Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Debugging Made Easier with a Waiting Process

UPDATED June 16, 2013 12:15 PM EST:

The "Waiting Process" trick was taking advantage of unintended functionality. Processes will no longer be able to launch with "Wait to Complete" in a Work Item as of SU5, but of course "Wait to Complete" will still be available as an option at the Task level.

Hey There Process-meisters! This is no earth-shattering discovery, and hopefully some of you already figured it out. As I had my debug-on this evening (yes, it's all pretty much DIY debug with IPA today) I needed a way to look at some variables mid-process while in a Work Item.

Ye Olde Elder Box Bug
Image Credit:
Unfortunately we don't have a Breakpoint tool (yet, fingers crossed) in Interaction Process Automation and the Wait tool doesn't exist at the Work Item level, but guess what? Run Process does, so....

1. Make a New Process.
2. Initial State - call a Task, which I naturally called WAITING.
3. Within that Task, set a Wait for 1 minute.

I wouldn't recommend going higher than a minute on the Wait, just in case you forget to remove one before putting your process into production.

Call this process from your main process for debugging purposes with the Wait To Complete radio button selected. Don't forget to take them out. I tend to set the Notes of my steps with something like ZZZ or DEBUG that's easy to find using the IPA search capabilities.

Since I wanted to look at some Work Item variables, from Process Automation Monitor, I made new Process-level variables that start with TEMP. I do this so I remember to delete them before production to use less resources with the process.

The nice thing is, after you've had a chance to inspect your process-level variables in PAM, you can Cancel the Waiting process and your other process will continue on it's merry way.

It ain't rocket science, and you might argue it's barely computer science, but hey, it works for me, at least until SU5.

Got any debugging or troubleshooting tips and tricks? Please share in the comments. PLEASE! Pretty please...?

As always,

Happy Processing!

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