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Tales from the Laserfiche Crypt – Zombie Workflows!!!!

By Kyle Knebel

October 2022 Consultants Corner

As a Laserfiche Administrator, you will eventually have to deal with a Zombie Workflow. You know, the workflow won’t end, and keep filling up your log files. The one that endlessly cycles and creates documents, even when no user caused the file to move. It’s like it has a mind of its own, and nobody can stop it. So, what’s the best way to end a “zombie” workflow? At CDI, we’ve seen a number of these spooky situations arise.

Have you seen this nightmare before?

Now let’s terminate those zombies!

Launch Workflow Designer

1.) Launch your Laserfiche Workflow Designer and select the Rule Manager tab at the top.

2.) Expand the folder named “With Enabled Rules”

3.) Select each workflow and for every start rule, disable them.

4.) Do this for every enabled workflow’s start rules.

5.) Then, on the Workflow server itself, launch the Services Control Panel utility and Stop the “Laserfiche Workflow 9/10/11” service (depending on which version is installed). Wait about 10 seconds and then Start the service.

Burying the zombie workflows by fixing Start Rules

Before those zombie workflows can come back from the dead and eat our brains, we need to prepare. Thankfully, shotguns and shovels are not required!

Here’s what to do In the Laserfiche Workflow Designer:

1.) Review the start rules on each workflow in the Rule Manager tab

2.) Select each workflow, one by one, and edit each rule

3.) Click Next on the “Welcome to the Workflow Rule Wizard” page

4.) If not already in the list, add the following condition: “User does not equal “wfaccount”, where the name of the workflow account is found in the “Get metadata from:” box.

For example, if your workflow account was “wf”, the condition should read, “User does not equal wf.”

5.) You’ll want to make sure to add this condition on all Conditional start rules. It is not necessary for Scheduled workflows or Business Process only workflows.

Digging Deeper (Pun intended)

For most, the “zombie” workflow that was causing such terror will manifest itself by doing something in the Laserfiche repository. If this is the case for you, you’ll have heard from staff about a document or folder doing weird things. This should guide you to the suspect “zombie” workflows.

There will usually be two workflows that interact unintentionally because one may be moving an entry and the other workflow is being triggered by that action. Having added the “User does not equal wf” condition to all workflow start rules should prevent this nightmare from happening.

However, did you know that workflows can be invoked by another workflow? In this case, you may need to open the design of the suspected workflow(s) and look at the action logic to see if an action is leading to the other workflow being invoked.

We hope you have a fun Halloween this season and never encounter “zombie” workflows!


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