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Information in workflow records cannot be trusted.

Question asked by lyles on Apr 28, 2012
Latest reply on May 5, 2012 by mrogers
It looks like there are a few problems with Alfresco workflows that result in missing or incorrect information recorded in the details of a workflow. The problems occur in Alfresco 4.0.d. and can all be easily reproduced with the out-of-box review and approve workflows. I haven’t tested in any other version.

1) A pooled task can be completed without first claiming it and there is no record of who completed the task. The owner property of the task is unset and displays as “(none)” in the task and workflow details pages in Share.

Relying on the user to claim the task but still allowing them to complete it without claiming it does not make any sense. The task owner should be set to the current user if they click on the accept or reject button and that results in a successful completion of the task, regardless of whether or not they have first claimed the task. There must be a way to set the task owner to the current user, but I haven’t been able to figure it out and every way that I’ve tried has failed. I also tried setting the taskOwner field to be mandatory, expecting that the user would not be able to complete the task without first claiming it, but that had no effect.

2) Any workflow task can be completed by the initiator of the workflow and the record will indicate that the assignee completed it. It may be a feature and not a bug that allows the initiator to complete all tasks themselves, but it should at least record that it was the initiator that completed the task instead of entering false information into the record.

3) When a task from a set of parallel tasks is completed and satisfies the completion condition for the set of tasks, the outcome and comments are copied to all of the remaining tasks in the set that have not yet been completed. The out-of-box parallel review and approve workflow demonstrates the problem.

I’ve researched the issues and #2 has a JIRA for v3.4:, but it won’t be fixed and the comment from the assignee indicates that having false information in the workflow record is not a concern!  I wasn’t able to find any JIRAs on the other two problems, but since they also have to do with false information in the workflow record, there is no point in reporting them.

I have a custom workflow that exhibits all three problems. By the time that the workflow reaches the top level manager, the workflow details may be a complete mess of incomplete and false information that cannot be trusted.

Any advice or help fixing these problems would be much appreciated.