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Question

Any ideas on how to trigger workflow in batches?

asked on September 19

We have a workflow that is pretty simple. It queries a SQL table looking for a Null Value and greater than 7 days of the notification date. If the value is just Null it immediately sends an email. We run it daily. The problem is when we send this email over 1000 people try to access the Forms at once and they get a loading page. (This is a separate issue we are working through with our VAR and another post here on LF Answers)

I'm looking for ideas to send the email to the remaining 6k+ employees without directing them to the Form at once. Maybe batch it together or set some kind of delay that runs every so many mins while working through the list. Delay in Workflow is 1 min to it would take 4 days to notify the end users. We have a hard 3 day max to notify employees.

I don't think I can go back in and add anything to the table because of the other 2k responses and I'm not a database guy. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Answer

SELECTED ANSWER
replied on September 20

You don't really need the token counter. You could use the iteration token in your condition and check if it's a multiple of 600 to make it pause every 600 results.

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Replies

replied on September 19

you can use the conditional decision to send as many emails at once and then wait for a period of time before continuing, In this example I used 600 as the number and 1 hour waiting period, this way it will take 10 hours to send 6000 emails spaced 600 at a time every hour.

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replied on September 20

Thanks Gerardo. Can you provide a screenshot of the Counter Tokens?

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replied on September 20

Here is the actual workflow. keep in mind that is not as clean as I wrote it in like 5 minutes. The counter token is just a regular token created with the initial value of 1 (I just named it counter so it would make sense). The conditional decision is based on that token being less than 600 (in this case) and the counter+1 just modifies the token to add one to it. When the decision is no longer met, the process would fall on branch 2 (we need to send the email here as well as you do not want to miss any emails) the delay is set to 1 hour and then the counter token is modify to be back to one and the process continues to the next set of 600. Instead of the email, you could call a different workflow that you already have and pass the data from your query but this is small enough to integrate into any other workflow. Hope it helps. You need to rename the file to have the wfx extension in order to be able to import it into your workflow designer.

batch of 600.txt (24.01 KB)
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SELECTED ANSWER
replied on September 20

You don't really need the token counter. You could use the iteration token in your condition and check if it's a multiple of 600 to make it pause every 600 results.

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replied on September 20

Way cleaner and simpler.

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replied on September 23

Thanks everyone. We ran it like this yesterday and it worked perfect. We have other all hands processes we will be adding it to.

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replied on September 19

We've done something like this with internal forms. We didn't want 1000+ people trying to do it at the same time, so we break it into groups based on some kind of identifiable attribute.

Usually we would break it up by Employee location. We set the workflow up to run on a subset by adding an input token to the workflow and adding that as a query filter.

Next, we set up the "scheduler" workflow that loops through each location with a delay after each iteration. The scheduler workflow starts each batch by passing in the location/filter.

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replied on September 19 Show version history

You can use hidden fields to temporarily mark items with workflow to be ignored in your next search. If your clearing them out at the start of a new day (setting a value to blank on a non-templated field will remove it). Create a field called WFTag or something and set the security so no one can see it, it can be appended to any entry even if it is not part of a template assigned to the entry.

Then in your search, exclude entries that are already tagged and also limit the results to some amount X.

Send the emails and delay invoke another workflow. Search again and send another X.

Your search amount could be dynamic based on current load, current form submission load (assuming your Form's process archives something to the repository).

Let's say your delay is every Y minutes until you run out of entries to notify on. Each new workflow runs a search for new submissions to get a count, the search count maximum, X, is then the inverse of submissions. IE: If only 10 submissions have come in within the last 5 minutes the server is not busy and you can send out 90 more emails. As the count of submissions received in the Y interval increases, less and less emails go out in that interval. As the count of submissions received decreases, more emails go out.

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