 255 character limit for string variables

In all my years of SharePoint workflows, I had never come across the 255 character limit for strings until recently.  I tried lots of solutions until this one ocurred to me:

Instead of using a string variable, create a multiline input parameter.  You can then use it as you would a regular variable, concatenating text onto it, without running into problems.  

Be aware that not all workflow actions can handle strings longer than 255 characters.
Working actions:
  • Email

Not working:
  • Log to history


The limitation on storage size for any SharePoint 2013 workflow variable is 256KB, so you should have about a 64,000 UTF-8 character limit (not tested).

4 comments:

  1. Is this possible within a SharePoint 2013 Visual Studio Workflow? I attempted to use the SPFieldMultiLineText type and I could not deploy the workflow. I even attempted to build a custom workflow activity that returned a SPFieldMultiLineText value. It would not let me deploy the workflow. Thanks for your ideas/thoughts.

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  2. Can you please explain what is a Multiline Input Parameter? Is this a variable type like string? How and where to find this type in Visual Studio workflow? Please explain.

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  3. Looks like doing REST calls doesn't support > 255 characters with this technique either...

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