christopher.white@nintex.com

The Nintex update that was put off, and now is required.

Blog Post created by christopher.white@nintex.com Support on Feb 6, 2017

There are different reasons for different IT teams to keep a version of the product unchanged for a length of time. When that length of time expands years it is natural to be cautious when it finally comes down to upgrading the product in your environment.

 

Nintex designs are by their nature almost limitless, so how do we prepare for an update when we don't know what sort of impact it will or will not have on the production workflows. The simple answer is to test it. You will need to run your designs on the desired Nintex version to be confident that they function as intended. This blog goes over some of the important 2010 and 2013 products changes and considerations. 

 

Section:

1: General product enhancement.

2: Action/Control updates.

3: Upgrade Strategy

4: Rollback options.

 

 

1: General product enhancement.

 

Topology enhancements.

From Nintex Workflow 2010 version 2.4.2.0 up and Nintex Workflow 2013 version 3.1.2.0 up a new solution was added to the installer in the form of Nintexworkflow201Xcore.wsp

Similarly

From Nintex Forms 2010 version 1.7.0.0 up and Nintex Forms 2013 version 2.5.0.0 up a new solution was added to the installer in the form of NintexForms201Xcore.wsp.

These are globally deployed solutions which will deploy dll's to all SharePoint farm members. So it has the potential that APP servers with UAC may block deployment. 

 

Nintex Forms becomes Enterprise

When Nintex Forms as a product was divided into Standard and Enterprise, where previously it was just defined as Nintex Forms. A new license class was created. 

If you have an old license issued prior to 22nd July 2015 it is recommend that you request a fresh one prior to upgrading your Nintex Forms product.  

 

The Workflow Inventory

This handy one-stop page for workflow inventory added a new table to the Nintex Content DB's called dbo.Workflows. There is a minor issue if you are planning to move data after an upgrade under certain circumstances it is possible to duplicate the entries.

This is specifically with the NWAdmin.exe -o MoveData -RetainSourceData switch. 

 

2: Actions/Control updates.

The actions in Workflow and the controls in Forms get updated and amend where they need to over time, the list is long and all amendments can be seen here in the release notes.

 

Nintex Workflow 2010 - Release Notes 

Nintex Workflow 2013 - Release Notes 

Nintex Forms 2010 - Release Notes 

Nintex Forms 2013 - Release Notes 

 

 

3: Upgrade strategy 

There is a lot of information on the actions and controls in the release notes. Most of it will not be relevant to your environment, so how do you narrow what to look at. You need to gather insight on what is used in your environment for workflow and luckily there is an easy way to view it. This is not the same case for Forms since it is processed on the web front ends there is no capture of its use unless you had some analytics in the environment monitoring users trends. 

 

Workflows

Find the most used workflows and build a list. 

The Know Your Workflow Script 

 

Test them on the new version. You will need another environment to set this up. If you have a valid Software Assurance agreement you are entitled to a development license. With a UAT/Test environment, you can test the workflow hopefully with the assistance of the business owner of the process. Validate it and move onto the next on the list. 

 

If you have found a workflow that is affected. You need to evaluate if a restart of the workflow resumes normal running, or if the design needs to be tweaked to handle the new expected action behavior. Environmental factors can play a part I have provided an example below.  

 

Example: In the Nintex workflow 3.1.8.0 update lookup controls stopped working properly for users with IE8  

 

If the outcome is not as expected. Then you may need to check if it is a known bug with the support team. (support@nintex.com

 

 

Forms

Finding the most used forms can be hard when they are not attached in workflows. You are at a big advantage if you have a form of analytics incorporated into your web applications.

 

When there is a problem with a form it is most likely that a control has been updated and functions slightly differently or may have been completely re-written. A good example is the people picker control as outlined in this article was completely redone.People Picker Extensions - Nintex Forms  

 

Just like with workflow testing the new version with your forms is key to a successful and trouble-free upgrade. 

 

4: Rollback options

Nintex Support does not support any roll back of the product update. 

You can SnapShot/CheckPoint your SharePoint VM's and backup your SharePoint Config and all the Nintex DB's, I would only perform this kind of restore in my testing environment.

 

 

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If you have read this far I want to thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope it has been useful and I wish you a smooth upgrade.  

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