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Nintex Workflow 2010 to Nintex Workflow 2013 upgrade related

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After upgrade of Nintex workfkow to SharePoint 2013 environment,

1. Does the upgraded nintex workflow uses the Windows Workflow Foundation internally, or should it be disabled.

2. Does the upgraded nintex workflow (SP 2010 to SP 2013)  runs on the latest nintex workflow component (designed for 2013) and gives all features of Nintex workflow 2013 for the upgraded workflow.

Thanks

Naren

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andrewg
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Re: Nintex Workflow 2010 to Nintex Workflow 2013 upgrade related

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Today, Nintex 2013 uses Windows Workflow Foundation in SharePoint 2013. This is also known as Workflow Foundation 3. It is the same engine as the 2010 workflow engine.

Workflow Foundation 4, or SharePoint 2013's Workflow Manager is an entirely different engine and has unique capabilities. The biggest difference is that Workflow Manager is an App style engine and does not have full trust to the farm. This means added security, but at the same time, removed functionality that Workflow Foundation 3 still has in 2013.

In SharePoint Designer 2013, you can choose to create both types of workflows. WF3 was not deprecated in 2013 and is expected to be available again in the next on premise version.

You should not disable Windows Workflow Foundation as it can still be used by SP Designer and is used by Nintex 2013 on premise.

Let me know if I didn't fully answer your question, hope this helps.

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Re: Nintex Workflow 2010 to Nintex Workflow 2013 upgrade related

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Thanks it answers, however I have few more questions

if Nintex uses Windows Workflow Foundation , why Nintex does not have a service running in Application Server , instead it runs on a WFE and uses SharePoint timer service internally, is there any specific reason.

This architecture can bring down the WFE , it would have been good if the Nintex is deployed as a service and can run on a dedicated server. Do you have any plans for this in the upcoming major releases

/Naren

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andrewg
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Re: Nintex Workflow 2010 to Nintex Workflow 2013 upgrade related

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Those are great questions and you understand that certain situations can occur to limit workflow services.

One of the great things about Nintex is that it does not require additional physical hardware to support it. Other solutions do require this. When you put together the cost of the physical servers and licenses, the cost can be too large to adopt for some businesses.

So in order to run within the platform of SharePoint, the Nintex service run within the existing SharePoint services. Which is the web application app pool and OWSTimer service to run the timer jobs. If you scale your farm to multiple WFE to provide redundancy to your users, you will also gain the redundant workflow service running on the WFE server. You are correct that the WFE services need to run alongside the timer services in the case of using an Application Server. So you could use an application server as a scale out of the workflow services as long as you also have the WFE services enabled in that server. Your users may be directed to your actual WFEs because of a load balancer, but you can have as many WFE roled servers that could operate as app servers as well not in the round robin.

Using the Workflow manager services and WF4 instead will require additional server and hardware as these servers cannot be WFE servers. Also you will want to have multiples in order to have redundancy.

I'm confident that soon we will have a choice between using WF3 and WF4. And depending on your needs you can use the one that suits your enterprise the best. I would imagine you will have the ability to use both in a hybrid approach.

I honestly had the same questions when 2013 came out. I wanted to benefit from the added scale-ability of Workflow Manager WF4 even knowing my hardware costs would go up. But after building several SPDesigner workflows using this model, there are several workflows I can't give up features on that the Nintex WF3 version has today.

Great questions, and you are very insightful and understand your farm very closely. Let me know if there is anything else I did not answer. If I can't answer your question I can probably find someone who can.

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Re: Nintex Workflow 2010 to Nintex Workflow 2013 upgrade related

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Thank You for the response, I have one more question regarding to infrastructure

We have a requirement of 1000 users and 100 concurrent users, we wanted to know for Nintex 2013 workflow, how many WFE is required to handle 1000 users and 100 concurrent users, and what should be the memory. We aleady have 2 WFE and 16 GB MEMORY is that sufficient

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andrewg
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Re: Nintex Workflow 2010 to Nintex Workflow 2013 upgrade related

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To be honest, the usual issue for performance problems has nothing to do with number of servers and RAM. Don't get me wrong, 2 WFE at 16GB is plenty and a great setup. But when performance issues start to settle in, it is because of two things, lack of governance, and lack of governance. Sorry to be cliche, but it is true. Lack of governance in two areas to be more helpful. Workflow design and maintenance.

For Design, there are several posts and blogs within the community site to help nail down some best practices. Defensive Workflow Design Part 1 - Workflow History Lists  is a great place to start, and read through the rest of them.

For Maintenance, consider lists, databases, and the app pool. You will find in some of the above linked blogs that history list items can be mismanaged. Starting workflows on Workflow Tasks lists are discouraged. Multiple Nintex databases can be helpful. Workflow retirement is something to thing about.

Other performance problems to the farm in general can be caused by too many web applications in a WFE, too many services running on one server (when a WFE is also a Search Server).

I guess my bottom line is, starting and running complex workflows are usually no problem at all and your specs are fine. Just keep track of things so that 2 years from now things are still moving as they were before.

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