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Issue with Sharepoint Designer created workflows intermittently failing RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi, I've created a fairly complex (41 steps, most of which have at least 5 conditions and 5 actions associated with them) workflow via Sharepoint Designer, and it works fine -- most of the time.  However, periodically, it decides to stop evaluating all of the conditions associated with each step.  For example, if the condition is "Field X is true and Field Y is false", it might start executing actions without checking the value in Field Y.  Once the workflow has started failing, it will fail 100 % of the time (until the workaround described below is implemented).  

    The problem is easy to fix in the short term, though -- all you have to do is open the workflow in Sharepoint Designer and click on "Finish" (without making any changes).  Once this has been completed, restarting the workflow will produce the expected behavior -- for a while... :(

    It seems likely that this is caused by some sort of cache on the server being corrupted, and saving the form causes the cache to be purged -- but that's just a guess.

    Some notes:

    1) Moving to a Visual Studio / C# based approach is not an option, due to administrative policies.

    2) I do not have administrator access to the server (server farm, actually) being used -- and the administrators don't provide support for "advanced Sharepoint functionality", such as custom workflows.  They would, however, be willing to carry out specific instructions (e.g. check a setting, install a patch, etc.) if I provided them.  My permissions are limited to those allowed by being a "Collection Site Administrator" & Sharepoint Designer.  Along the same lines, my knowledge of our actual configuration is very limited.

    Thursday, September 8, 2011 4:46 PM

All replies

  • HI,

    What is the error getting captured in ULS logs?

    If you have multiple WFEs in your farm I suggest you to run the workflow from each of the server and check if this issue is associated with only one.

    I hope this will help you out.


    Thanks, Rahul Rashu
    Monday, September 12, 2011 5:21 AM
  • What is the error getting captured in ULS logs?

    I can't answer this directly (no access), but the workflow is "completing successfully" as far as Sharepoint is concerned, so I would be altogether shocked to find anything in any logs.  Instead, what is happening is that it is only evaluating (say) 5 out of 10 conditions associated with a step then executing the actions associated with that step.  One of those actions involves deleting a file from a specific location, which fails because the file isn't in that location (which is why this particular step had 10 conditions associated with it instead of 5).  The only error (from a Sharepoint perspective), though, is the "Tried to delete a file that didn't exist" error, which isn't helpful at all.
    If you have multiple WFEs in your farm I suggest you to run the workflow from each of the server and check if this issue is associated with only one.

    I'm pretty sure that we do, but I can't access an individual server instance (don't have the right URLs) -- I could request them if required, though.  Can you clarify how this will help resolve the problem?  For example, can you think of a way that a server could be misconfigured that would cause this kind of issue?  I need to provide some specific recomendations for our IT folks on corrective action to have any real chance of them spending any time on this problem.

    Monday, September 12, 2011 7:17 PM