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Workflow Hero

Handling rather large workflow in Nintex Office 365

Hi all

I am building a 4 levels of approval (state machine ) workflow in Nintex Office 365. Each task has 3 outcomes. The logic is not complex. Logic in all states of the state machine are similar:

  1.  if approved move to next state
  2. if  "need more information" send back to submitter state
  3.  If rejected, collect the comments into a text variable so that we can notify submitter why it was rejected via email
  4. Log to history list

While the logic is straight forward, each of these outcomes has 5 activities on average.  Overall activity size of the workflow is approaching 50 activities.

Here are my questions:

1. What happens when number of activities exceed 50 in Nintex Office 365 ? 

2. Some of the guidance in Nintex community site suggest splitting large workflows into smaller workflows and calling these smaller workflows in each state. In this scenario how is workflow history handled? All workflow comments will be spread across multiple workflows.

 

All I am trying to do is basically log Approval, Rejection and Need More Information comments to history list and send them to submitter via email. There should be an easier and simpler way to collect approval task comments without adding several activities to workflow to accomplish this. 

Thanks in advance. 

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8 Replies
Workflow Hero

Re: Handling rather large workflow in Nintex Office 365

I'm not sure if there is an actual action limit to a workflow, I think it's a file size limit. Which you will encounter when trying to save the workflow, if it was an action limit it should have some sort of counter on the page.

The 50 action number is how Nintex license their product as far as I'm aware, it's per workflow with 1 workflow counting as 50 actions.

I have seem many(!) performance issues with Nintex and the Office 365 workflow service, but mainly specific to actions not size of workflow as a whole, first time run they can take a while to compile but subsequent instances should be quicker.

Workflow comments/data should be saved back to the original list in list columns, workflow history is deleted after a certain period in Office 365 so it shouldn't be used as a archive of historical data.

I would stick to State Machines as much as possible over splitting workflows, but it may come to a point where you need to split.

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Workflow Hero

Re: Handling rather large workflow in Nintex Office 365

Warwick Ward‌ thank you for reply. My point is that we should not be adding activities to collect task comments. I have approx 20 activities just to collect task comments in various branches of state machine workflow. It would be nice if platform supported this through a built in function.

I agree with you that splitting a workflow does not work for all situations.Business users want to see history and comments as a continuous stream rather than looking across several workflows. 

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Workflow Hero

Re: Handling rather large workflow in Nintex Office 365

I would like a lots of the function in Nintex in Office 365 to do half the things as easily or at all compares to on-premises

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Workflow Hero

Re: Handling rather large workflow in Nintex Office 365

I would continue with your state workflow, however in each state make that separate workflow. That way it is easier to read, easier to contain problems and easier to restart because you can start just those contained workflows instead of starting from the beginning. I have a workflow that is a state machine that is quite big. You should not have to log Approval/Rejection because the workflow history does that automatically. I "believe" the approver comments is a built in field that you can put in your email. Look for it under 'References'.

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Workflow Hero

Re: Handling rather large workflow in Nintex Office 365

Hi burkslm‌ 

Regarding : You should not have to log Approval/Rejection because the workflow history does that automatically

Office 365 version of Nintex does not do that. I believe this only in on-premises. As far as I know, there is no "special history list" for Nintex Office 365. It relys on SharePoint's workflow history list.

Regarding :  approver comments is a built in field that you can put in your email. Look for it under 'References'.

Again, I dont think Office 365 Version has this built in. It is available only in on-premises. 

Lack of these functions will make collecting "Approver comments" complex in Office 365 version of Nintex. It is doable, but takes several actions to build them which increases the size of the workflow. 

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Workflow Hero

Re: Handling rather large workflow in Nintex Office 365

I am currently using SharePoint 2013. If you right click on a list item, it does not show 'workflow history'? When in the log to history action, there is no 'Reference' button?

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Workflow Hero

Re: Handling rather large workflow in Nintex Office 365

There is a difference between on premises and Office 365 version of Nintex.

On premises version of Nintex has  a souped up version. Cloud version of Nintex uses standard SharePoint's workflow history.

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Workflow Hero

Re: Handling rather large workflow in Nintex Office 365

Yes as Kiran stated, major differences between on-premises and Office 365 versions of Nintex products, due to the fact Nintex can't deploy any server side code to get deeper hooks into the system

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