I've been struggling with the limitations on the size of a Nintex workflow. Reading through the forums I've seen several references to the maximum size your workflow should be when exported or you can encounter problems. From what I gather, your workflow should be under 500KB when exported and definitely below 1MB to maintain optimal performance and to avoid the publishing issues for which I have encountered. My main concern is the huge limitation this imposes on workflows that use custom Nintex forms for tasks. The Nintex forms are fantastic and our users do not want to see the out of the box forms for their tasks which frankly I can't blame them. They're horrible. As such we want to take advantage of custom Nintex forms for things like flexi tasks to make them much more user friendly. This is where the limitations on workflow size becomes a huge disappointment on workflow development. Take the following for example:
Exporting a brand new workflow with no actions = approx. 17KB .nwf file
Single flexitask on workflow with OOTB form = approx. 34.7KB .nwf file
Same single flexitask on workflow with custom Nintex form = approx. 387KB .nwf file
As you can see from the above, there is a massive increase in the exported .nwf file when using a custom Nintex form and that's without even customizing the notifications or other associated settings which will further increase the file size.
When you have a workflow with multiple flexitasks with custom Nintex forms the exported .nwf far exceeds the recommendations. Now, I could look at breaking every flexitask with a custom form into a separate workflow but that seems excessive and makes the development far more labour intensive as well as makes it less user friendly as it's harder for users to visually see the level of detail they would like on the workflow diagram.
Am I missing something or is this truly a limitation of SharePoint/Nintex? If so, does Nintex have future plans to improve upon this? If the limitations are related to the SharePoint 2010 workflow engine then would the same problems exist in the Workflow Manager engine in SharePoint 2013?
Solved! Go to Solution.
There is no restriction on the size of your workflow. However, you may start to see issues after 500k or 100 actions. This may also come from your farm because the limit can be dependent on your SharePoint farm configuration and overall performance. It has been recommended in the community to separate in a variety of ways: UDAs and/or child workflows. For more information on this topic, go to https://community.nintex.com/community/build-your-own/blog/2014/12/02/defensive-workflow-design-part....
Have you seen any issues that you are troubleshooting, or looking for a general guidance? But the size suggestion is 500KB, not a set limitation that you will not be able to import workflows that size. Another good guidance is to keep it under 100 actions. But these are best practices and not hard limits.
I see a difference in the size of the Nintex workflow between the .nwf exported from SP 2013 site settings-> Nintex Workflow gallery and the output of the powershell from the script given in the article https://community.nintex.com/community/build-your-own/blog/2014/10/17/how-to-quickly-identify-large-... . If the exported .nwf file is 586 kb but the corresponding output of powershell for that workflow entry was 1.24 gb.. please clarify me on this size difference.