Solution for Transformation failed for XSLT input in BusinessWorks

Solving one of the most common developer issues using BusinessWorks

Solution For Transformation Failed For Xslt Input In Businessworks 9

The Transformation failed for XSLT input is one of the most common error messages you could see when developing using the TIBCO BusinessWorks tools. Understanding what the message is saying is essential to provide a quick solution.

I have seen developers needing hours and hours trying to troubleshoot this kind of error when most of the time, all the information you are receiving is just in front of you, but you need to understand why the engine is aching for it.

But let’s provide a little bit of context first. What is this error that we’re talking about? I’m talking about something like what you can see in the log trace below:

com.tibco.pvm.dataexch.xml.util.exceptions.PmxException: PVM-XML-106027: Transformation failed for XSLT input '<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<xsl:stylesheet xmlns:xsl="" xmlns:tns1="" xmlns:xsd="" xmlns:tib="" version="2.0"><xsl:param name="Mapper2"/><xsl:template name="Log-input" match="/"><tns1:ActivityInput><message><xsl:value-of select="tib:add-to-dateTime($Mapper2/primitive,0,0,1,0,0,0)"/></message></tns1:ActivityInput></xsl:template></xsl:stylesheet>'
 at com.tibco.pvm.infra.dataexch.xml.genxdm.expr.IpmxGenxXsltExprImpl.eval(
 at com.tibco.bx.core.behaviors.BxExpressionHelper.evalAsSubject(

Sounds more familiar now? As I already said, all TIBCO BusinessWorks developers have faced that. As I said, I have seen some of them struggling or even re-doing the job repeatedly without finding a proper solution. But the idea here is to try to solve it efficiently and quickly.

I will start with the initial warnings: Let’s avoid re-coding, re-doing something that should work but is not working, because you are not winning in any scenario:

  • If you re-do it again and it didn’t work, you lose x2 time creating something you already have, and you are still stuck.
  • If you re-do it again and it works, you don’t know what was wrong, so that you will face it again shortly.

So, how do this works? Let’s use this process:

Collect —> Analyze —> Understand —> Fix.


So first, we need to collect data, and most of the time, as I said, it is enough with the log trace that we have, but at some moment, you could need to require the code of your process to detect the error the solution.

So we will start with this source code that you can see in the screenshot below and the following explanation:

Solution For Transformation Failed For Xslt Input In Businessworks 10

We have a Mapper that is defining a schema with an int element that is an option, and we’re not providing any value:

Solution For Transformation Failed For Xslt Input In Businessworks 11

And then we’re using the date to print a log, adding one more day to that date:

Solution For Transformation Failed For Xslt Input In Businessworks 12


First, we need to understand the error message. When we’re getting an error message titled `Transformation failed for XSLT input that says precisely this:

I tried to execute the XSLT that is related to one activity, and I failed because of a technical error

As probably you already know, each of the BusinessWorks activities executed an XSL Transformation internally to do the Input mapping; you can see it in the Business Studio directly. So, this error is telling you that this internal XSL is failing.

Solution For Transformation Failed For Xslt Input In Businessworks 13

And the reason is a run-time issue that cannot be detected at design time. So, to make it clear, the values of some of your variables and transforming fail. So first, you should focus on this. Usually, all the information is in the log trace itself, so let’s start analyzing that:

Solution For Transformation Failed For Xslt Input In Businessworks 14

So, let’s see all the information that we have here:

  • First of all, we can detect what activity is failing. You can easily do that if you are debugging locally, but if this is happening on the server can be more tricky; but with this information, you have: All the XSLT itself that is printed on the log trace, so you can easily
  • You also have a Caused by that is telling you why this is failing:
    • You can have several Caused by sentences that should be reading in cascading mode, so the lower one is the root issue generating the error for all the others above, so we should locate that first.
Solution For Transformation Failed For Xslt Input In Businessworks 15

In this case, the message is quite evident, as you can see in the trace below.

 com.tibco.xml.cxf.runtime.exceptions.FunctionException: XPath function {}add-to-dateTime exception: gregorian cannot be null.

So the add-to-dateTime function fails because one Gregorian argument (so, a date) is null. And that’s precisely what is happening in my case. If I provide a value to the parameter… Voilà, it is working!

Solution For Transformation Failed For Xslt Input In Businessworks 16


Similar situations can happen with different root causes, but the most commons are:

  • Issue with optional and not optional elements so a null reaches a point where it should.
  • Validation errors because the input parameter doesn’t match the field definition.
  • Extended XML Types that are not supported by the function used.

All these issues can be easily and quickly solved following the reasoning we explained in this post!

So, let’s put it into practice next time you see a colleague with that issue and help them have a more efficient programming experience!

If you find this content interesting please think about making a contribution using the button below to keep this content updated and increased!

Alexandre Vazquez: