MOSS Custom Workflow Reporting/Logging

27 03 2009

This is an idea I had recently about workflow logging within SharePoint –

When it comes to workflow event logging – SharePoint has a number of limitations:

The OOTB ‘Workflow History List’ is very un-user friendly, it also can only be accessed through a number of menus from the list item itself. In addition there is a scheduled cleanup job which cleans out the workflow history of items that are over 60 days old with no workflow running on them.

To get round this there is another option, log to a custom list from the workflow:

  • Log the event/description and perhaps an incremental ID number to determine which order the events occurred in to a custom list within the SharePoint site
  • Report on this list using SQL Reporting Services

SQL Reporting Services can be configured to get data from SharePoint lists so this makes it ideal for a workflow report/audit. This will make much more sense to end users and they will not be confused by the workflow history list.

🙂

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9 responses

16 06 2009
Mitch

Alex:

Your idea that you outline for custom reports on MOSS workflows is pretty good, and I am grappling with the best way to solve the same problem. I was wondering if you had actually taken the idea and coded it? If you have, I would love to know how it works, and how I might be able to do something similar.

thanks,
Mitch

18 06 2009
alex350r

Hi Mitch,

Thanks for your comment – to answer your question yes I have implemented the idea into my workflows and it is working well. I have used a ‘Code’ activity within the workflow itself and have written some custom SharePoint object model code to add an item to the custom list. The custom list contains various columns such as – Workflow Event, Workflow Name, Event Descripton and Event Date/Time.

To report on the items in the list I have created an SQL Reporting Services Report that the users can open and filter to view the events that occured in the workflow. If you would like any more details just let me know.

Thanks,

Alex

13 07 2009
Mitch

Alex:

I would love to get a copy of the code that you used to add items to the custom list, as well as your reporting services report. This is exactly the problem that I am trying to resolve.

Mitch

14 07 2009
alex350r

Hi Mitch, send me your email address and i’ll see what I can do, cheers. Alex

8 09 2009
Madhur

Hi Alex

Can you send this piece of code to me ? I am looking to develop a full solution around it and publish it to codeplex.

Madhur

15 09 2009
Ajay Chauhan

Hi Alex

Any chance you could send a screenshot across of a sample report? you have my email right? ;o)

cheers

AJ…

4 01 2011
usman

Hi Alex,

There is a performance issue with sharepoint if we query a list container which has more then 2000 items, do you think that this solution will not have any impact on performance?

Regards,
Usman

4 01 2011
alex350r

Hi Usman,

You should not see a performance issue using Reporting services for this. SSRS is designed to view large amounts of data. The 2000 item limit is per SharePoint view and is not a limitation but a recommendation.

Cheers,

Alex

6 04 2011
Vance Kirklin

We are working on a project submission workflow and would like to report on process cycle times, etc. Do you still have the example code / reports, etc? And could we get them?

Vance Kirklin, MBA
Blue Cross of Idaho
vkirklincontractor@bcidaho.com

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