SharePoint Feature Receiver token replacement only works with Guids using lower case characters

Introduction

This week I have been writing my first proper SharePoint 2010 Service Application.

Part of that solution is using a Feature Receiver to install the various components that make up a Service Application. These include:-

  • Service
  • Service Proxy
  • Service Application
  • Service Application Proxy
  • Service Instance

Tip: Andrew Connell’s chapter in the Real World SharePoint 2010 book is an excellent resource for getting the plumbing of the service application setup.

One of the issues came about at deployment time. Now that I write this, I do remember hearing about this issue before when during a SharePoint 2010 Developer Bootcamp. Of course I didn’t take enough notice and then hit the problem when I decided to update the GUID for the feature receiver.

The following error was displayed when deploying the solution:-

Error occurred in deployment step ‘Add Solution’: Failed to create receiver object from assembly “ITSP.SPMonitoringStatusPackage, Version=1.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=de085cbd57463aa2”, class “$SharePoint.Type.edd0669b-2393-4fe6-988d-17a2De06c6e4.FullName$” for feature “ITSP.SPMonitoringStatusPackage_ITSP.SPMonitoringStatusInstaller” (ID: a5ede1b3-cbd6-4918-9f31-4322603295f5).: System.ArgumentNullException: Value cannot be null.
Parameter name: type
at System.Activator.CreateInstance(Type type, Boolean nonPublic)
at Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPFeatureDefinition.get_ReceiverObject()

Screenshot:-

guid-featurereceiverdeployerror

The deployment show that any error occured because it could not create a feature receiver object from assembly “ITSP.SPMonitoringStatusPackage, Version=1.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=de085cbd57463aa2” with the class “$SharePoint.Type.{GUID}.FullName$”.

The token, “$SharePoint.Type.{GUID}.FullName$”, should be replaced by Visual Studio as part of the build process. However this does not seem to happen with the GUID value that I was using (see below).

In this example the {GUID} value is specified against the feature receiver class using an attribute as below (please note the capital letters have been added for this example):-

guid-featurereceiveruppercase

The item that uses this GUID attribute for the Feature Receiver Class can be seen by double-clicking on the feature Visual Studio SPI object:-

featureceiver-spi

If you then look at the properties of the feature Visual Studio SPI object, you see the section as below:-

featureceiver-spi-properties

As you can see the Receiver Class has a value of:-

$SharePoint.Type.edd0669b-2393-4fe6-988d-17a2De06c6e4.FullName$

 

Solution

The issue is that upper case characters are being used and changing these to use lower case alphabetic characters for the GUID fixes the issue.

The following changes need to be made.

  1. Change the Feature Receiver’s GUID attribute.
 1: [Guid("edd0669b-2393-4fe6-988d-17a2de06c6e4")]

 

 2:     public class ITSPSPMonitoringStatusInstallerFeatureReceiver : SPFeatureReceiver

 

2. Update the Feature Receiver Visual Studio SPI object’s Receiver Class property to:-

featureceiver-spi-properties-fixed

Save all the files, rebuild, deploy and the solution is deployed successfully, hurrah!

feature-installed-successfully

 

Hope that helps.

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