I found pause for function is not instability on our sharepoint.
I submitted a ticket to our group IT department and relpied:
Our timerjobs are Running every Time.
But the most of them (like nintex scheduler or workflow) needs some time to finish, because they have to much work to do.
We dont recommend the "pause for 5 Minutes" or "pause until"
Because we cannot be sure, that the workflows only wait 5 minutes.
Is there someone tell me how to do it?
The problem i've seen with the "Pause for 2 minutes", for example, is that the calculation is done from time to time by SharePoint timer.
So, if your SharePoint timer is set to "run every 5 minutes"......your 2 min delay will be calculated only after 1 to 5 minutes.
Your "Pause for 2 min" then becomes "wait for 2 to 7 minutes", depending on when the SharePoint timer will run.
- your SharePoint timer runs at 7:10 then 7:15 then 7:20
- your workflow starts at 7:11 and wait for 2 minutes.....it will go on only at 7:15 when re-evaluated !
- if your workflow starts at 7:14......il will go on at 7:20 because at 7:15 the 2 minutes were not complete
- if your workflow starts at 7:12....it will go on at 7:15
There are a few factors at play. Thomas is correct in suggesting that if your SharePoint timer is set to run workflow processes every 5 minutes is a good place to start. This is a default setting, and based on the reply from your IT group I suspect their knowledge of SharePoint is not as deep as you might need (a common challenge). There is no reason to "not" use Pause for (5 minutes). That's a perfectly OK action to use. SharePoint knows to put the workflow process in a dormant state and wake it up when its time has come. It takes no significant resources and I use this action a LOT.
If you're experiencing delays of more than 1 hour that looks more like load-balancing in the environment. In other words, SharePoint has a lot of housekeeping to do to keep itself running. Workflow tasks are lower in priority than say managing SQL integrity and displaying web pages.
Unfortunately, this means you need help from IT to diagnose and confirm cause. Their answer suggests that they may write you off before you begin (another common challenge in my experience). However, if you can get them to confirm server loads and logs that can go a long way to ruling load-balancing as a potential cause. How is disk space, RAM use, CPU usage on the servers? What is the topology of the farm (how many servers and how are they configured)? How many workflows are active on this farm? How many starts do you have per hour, per day or week?
And the answers to these questions don't guarantee an understanding. I will confess that I'm a front end guy (I do the SP list and workflow architecture, not SP administration). I don't deal with the depths of SharePoint but I've seen enough poor SharePoint administration to know that a uncontrolled workflow history logging can bog down a server, which can create start errors or timer issues for example.
What I do know is that SharePoint configuration is the most likely cause for a poorly running workflow experience. SharePoint is incredibly complex and most organizations do NOT have the required knowledge. I wish you luck.