"Access Denied" when Editing Task in a Workflow

July 30, 2007

This one was *really* weird stuff.

- There is a SPD-created workflow that creates successive approval tasks, using Collect Data From a User action
- This workflow is hosted on a subsite that has unique security
- After the workflow is created, I add a new user with Full Control permissions over the site, let's call him johndoe
- Johndoe initiates a workflow, as he wants to try the workflow
- The workflow creates a task for another user, as expected
- Johndoe clicks the task in the task list, it shows the task data, as expected (johndoe has Full Control over the site, right?)
- Johndoe clicks the "Edit Item" to impersonate the user
- "Access denied" message appears!

I wandered why a user who has Full Control rights over the site cannot edit a task. The task itself had inherited permissions from the host site, giving johndoe Full Control over itself. Extensive Googling took me to this MSDN Forum post.

I tried the suggested solution of publishing the site to a local disk. After this, johndoe can edit the task. It smells like a bug inside SharePoint workflow infrastructure.

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Written by Edin Kapić Insatiably curious code-writing tinkerer. Geek father. Aviation enthusiast. Cuisine journeyman. Follow me on Twitter