Workflows not continuing - timer service and delays

  • 5 April 2023
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Originally published: 4 February 2013

 

Are your workflows freezing, or take longer then they should to continue? This may be due to the SharePoint timer service. Please see below for issues and troubleshooting.

All delay actions utilize the SharePoint timer service.  If there is a greater issue with this service it can affect any action that utilizes delays. The effect on these actions might be they do not continue at the expected time, or they never continue.

The following action may be affected:

·Pause for (NW2007 = Delay for) 

·Pause until (NW2007 = Delay until)

·Task reminder

·Complete workflow task

·Delegate workflow task

·Loop (when Safe Looping is enabled)

·State machine (when Safe looping is enabled)
 

Issues and Trouble shooting

 

Issue 1 – The “Pause for” action never continues

Troubleshooting

Please follow these steps if you experience issue 1.

1. Restart the SharePoint Timer Service

2. Hot Fix

This .NET hotfix was released by Microsoft for delays in workflows:

* Ensure Windows 2003 SP 2 is installed

* Install hotfix available here http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;932394

Please note: If Microsoft .NET 3 Service Pack 1 is installed, the above hotfix will not install. It can be assumed the service pack contains this hotfix.

3. Infrastructure Updates

The SharePoint Infrastructure Updates also addresses workflow delays action issues.

(WSS: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/951695

Microsoft Office Server http://support.microsoft.com/kb/951297 ).

 

Note: The Infrastructure Updates is a significant update for SharePoint, so proceeding with this update should be appropriately assessed.

Also note, if you are using a Nintex Workflow build earlier than 10830, please see this notice regarding the infrastructure Updates: http://connect.nintex.com/forums/thread/886.aspx

4. Contact Microsoft Support

If none of the above steps resolve your issue, please test a basic SharePoint designer workflow with a delay.  If your issue is also occurring in the SharePoint designer workflow, this suggests there is a greater issue with this service and you will need to contact Microsoft Support. Once the issue has been resolved this issue should no longer be present in Nintex workflows.

Issue 2 - The "Pause For" action takes much longer than ~10 minutes more than the configured pause to continue
 

Troubleshooting

1. Restart the SharePoint Timer Service

2. Run the following stsadm command

This is applicable to slow running services and can increase the frequency that the workflow timer job runs.

stsadm -o setproperty -propertyname "job-workflow" -propertyvalue "every 1 minutes between 0 and 59" -url http://webapplication

For more information, please see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc424970.aspx. The default value is "every 5 minutes between 0 and 59"

Please note: The full impact of increasing the frequency of the workflow timer job is not known.

3. Hot Fix

This .NET hotfix was released by Microsoft for delays in workflows:

* Ensure Windows 2003 SP 2 is installed

* Install hotfix available here http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;932394

Please note: If Microsoft .NET 3 Service Pack 1 is installed, the above hotfix will not install. It can be assumed the service pack contains this hotfix.

4. Contact Microsoft Support

If none of the above steps resolve your issue, please test a basic SharePoint designer workflow with a delay. If your issue is also occurring in the SharePoint designer workflow, this suggests there is a greater issue with this service and you will need to contact Microsoft Support.  Once the issue has been resolved this issue should no longer be present in Nintex workflows.


Issue 3 - The "Pause for" action takes about 5 - 10 minutes longer than configured.

 

Troubleshooting

1. Restart SharePoint Timer Service  

2. Run the following stsadm command

This is applicable to slow running services and can increase the frequency that the workflow timer job runs.

stsadm -o setproperty -propertyname "job-workflow" -propertyvalue "every 1 minutes between 0 and 59" -url http://webapplication

For more information, please see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc424970.aspx. The default value is "every 5 minutes between 0 and 59"

Please note: The full impact of increasing the frequency of the workflow timer job is not known.

3. Hot Fix

This .NET hotfix was released by Microsoft for delays in workflows:

* Ensure Windows 2003 SP 2 is installed

* Install hotfix available here http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;932394

Please note: If Microsoft .NET 3 Service Pack 1 is installed, the above hotfix will not install. It can be assumed the service pack contains this hotfix.

4. Contact Microsoft Support

If none of the above steps resolve your issue, please test a basic SharePoint designer workflow with a delay. If your issue is also occurring in the SharePoint designer workflow, this suggests there is a greater issue with this service and you will need to contact Microsoft Support. Once the issue has been resolved this issue should no longer be present in Nintex workflows.


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