Suggestions on best practices of major changes to existing Workflow

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I've had a workflow that has been deployed into our production environment for over a year. While it works well, the users have requested a major change that will require the addition of a new SmartObject and multiple views.  

This is the first time that an existing workflow is going to need a larger renovation beyond adding a single field.  I am most concerned about what happens on Production to Historical instances that won't have the same structure.


If I deploy a new workflow over to Production, and the Form now opens additional views, what happens to the previously completed items? (We have a list that users can open up Historical Views of "what happened"). Will these historical views use the new forms? 


I tried to look for more details on this and I couldn't seem to find guidance/best practices on this area. 

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Re: Suggestions on best practices of major changes to existing Workflow

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Assuming the form name is the same (you just added some new views that utilize the new SmartObjects) , then yes the historical forms will open and by default the user will see the new views which obviously you don't want.


However, you can add rules into the form that will only show the new views based on a flag that is set by the new workflow version.  That way the historical data will show using without the new views.  You may also have to hide some of the previous historical information when its the new version.  Possibly have separate tabs (Historical and New) might make sense and you use the hide or show based on the flag.


Another possible way would be to do a Save As of your existing form and modify it for the new changes.  However, this would probably entail more changes to the workflow and potentially other smartform items that reference the form.


A bunch of design options are available and the best choice would depend on the exact specifics of your application but hopefully this gives you some ideas.


Hope this helps.


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