Friday, September 2, 2011

Nintex "Delay for" stuck-Increasing the responsiveness of the workflow timer job

Nintex workflow 2007
Ran into an issue where some workflow instances are stuck in "pausing for ...". The time has well passed the intended wait time.

It is really strange and I found below info from the nintex connect site. It sounds like a known issue for the platform.

This really should have been documented and included in the training for any one trying to install/use nintex workflow. I am including the notes below and need to see how well it addresses the issue.


This thread covers three scenarios:

ISSUE 1 - The "Delay for" action never continues

ISSUE 2 - The "Delay for" action takes much longer than 10 minutes more than the configured pause to continue

ISSUE 3 - The "Delay for" action takes about 5 - 10 minutes longer than configured.

These issues can relate not only to the "Delay for" but also to the following additional actions:

Delay until
Task reminder
Complete workflow task
Delegate workflow task
Loop (when Safe Looping is enabled)
State machine (when Safe looping is enabled)

The first thing to try: [for ISSUE 1 or 2]

This .NET hotfix was released by Microsoft for delays in workflows:

* Ensure Windows 2003 SP 2 is installed
* Install hotfix available here;en-us;932394

Note, if Microsoft .NET 3 Service Pack 1 is installed, the above hotfix will not install. It can be assumed the service pack contains this hotfix.

The second thing to try: [for ISSUE 1]

The SharePoint Infrastructure Updates also address workflow delay action issues (WSS: Microsoft Office Server

Note that the Infrastructure Updates is a significant update for SharePoint, so proceeding with this update should be appropriately assessed.

Also note that if you are using a Nintex Workflow build earlier than 10830, see this notice regarding the Infrastruture Updates:

The third thing to try: [for ISSUES 2 and 3]

Running the following stsadm command can increase the frequency that the workflow timer job runs.

stsadm -o setproperty -propertyname "job-workflow" -propertyvalue "every 1 minutes between 0 and 59" -url http://webapplication

More information:

The default value is "every 5 minutes between 0 and 59"

PLEASE NOTE: the full impact of increasing the frequency of the workflow timer job is not known.

The fourth thing to try: [for ISSUE 1 and 2]

At this stage Microsoft Support will need to be contacted, as the core issue is with SharePoint. We would appreciate any information that you could pass on to us so we can add to our knowledge base.

If you have very recently upgraded, and not restarted the timer service, similar behaviour will be seen. In this case, there will be Workflow Infrastructure messages in the logs to do with "Compile Error".


We have had questions from various customers and partners asking if SharePoint Service Pack 2 fixes all the above behaviour. Essentially, no it does not. The Timer service still behaves in its idiosyncratic manner, however there is mention in the SP2 release notes that prior to SP2 "The SharePoint timer service may stop working on 64-bit servers" and that SP2 fixes it. Please refer to Service Pack and Cumulative Update documentation for further information.

UPDATE 28/10/2010:

We've had a compelling report that the August 2010 Cumulative Update for SharePoint helps improve the performance of the Timer Service.

Increasing the responsiveness of the workflow timer job

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