Deploying Workflows as 'System Account'? Just Say 'NO!'

Today I found myself scratching my head. I was playing around with workflows (creating out-of-the-box SharePoint Workflows in SharePoint Designer 2010, as well as creating workflows with our own Bamboo Workflow Conductor). I was attempting to build a simple workflow to update a column when a new item is created. I initially built it using the option to manually initiate the workflow to test the logic and make sure the right value was updating.  It did, which was great.  Next, I switched the initiation to automatically run on item creation.  Published the workflow and waited.... and waited... and waited some more, but the workflow never even started. Completely flummoxed, I did some searching online.  Like many other people online, I learned that a common reason for this behavior is that the account currently logged in and deploying the workflow to the associated list was the "System Account." Now first off, it is NEVER a good practice to use "System Account" for day-to-day use of SharePoint.  It has too many variables assocaited with it, as it is a special hardcoded account by SharePoint, and can thus cause issues such as profile mismatches. But there I was, falling into the trap of the "easy testing" and was logged in as "System Account."  With a quick switch of accounts, I attempted to redeploy and, lo and behold, it worked!

So the next time you're having issues with workflows not starting automatically, take a look at who's logged in ... sometimes it's the simplest things in life that get us hung up. Big Smile

Posted Sep 01 2011, 10:15 AM by Jeff Kozloff | Edit this post


Michael Greth [SharePoint MVP] wrote SharePoint Kaffeetasse 247
on Tue, Sep 6 2011 6:39 AM

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