August Nintex Workflow updates are very exciting.

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So nice to be on Office 365 and not having a weekend downtime to upgrade a third party tool.

(read my comments on each item below)

We’ve made some changes since last time…

  • WorkflowGalleryWorkflow Gallery

    • Complete the work faster and with fewer clicks. When opening Nintex for Office 365, you’ll now see an entry page instead of the design canvas. From this entry page, you can create new workflows, modify existing workflows and delete unwanted workflows. Depending where you are in a workflow design when you open Nintex, it will display the relevant actions for that context first and then a secondary set for other workflows. Read more…

[FS] Opening an existing workflow was a bit puzzling vs. on premises Nintex because it would always open blank until we open it manually as if opening a previous version. Now it doesn’t feel like we have lost them, they are visible.

  • TaskEscalationTask Escalation

    • We’ve now introduced the option of escalating a task to someone else or completing a task after a set period of time. Find this capability within the Assign a Task and Start a Task Process actions. Read more…

[FS] This is excellent. We already had it on premises for a long time, now on Office 365.

This means that we can build something like: if a task is still awaiting a Manager who has not completed it within 5 days then Nintex Workflow will escalate automatically to another person to approve such as the manager of that last task assignee. Real business value !

Clever idea : Approve or reject tasks via email WITHOUT Nintex

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Check out this website I found at gallery.technet.microsoft.com

I have to say when it comes to responding a workflow task while being mobile I think of advising my clients to buy Nintex Workflow for their Sharepoint farm as the design and maintenance of those workflows is much, much cost effective in the long term. But this post got me thinking, specially when you have an IT environment locked down where you cannot add third party tools.
I have not implemented it myself yet, but will do in a few weeks.

Avoid ‘&’ (Ampersand) sign in Nintex workflow variable values

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Issue:

I have a main workflow that calls 16 different sub-workflow to run and wait for their completion before continuing and to my surprise only 1 of those didn’t send me an email as I expected it to be, but did not fail nor stopped.

Troubleshooting:

The sub-workflows are all running and complete, then the main workflow continues its journey to completion.

Nintex16

By adding a Log in History to extract all the variables that I pass to the sub-workflows I then realised that the only difference between all sub-workflow and the one that flies through without sending an email contains a ‘&’ character in one of the variable. That variable is just used to print the value in the body of the message, not even the subject or the recipient email but still it did fail the workflow action.

Fix: by adding a “Regular Expression” Nintex action we can easily replace any ampersand in variable before passing it to the sub-worklow. If you place it into the sub-worlfow UDA then it’s only 1 change for all 16+ sub-workflows.

Note to self: filter out & (ever)