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Monitoring workflow execution

This section presents information on how to monitor your workflows' execution.
A use case on how to create a workflow that lets you monitor the status of a set of workflows that are "paused", "stopped" or "with errors" is also available in this section .
Additionnally, administrators of the instance can use the Audit trail to check activities and last modifications done to workflows, the state of your workflows. For more on this, refer to the dedicated section .
Additional ways of monitoring the different Campaign processes are presented in this page .

Displaying progress

You can monitor execution by displaying progress using the appropriate icon on the toolbar.
The Display progress information icon lets you display the status and the activity result in the execution screen.
When this option is selected, executed activities are shown in blue, pending activities blink, warnings are shown in orange and errors in red. This option also displays the result of activities on their outbound transition, followed by the label of the result as defined in the activity properties and the duration of the job if it exceeds one second

Displaying logs

The log contains the history or audit trail of the workflow. It registers all user actions, all operations performed and errors encountered. You can:
  • Select the Tracking tab in the detail. This list contains all workflow messages.
  • Filter the log messages by activity. To do this, click Display the tasks and the log on the toolbar above the diagram in order to display the Log and Tasks tabs below the diagram. Select an activity to view all related messages. This list contains all the messages when no activity is selected.
    Click the background of the diagram to unselect all elements.
  • View only those messages linked to a given task. To do this, select the Tasks tab, and then select an activity in the diagram in order to restrict the list. Double-click a task to display the information; the last tab in the window contains the log.
    The Details... button lets you display all additional information on activity execution. For example, you can view the validating operator and when applicable, the comment they entered during approval, as in the following example:
The log is not purged when a workflow is restarted. All messages are kept. If you wish to discard the messages from a previous execution, you must purge the history.
The log shows the chronological list of execution messages related to targeting workflow activities.
  • Log of a targeting campaign
    Once a targeting campaign has been executed, click the Tracking tab to view the execution trace.
    All campaign messages are shown: campaigns carried out as well as warnings or errors.
  • Log of an activity
    You can also view the execution log and details of each activity. There are two ways of doing this:
    1. Select the targeted activity and click the Display the tasks and the log icon.
      The lower section of the diagram shows two tabs: Log and Tasks.
      Activities selected within the diagram act as filters on the log and task list.
    2. Right-click the targeted activity and select Display logs .
      The log is shown in a separate window.

Purging the logs

Workflow history is not purged automatically: all messages are kept by default. History can be purged via the File > Actions menu or by clicking the Actions button located in the toolbar above the list. Select Purge history . The options available in the Actions menu is detailed in the Actions toolbar section.

Worktables and workflow schema

The workflow conveys worktables that can be manipulated via certain activities. Adobe Campaign enables you, via Data Management activities, to modify, rename and enrich the columns of the workflow worktables, for example to align them with the nomenclature depending on the client's needs, for collecting additional information on the co-beneficiary of a contract, etc.
It is also possible to create links between various work dimensions and to define dimension changes. For example, for each contract recorded in the database, address the main holder and use co-holder data in the additional information.
The worktables of the workflow are deleted automatically when the workflow passivates. If you wish to keep a work table, save it in a list via the List update activity (refer to List update ).

Managing errors

When an error occurs, the workflow is paused and the activity being executed when the error occurred flashes red. In the workflow overview ( Monitoring universe > Workflows link) you can display workflows with errors only, as shown below.
In the Adobe Campaign Explorer, the workflow list displays a Failed column by default.
When a workflow is in error, the operator(s) belonging to the workflow supervision group are notified by email, as long as their email address is listed in their profile. This group is selected in the Supervisor(s) field of the workflow properties.
The notification content is configured in the Workflow manager notification default template: This template is selected in the Execution tab of the workflow properties. The notification shows the name of the error workflow and the concerned task.
Notification example:
The link lets you access the Adobe Campaign console in Web mode and work on the error workflow once you have logged on.
You can configure the workflow so that it does not pause and continues execution in case of errors. To do this, edit workflow Properties and, in the Error management section, select the Ignore option in the In case of error field. You may then specify the number of consecutive errors that can be ignored before the process is paused.
In this case, the error task is aborted. This mode is particularly suited to workflows designed to reattempt the campaign later (periodic actions).
You can apply this configuration individually for each activity. To do this, edit activity properties and select the error management mode in the Advanced tab.
For more on workflows' execution troubleshooting, refer to the dedicated section .

Processing errors

Concerning activities, the Process errors option displays a specific transition which will be enabled if an error is generated. In this case, the workflow does not go into error mode and execution continues.
Errors taken into account are file system errors (file could not be moved, directory could not be accessed, etc.).
This option does not process errors related to activity configuration, i.e. invalid values. Errors related to faulty configuration will not enable this transition (directory does not exist, etc.).
If a workflow is paused (manually or automatically after an error), the Start button restarts the workflow execution where it was stopped. The erroneous activity (or paused activity) will be re-executed. The previous activities are not re-executed.
To re-execute all of the workflow activities, use the Restart button.
If you modify activities that were already executed, the changes are not taken into account when the workflow execution is restarted.
If you modify unexecuted activities, they are taken into account when the workflow execution is restarted.
If you modify paused activities, the changes cannot be taken into account correctly when the workflow is restarted.
If possible, we recommend completely restarting the workflow after having carried out modifications.

Instance supervision

The Instance supervision page lets you view the Adobe Campaign server activity and display the list of workflows and deliveries with errors.
To access this page, go to the Monitoring universe and click the General view link.
To display all the workflows, click the Workflows link. Use the drop-down list to display the workflows in the platform based on their state.
Click the link on a workflow with errors in order to open it and view its log.

Preventing simultaneous multiple executions

A single workflow can have several executions running at the same time. In some cases you should prevent this from happening.
For instance, you can have a scheduler triggering the workflow execution every hour, but sometimes the execution of the whole workflow takes more than an hour. You may want to skip the execution if the workflow is already running.
If you have a signal activity at the start of the workflow you may want to skip the signal if the workflow is running.
The general principle is as follows:
The solution is to use an instance variable. Instance variables are shared by all the parallel executions of the workflows.
Here is a simple test workflow:
The Scheduler is triggering an event every minute. The following Test activity is going to test the isRunning instance variable to decide whether or not to continue the execution:
isRunning is a variable name chosen for this example. This is not a built-in variable.
The activity immediately following the Test in the yes branch must set the instance variable in its Initialization script :
instance.vars.isRunning = true

The very last activity in the yes branch must revert the variable to false in its Initialization script :
instance.vars.isRunning = false

Note that:
  • You can check the current value of the instance variable via the Variables tab in the workflow Properties .
  • Instance variables are reset when you restart a workflow.
  • In JavaScript, an undefined value is false in a test, allowing to test the instance variable even before having initialized it.
  • You can monitor the activities that are not processed due to this mechanism by adding a logging instruction to the initialization script of the "no" ending.
    logInfo("Workflow already running, parallel execution not allowed.");
    
    
A use case is presented in this section: Coordinating data updates .

Database maintenance

Workflows use a lot of work tables that consume space and end up slowing down the entire platform if not maintained. For more about database maintenance, refer to this section .
The Database cleanup workflow accessible via the Administration > Production > Technical workflows node, lets you delete obsolete data to avoid exponential growth of the database. The workflow is triggered automatically without user intervention. Refer to this section .
You can also create specific technical workflows to purge unnecessary data consuming space. Refer to this section and this page .

Handling of paused workflows

By default, if a workflow is paused, its working tables are never purged. From build 8880, workflows that have been in a paused state for too long are automatically stopped and their working tables are purged. This behaviour is triggered as follows:
  • Workflows that have been paused since more than 7 days appear as a warning in the monitoring dashboard (and monitoring API) and a notification is sent to the supervisor group.
  • The same happens every week, when the cleanupPausedWorkflows technical workflow is triggered. For more details on the workflow, refer to this section .
  • After 4 notifications (i.e. one month in paused state by default), the workflow is stopped unconditionnally. A log appears in the workflow after it has been stopped. The tables are purged at the next execution cleanup workflow
These periods can be configured via the NmsServer_PausedWorkflowPeriod option.
Workflow supervisors are notified. The creator and last user who modified the workflow are notified as well. Administrators don't receive the notifications.