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Did you know: Scheduling Workflows In The Cloud

Did you know: Scheduling Workflows In The Cloud
Did you know that Scheduled Workflows are now available on the entire Nintex Platform? This capability originally started out in Nintex Workflow for SharePoint on premises. The capability recently was introduced to the cloud in Nintex Workflow Cloud and now it is available in Nintex Workflow for Office 365.

Why Schedule a Workflow?
Scheduled workflows allow workflow creators to configure workflows to execute in the future with varying types of frequency. This is very useful when modeling a processes that require a number of items to be iterated. Some examples include compliance audits and equipment and safety checks.

How does it work?
Nintex for Office 365 and Nintex Workflow Cloud utilize a proprietary service in order to provide workflow scheduling. This means they have similar requirements, limitations, and rules.
Below are a couple of features and behaviors of the Scheduling Service and some of the platform-based nuances.

Scheduler Formatting Considerations:

  • The Scheduling Service converts all date/time values into UTC absolute time. This means that the schedule will not automatically adjust for Daylight Savings. The Workflow will always run based on the UTC value.
  • Time is stored in the 24-hour format.

Scheduler Boundary Considerations

  • If a Workflow Schedule has been fully complete, Nintex will keep the schedule record for up to 90 days.
  • When you disable any schedule for a Workflow, it will be deleted automatically after 90 days via an automated cleanup job.
  • You cannot set iteration period to be more than 500 days / 16 months between iterations.

Example:
You can have a workflow that runs once a year for 10 years under one schedule.
You cannot have a workflow that runs once every 2 years however, because the time between each scheduled iteration would be more than 500 days.

Specific consideration in Nintex Workflow Cloud

  • Schedules have to be set up as the Initial start event for a Nintex Workflow Cloud workflow
  • If you want an existing workflow to be changed to a scheduled start event, you must import the workflow as a new design within Nintex Workflow Cloud

Specific consideration in Nintex for Office 365

  • Only Site Workflows can be scheduled in SharePoint Online
  • A maximum of 5 schedules per workflow can be created at one time
  • The time zone of the workflow schedule will be based on your SharePoint site’s default time zone settings
  • If a scheduled workflow fails or hangs, there is no alert, just like other workflows started on the platform. This is controlled by Microsoft’s platform
  • If a scheduled workflow fails or hangs, it will act in a manner similar to your experience with Office 365 workflows. Some will retry; others will hang or terminate depending on error type. New instances will be created according to the scheduled created, regardless of whether previous instances completed, failed, or hung.
  • Every time the schedule is edited and saved, the remaining instances will be reset to the edited value

Examples:
A scheduled workflow is set to run 10 times and but it only completes 3 instances of its scheduled 10 before changes are requested.
A change is made to the schedule but it is still set to run a maximum of 10 times.
When I save the edited schedule it will start again at 10 rather than consider any previous instances still pending.

  • The save option (greyed out) will remain unavailable while any part of the schedule is unconfigured
  • Once a schedule has been deleted or removed it cannot be restored
  • Scheduled Workflows will always run with the system user “app@sharepoint” so you won’t find the workflow history unless you select “Show all workflows”
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