We've worked with clients and data of all shapes and sizes - from small to medium to large. In this blog, I'm going to focus on those with large amounts of data. But not just large amounts of data, also large amounts of automated logic that is often at least partially translated to Workflows in Dynamics 365. Workflows in Dynamics 365 provide value to organizations in that they can be used to perform automated calculations to automatic record updates to even automated email notifications based on a defined trigger.
While workflows do provide value to our clients, they can sometimes get out of hand and essentially get "stuck" when there is a large amount of processing involved. This could be caused by a number of reasons - from reaching the Dynamics 365 API threshold during a large migration to an undetected infinite loop amongst a multi-step workflow series. Either of these scenarios can wreak havoc on your org and essentially bring it to a "system down" state where end users may not even be able to login to your Dynamics 365 org. By default, there is no built in feature that can automatically handle these scenarios and any that exist, are limited. For example, Microsoft does catch infinite loops and fails workflow jobs when the loop is caused directly by itself, but it is not catching those that are caused by a workflow series that aren't directly connected.
With our expertise in not only Dynamics 365, but also Azure, we’ve built a custom solution that has worked well for our clients. We call it the Dynamics 365 Workflow Killer. It essentially runs in the background, outside of Dynamics, in Azure to monitor workflows and the associated system jobs that are stuck waiting after a specified threshold is met. It then essentially "kills" it (hence the name) by preventing it from consuming more resources. It also sends an alert to a ticketing system so our team can identify the cause and fix it or prevent it from occurring again.
This solution helps prevent those inevitable "system down" outages that orgs with large amounts of data and processing are going to face. The more data you have, the harder it can be to detect issues which is why we recommend a monitoring app such as our Workflow Killer.
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