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About Suspension and Resumption of Interactive Workflow Processes

Interactive workflow processes that have been suspended can be resumed from within the user's Inbox. The user can navigate out of an interactive process, then navigate back to the process and pick up where the user left off.

Suspension and resumption of interactive workflow processes can be used in a situation such as the following: a transaction involving the user (an insurance agent) cannot be completed because of missing information, such as a spouse's social security number required for the entry of an insurance policy quote. In this example, when the insurance agent has been able to obtain the social security number after suspending the interactive workflow process, she can resume the process from within her Inbox and enter the number to complete the entry of the quote. Once the process is complete, the Workflow engine removes the interactive workflow process from her Inbox.

NOTE:  In-session interactive workflow processes are cached. The maximum number of interactive workflow processes in the cache is eight.

Suspended interactive workflows are placed in the workflow owner's Inbox for tracking and explicit resumption.

A suspended interactive workflow is placed in the Inbox under the following two conditions:

  • When the workflow is explicitly suspended through use of the Suspend button (this is called explicit suspension).
  • When a suspended workflow must be removed from the in-memory cache (such as when the user logs out), and if the suspended workflow has its Auto Persist flag checked (this is called implicit suspension).

A suspended interactive workflow in the Inbox is resumed under the following two conditions:

  • When a workflow is explicitly resumed from within the Inbox when the user clicks on it (this is called explicit resumption).
  • When the events that the workflow is waiting for are triggered by some user action (this is called implicit resumption).

A suspended interactive workflow in the Inbox is removed from the Inbox:

  • When the workflow has run to its end and terminates.

NOTE:  With explicit resumption, when a user clicks on a workflow in the Inbox, the Inbox will invoke the Workflow engine or business service and pass it the row ID of the workflow instance for resumption.

In-memory Cache of Suspended Interactive Workflows

Users often navigate out of structured interactive workflows because the workflows have been set up in this manner to address the specific needs of your business. When this happens, the interactive workflows remain in memory so that they can be resumed later in the same user session. As it is uncommon for users to have a large number of unfinished tasks at hand, there can be a maximum of eight suspended interactive workflows in the memory cache.

Events Handling of Suspended Interactive Workflows

Workflow handles events in the following sequence:

  1. Checking of the in-memory cache to see if any workflow instances there can receive these events, using the matching criteria specified by the events.
  2. Checking of the database to see if any persisted workflows can receive these events.
  3. Resumption of all instances found in Step 1 and Step 2.

Detection and Handling of the User Logout Event for Suspended Interactive Workflows

Upon receiving the user logout event, the Workflow engine goes through suspended interactive workflows in the in-memory cache. Workflows with the Auto Persist flag checked are saved as Inbox items. Other workflows are deleted.

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