The Know Your Workflow Script
The Nintex Know Your Workflow (KYWF) script is a handy tool provided by Nintex that allows you to get a better understanding of the workflows that are running within your SharePoint On-Prem environment. In this post we're going to review how this script can be used to not only audit where your workflow are, but also help build a Master Workflow List to help you prepare for your migration to cloud.
This download will include the script itself and instructions on how the script can be run. You will run the script on one of your Web Front End SharePoint Servers that are licensed for Nintex, and script will output a zipped file with several different csv files inside.
While each of these files are used for different purposes, the file that we're most interested for this exercise is the WorkflowStatistics file (which will have the file name format of: NWUsageStats-<Database Name>-WorkflowStatistic-<Script Execution Date>) as this will have the most information about the workflows in your environment related to migration prioritization.
Note: By default the Know Your Workflow script will retrieve workflow data from workflows that have been run within the last 90 days. To find and review workflow data from instances that have not run within the last 90 days you can modify the values on the following lines of the script:
Nintex Workflow Farm Inventory
Now that we have the workflow statistics output, we are also going to grab another output from our SharePoint environment that we will use with the KYWF output to help build our Master Workflow List. From within Nintex Administration the Farm Workflow Inventory will provide us with a list of all of the Nintex workflows that are within our SharePoint environment.
This can be exported into a CSV that will provide us with huge amount of information related to the location of our workflows, who has modified them, and their Workflow IDs:
Note: If you are seeing a discrepancy in the number of workflows between the Know Your Workflow output and your Farm Workflow Inventory, this is most likely due to the way that data is stored in the databases and where the two etracts get their data from.
Building One List To Rule Them All
We're now going to take both of these datasets and combine them into the Master Workflow List template that I've created and linked below. While using this template is not required for building out your workflow list, I've found that this formatting makes it much easier to analyze the workflow data.
Our next step is simply copying the output from the KYWF Workflow Statistics sheet into the Know Your Workflow tab in our Master Workflow List.
With that completed, we're going to copy some (but not all) of the data from the Farm Workflow Inventory export into our Master Workflow List tab.
We will first copy the information from columns A - G into the Workflow List tab:
We will then also copy the information from columns M - N into the Workflow List tab:
At this point columns B - J should now have data populated into them within our Master Workflow List sheet:
Pulling It All Together
Now we are going to use one of the more powerful Excel functions to help associate the information from the Farm Workflow Inventory and the Know Your Workflow script output to complete our Master Workflow List and then use that information for analysis. By using the Excel VLOOKUP function we can pull in the Workflow Size, Avg. Action Execution, and Total Run data from the Know Your Workflow script and relate that with the workflows from the Workflow Inventory.
I've included the VLOOKUP functions that I used in my template below for each column, however the VLOOKUPs should also already exist with the template so the data may pre-populate after you've completed the steps above:
Note: The VLOOKUP function in this worksheet is relating the values from the MaxDesignerActions, AvgActionExecutions, and TotalRun columns in the Know Your Workflow Script based on the Workflow ID. If there is a #N/A value that is displayed in a couple of the columns of your Master Workflow List this will indicate that there is no workflow in the Know Your Workflow output that has that Workflow ID.
So...What Does All This Mean?
Alright, we now have all of the data pulled into our Master Workflow List, and finally we can do some analysis on the data and start understanding what workflows are going to need the most attention before we start our migration to the cloud.
When the team here at Nintex is reviewing workflow inventories there are really three factors that we look at; Workflow Size, Action Execution vs. Action Count, and Instance Count. I've outlined how we think about each of them below to help you start prioritizing your own workflow lists:
1. Workflow Size
2. Avg. Action Execution vs. Action Count
3. Total Runs
While there are other data points that can also help continue refining your migration inventory (such as the number of initiators which will indicate how many people trigger the workflow) the three factors above are the ones that will most likely have the largest impact on your inventory analysis. I hope that this post has helped provide some insight into how the Know Your Workflow script can be used to build a Master Workflow List prior to your move to the cloud, and how you can start reviewing and prioritizing your workflows as you start your migration journey!
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