Table Bloat Due to Workflow Log Entries


One of the more common customer issues that has been coming up often lately is table bloat due to a large volume of completed or canceled workflow entries in the organization. There are three main tables that are impacted by this workflow history retention:

  • AsyncOperationBase
  • PrincipalObjectAccess (POA)
  • WorkflowLogBase

Let’s start with a quick background on the purpose of the POA table and why there should be concern if this table starts to grow out of control. The POA table is a SQL table within each CRM organizational database which is used to store all sharing information, mapping users and teams to objects that have been shared to them explicitly or via cascaded operations. We recommend keeping the size of this table reduced as much as possible to optimize performance of the application.

The second table of concern is the AsyncOperationBase table. This table tracks your asynchronous processing job execution (system jobs, workflows, plug-ins, etc). Similar to the POA table, as this table grows larger and contains millions of records, you will most likely start to see a performance decrease on the system.

The last table is the WorkflowLogBase table. This table stores your detailed workflow execution history, including detailed information on the execution of each step within the workflow. Again, if this table grows into the millions of records, you may start to see performance issues with the system.

Now that we’ve covered the purpose and concerns of these tables, let’s discuss the issue at hand. As mentioned previously, table bloat for these three tables is a concern. It’s probably common sense that a large number of completed workflows could directly affect the AsyncOperationBase and WorkflowLogBase tables since they’re used for storing execution and logging history of the workflows. So, why are we seeing table bloat on the POA table as well? This occurs because workflow executions result in the creation of shared access entries in the POA table for the WorkflowLog record of the owner of that workflow.  This means that every time a workflow is executed there are associated WorkflowLog records created in the POA table. Depending on the number of steps within the workflow, this could result in a high ratio of POA records being created for a single workflow execution. The more often workflows are executed, the faster all three of these tables will grow. There are ways to reduce the number of WorkflowLog entries within these tables and we’ll get into that in a bit.

How can you tell if your table bloat is due to a large number of workflow entries? Below are a few simple queries that can be executed to provide you with a record count on the tables of concern. The AsyncOperationBase table will typically have less records than the POA and WorkflowLogBase tables. Take the results of all three queries into consideration when determining if you are seeing this issue in your environment.

Disclaimer: I recommend running these queries during non-Production hours to minimize any performance impact on the system

AsyncOperationBase Query
This query will display a row count of records (operation types defined in the comments of the query below) with a status of completed or canceled and a state of completed.

/*AsyncOperationBase OperationTypes, StatusCodes and StateCodes
Operation Types:
Workflow Expansion Task = 1
Collect SQM Data = 9
PersistMatchCode = 12
FullTextCatalogIndex = 25
UpdateContractStates = 27
WorkFlow = 10

Status Codes:
Suspended, Waiting = 10
Succeeded = 30
Canceled = 32

State Codes:
Completed = 3
Suspended (Waiting) = 1

Replace "OrgName" below with your CRM organization*/

USE [OrgName_MSCRM]

GO

SELECT Name, OperationType, StatusCode, StateCode, COUNT(Name) AS TotalRecordCount
FROM AsyncOperationBase WITH(NOLOCK)
WHERE StatusCode IN (30, 32) AND OperationType IN (1, 9, 12, 25, 27, 10)
GROUP BY Name, OperationType, StatusCode, StateCode
ORDER BY TotalRecordCount DESC


POA Query
The query below will provide you with a breakdown of the total number of POA record counts per record type. This will allow you to pinpoint which record types are consuming the majority of your POA table. If the record type “WorkflowLog” contains a large number of records, then you may be experiencing the issue described above.

 /*Replace "OrgName" below with your CRM organization*/

USE [OrgName_MSCRM]

GO

WITH POAS as (SELECT ObjectTypeCode, COUNT(ObjectTypeCode) AS TotalRecordCount
FROM [dbo].[PrincipalObjectAccess] POA WITH (NOLOCK)
GROUP BY ObjectTypeCode)
SELECT MTDSE.Name, POAS.ObjectTypeCode, TotalRecordCount
FROM POAS JOIN ( SELECT [Name],[ObjectTypeCode]
FROM [MetadataSchema].[Entity]
GROUP BY [Name], [ObjectTypeCode] ) MTDSE ON MTDSE.ObjectTypeCode = POAS.ObjectTypeCode
ORDER BY POAS.TotalRecordCount DESC


WorkflowLogBase Query
This query will return the total number of records in the WorkflowLogBase table with a status of Completed, Canceled or Waiting. 

/*WorkflowLogBase Status codes: 
Status 1 = In Progress
Status 2 = Succeeded
Status 3 = Failed
Status 4 = Canceled
Status 5 = Waiting

Replace "OrgName" below with your CRM organization*/

USE [OrgName_MSCRM]
GO

SELECT wflb.Status, COUNT(wflb.Status) AS TotalRecordCount
FROM WorkflowLogBase wflb WITH(NOLOCK)
WHERE Status IN (2,4,5)
GROUP BY wflb.Status
ORDER BY TotalRecordCount DESC

 

Resolution

There are a couple different ways to remediate this issue. Listed below are separate remediation options based on whether or not your company has business requirements for retaining a history of the workflow execution history.

Option 1 - Purge all successfully completed and canceled workflow history

If you have no business requirements for keeping a history of the successfully completed and canceled workflows, consider using the remediation steps below:

1.     Enable the Automatically delete completed workflow jobs (to save disk space) option located in the WorkFlow properties>Administration tab>Workflow Job Retention section:

 

Note: You would need to do this for all workflows in the organization

2.     Purge all workflow history for successfully completed and canceled workflows using one of the options outlined below:

    1.   Supported SQL script
           1.     Execute the script found in the KB article below:
                   Performance is slow if the AsyncOperationBase table becomes too large in 
                   Microsoft Dynamics CRM
                  
      KB968250 - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/968520
                  
                   
      Note: This script has been updated to include purging of the associated
                   POA records, no longer requiring separate execution of the script found
                   in KB266415.

    2. Bulk delete job within CRM (may take longer)
           1.     Create a bulk delete job with search criteria like the example below:
                  

 Option 2 – Retain workflow history

If you have business requirements around keeping a history of the successfully completed and canceled workflows, it is still highly recommended to determine what that retention period is and purge any completed and canceled workflows older than that timeframe. Keeping an indefinite amount of workflow history will cause these tables to continue to grow out of control slowing down performance. Review the remediation steps below:

1.     Create a scheduled Bulk Delete job to run during non-Production hours with the action of purging successfully completed and canceled workflow jobs older than a specific timeframe (no more than 1 month is recommended). Below is an example of search criteria to use for this type of job:

Note: If you’d like to first determine the number of records that would be purged based on a specific timeframe, you can use the three queries listed above and add a WHERE clause for the CompletedOn and/or ModifiedOn columns. See example below.

--WHERE clause to display only results with CompletedOn and ModifiedOn older than 30 days 
WHERE CompletedOn <= dateadd(day,-30,getdate())
AND ModifiedOn <= dateadd(day,-30,getdate())

 

Additional methods for controlling POA table bloat by modifying security configuration, shared privilege proliferation and unnecessary cascaded behaviors can be found below.

Additional POA Performance Recommendations
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/crminthefield/archive/2011/06/09/principalobjectaccess-performance-recommendations.aspx

CRM 2011 Scalable Security Modeling
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=39095

CRM 2013 Scalable Security Modeling
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=40861

 

Hope this guide helps you alleviate some of the table growth you're seeing in your environment.

Thanks!
Reed Wolfe
Premier Field Engineer

Comments (5)

  1. Robert Ezekiel says:

    Great article Reed!  I'll be referencing it in future project recommendations.

  2. John B says:

    Good info. thanks for compiling this article

  3. Sergey.T says:

    Indeed great clarifications of this common problem.

    >POA Query –

    It actually gives wrong numbers. This query gives proper numbers:

    USE [OrgName_MSCRM]

    GO

    with POAS as (SELECT ObjectTypeCode, COUNT(ObjectTypeCode) as TotalRecordCount

     FROM [dbo].[PrincipalObjectAccess] POA WITH (NOLOCK)

     GROUP BY ObjectTypeCode)

     SELECT MTDSE.Name, POAS.ObjectTypeCode, TotalRecordCount

     FROM POAS

     JOIN (

     SELECT

         [Name]

         ,[ObjectTypeCode]

     FROM [MetadataSchema].[Entity]

     GROUP BY [Name], [ObjectTypeCode]

     ) MTDSE ON MTDSE.ObjectTypeCode = POAS.ObjectTypeCode

     ORDER BY POAS.TotalRecordCount DESC

    GO

  4. Reed Wolfe says:

    @Sergey.T great catch! I have updated the post with your query. Thanks for sharing!!

  5. Duane Napier says:

    Good article that’s nicely written Reed. These 3 tables cause a lot of problems, glad to see your references to the scalable whitepapers as well.

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