A workflow is always started manually. When started, it can however remain inactive depending on the information specified via a scheduler (see Scheduler) or activity scheduling.
Actions related to targeting workflow execution (launch, stop, pause, etc.) are asynchronous processes: the order is recorded and will be effective as soon as the server is available to apply it.
The toolbar allows you to start and track the execution of the workflow.
The list of options available in the Actions menu and the right-click menu are detailed below.
Keep in mind that, when an operator performs an action on a workflow (start, stop, pause, etc.), the action is not executed straightaway, but instead placed in a queue in order to be processed by the workflow module.
The Actions button of the toolbar lets you access to additional execution options on selected workflows. You can also use the File > Actions menu, or right-click a workflow and select Actions.
This action lets you start the execution of a workflow: a workflow that is Finished, Being edited or Paused changes status to Started. The workflow engine then handles the execution of this workflow. If the workflow was paused, it is resumed, otherwise the workflow is started from the beginning and the initial activities are activated.
Starting is an asynchronous process: The request is saved and is processed as soon as possible by a workflow server.
This action sets the status of the workflow to Paused. No activities are activated until the workflow is resumed; however the operations in progress are not paused.
This action stops a workflow currently being executed. The status of the instance is set to Finished. Operations in progress are stopped, if possible. Imports and SQL queries are canceled immediately.
Stopping a workflow is an asynchronous process: The request is registered, then the workflow server or servers cancel operations in progress. Stopping a workflow instance can therefore take time, especially if the workflow is running on multiple servers, each one of which must take control to cancel the tasks in progress. To avoid any issue, wait for the stop operation to be completed and do not perform multiple stop requests on the same workflow.
This option changes the workflow status to Finished. This action should only be used as a last resort if the normal stop process fails after several minutes. Only use the unconditional stop if you are sure there are no actual workflow jobs in progress.
This option is reserved for expert users.
This action stops then restarts the workflow. In most cases, it makes it possible to restart faster. It is also useful to automate restarting when stopping takes a certain amount of time: this is because the ‘Stop’ command is not available when the workflow is being stopped.
This action lets you purge the workflow history. For more on this, refer to Purging the logs.
Start in simulation mode
This option lets you start the workflow in simulation mode as opposed to real mode. This means that when you enable this mode, only activities that do not impact the database or the file system are executed (e.g. Query, Union, Intersection, etc.). Activities that do have an impact (e.g. Export, Import, etc.) as well as those after them (in the same branch) are not executed.
Execute pending tasks now
This action lets you start all pending tasks as soon as possible. To start a specific task, right-click its activity and select Execute pending task(s) now.
Save as template
This action creates a new workflow template based on the selected workflow. You need to specify the folder where it will be saved (in the Folder field).
Improve your instance stability by implementing the following best practices:
Do not to schedule a workflow to run more than every 15 minutes because it may impede overall system performance and create blocks in the database.
Avoid leaving your workflows in a paused state. If you create a temporary workflow, make sure it will be able to finish correctly and not stay in a paused state. If it is paused, it would imply that you need to keep the temporary tables and thus increase the size of the database. Assign Workflow Supervisors under Workflow Properties to send an alert when a workflow fails or is paused by the system.
To avoid having workflows in a paused state:
Stop unused workflows. Workflows that keep running maintain connections to the database.
Only use unconditional stop in the rarest cases. Do not use this action on a regular basis. Not performing a clean closure on connections generated by workflows to the database impacts performance.
Do not perform multiple stop requests on the same workflow. Stopping a workflow is an asynchronous process: The request is registered, then the workflow server or servers cancel operations in progress. Stopping a workflow instance can therefore take time, especially if the workflow is running on multiple servers, each one of which must take control to cancel the tasks in progress. To avoid any issue, wait for the stop operation to be completed and avoid stopping a workflow multiple times.
When one or more workflow activities are selected, you can right-click to act on your selection.
The following options are available in the right-click menu:
Open: this option lets you access the activity properties.
Display logs: this option lets you view the task execution log for the selected activity. Refer to Displaying logs.
Execute pending task(s) now: this action lets you start pending tasks as soon as possible.
Workflow restart from a task: this option lets you restart the workflow using the results previously stored for this activity.
Cut/Copy/Paste/Delete: these options let you cut, copy, paste and delete activities.
Copy as bitmap: this option lets you take a screenshot of all activities.
Normal execution / Enable but do not execute / Do not enable: these options are also available in the Advanced tab of the activity properties. They are detailed in Execution.
Save / Cancel: lets you save or cancel the changes made to a workflow.
You can select a group of activities and apply one of these commands to them.