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form takes at least 30+ seconds to close

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End users of my "Request Approval" form are complaining that they hit the OK button (which will close the form after they added their small bit of required information), and nothing happens for at least 30-40 seconds. Then the form finally disappears and they're redirected to the task list. What could make this consistently happen?

 

I don't recall when I developed this workflow that this time delay happened during my testing, but it's been 6+ months so I can't say for sure. I also don't recall this slowness in other workflows I've designed in other lists. This workflow is not complicated, only a couple of fields on the form, no custom javascript, no fancy rules on the form. Just a simple request of data from the user and OK button.

 

This is the only workflow designed on the list in question, the list is small (a dozen columns), the list itself only has about 700 rows currently in it. I wouldn't expect that to cause a problem, would it? 700 rows isn't much and the site is not over-utilized. I'm running WF 2013 on SharePoint 2013. I think we're only on v200 of WF, not the latest v232.

 

If no answer is found, is there a "tips/tricks for improving performance" document available?

 

Help! and Thanks.

Dave

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Workflow Hero

Re: form takes at least 30+ seconds to close

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There are so many variables in an environment that can cause this kind of slowness so i'll try to think of a few things to look at. I'll need to double check again, but I think v200 is still running under Windows Workflow Foundation 3.

  • Number of fields on the form
  • number of running workflows at that given moment (are there more than 15?)
  • custom branding
  • RAM use for the site (w3wp), App server (owstimer), and SQL
  • SQL isn't full
  • user latency due to distance
  • old browsers
  • querying over 5000 items at a time is bad, but 700 is not a problem to query. You may not even be querying that many items at any time anyway.
  • Is the workflow running in the timer service because it was queued or in the app pool? Only 15 workflows can run on a content database at one time per SharePoint limits in the app pool. Knowing is half the battle. Sorry, i just had to.
  • cache, is it stale? There is a limit to what a server can cache
  • An infrastructure friend of mine would hate to see servers that have not been rebooted in the last year. I wouldn't know if that is an issue but it comes up a lot.
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Workflow Hero

Re: form takes at least 30+ seconds to close

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Dave, is you're workflow designed to run when an item is created, or are there conditions?  I have this issue whenever I have a workflow that is set to conditionally run.

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Not applicable

Re: form takes at least 30+ seconds to close

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Hi Brendan,

Whenever you initiate a workflow based on the condition its always recommended to have a delay in the very beginning of the workflow. This will help workflow meet the commit point and start executing in background job.

If there is no delay added in the workflow in very beginning, workflow keeps running in the foreend thus making the form close event get delayed.

Hence, to have the form closed very soon, its always recommended to reach the commit point (adding delay action) in the workflow at the earliest possible.

Thanks,

Nidish

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Workflow Hero

Re: form takes at least 30+ seconds to close

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Thanks Nidish.  Hadn't heard that before.  Will give that a try. 

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Not applicable

Re: form takes at least 30+ seconds to close

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My workflow automatically runs each time a row is added to the list. That part actually works fast. The employee submits their vacation request and the form immediately closes (then the workflow launches). The item gets routed to the manager (the person the employee specified on their initial request form), then it's the manager's approval form that takes so long to close after they choose approve or deny. It doesn't make sense why this would happen, it's only 2 fields the manager interacts with (radio button, comments), The workflow doesn't link to any external lists, it's not doing anything fancy. It's not published to Nintex Live. It's just used by internal employees via their desktop computer (no mobile devices used). SharePoint itself seems very responsive so I think the server is not an issue.

Nidish; I didn't fully understand your comments. Is there an online example of what you're referring to?

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Not applicable

Re: form takes at least 30+ seconds to close

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Hi David,

I am not sure whether I can find an online example. However, i am attaching the MSDN link on Workflow Scalability and Performance. Please refer the "Important Workflow Configuration Settings" section.

As per your comment, I assume your workflow starts on the item added event and not based on any condition. I agree that when a workflow is configured to start only on item added event,  you wont see the delay in the form close event. However, if the workflow is set to start based on item property condition you may see this issue based on number of actions performed in the workflow.

If the workflow performs very minimal action, then you may not see this delay even in the conditional start.

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