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We are only human... mistakes happen

Automation Master
Automation Master
8 3 1,672

So I made a rooky mistake and thought I would share so that you can all see that I am only human too, and sometimes, no matter what experience you have working with certain technologies, oversights can be made...

I had a very old solution (not mine) that used an InfoPath form and a workflow that run on all updates with a Run if action at the very beginning checking if the email flag was checked.  This had been working fine for a long time but the customer reported that they wanted the form slightly changed.

In good old fashioned InfoPath style, it informed me changes had been made in the list that needed to be reflected in the form (and rather unhelpfully didn't elaborate on the changes).  I needed to add this change for the customer so I accepted and published.  User was happy for a day or so until they realised that one of the dropdown controls had become unbound...!

I won't bore you with the details, but here is what I did.

  • the column was missing for whatever reason in InfoPath
  • time was limited so I created an additional column in my list, and used that in the InfoPath form
  • Using quick edit, copied the data from old column to new column

All perfectly reasonable right?  But what did I forget...?  Oh yeah, that workflow that run on modify of every single item.  That particular workflow emailed about 50 important people in my organisation...  and I sent 65 of them!  (shudder).

So after 24 hours of sobbing and panic, I calmed down and realised that this mistake was a simple one; one anyone could have made.  No process in place would have prevented it as I simply overlooked it.

Feel free to make me feel better with your rooky mistakes in the comments below... 

Nintex Newbie

I have experienced about trying to clean up the old workflow instances (0 running workflow) under workflow setting, then all the workflow status are gone for those items.  

After this experience, I used to save the workflow history in another list such as who approved, when and what are their comment. It is extra work but to make a safe side.

Nintex Newbie

How about restoring a portal to some standby farm and let it live for a while untouched just to puzzle a lot of users with overdue task notifications for all the work they've already done?

Nintex Newbie

Absolutely Alexey, we always have to taking care about removing outgoing email from the old environment when moving one environment to another to make sure not to mess those workflow notifications.