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I keep getting "System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException: Timeout expired. The timeout period elapsed prior to completion of the operation or the server is not responding." 9 out of 10 times when I try to see workflow history. here is what I got from the SP log. I binged the error but not finding any resolution. Spent 6 hours trying to find a solution or looking at SQL log but not finding anything that stands out. I want to find out if anyone else has encounter this before and what is the fix.

// Error

Error establishing database connection. SQL Error: -2.: System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException: Timeout expired.  The timeout period elapsed prior to completion of the operation or the server is not responding.    
 at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlConnection.OnError(SqlException exception, Boolean breakConnection)    
 at System.Data.SqlClient.TdsParser.ThrowExceptionAndWarning(TdsParserStateObject stateObj)    
 at System.Data.SqlClient.TdsParser.Run(RunBehavior runBehavior, SqlCommand cmdHandler, SqlDataReader dataStream, BulkCopySimpleResultSet bulkCopyHandler, TdsParserStateObject stateObj)    
 at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlDataReader.ConsumeMetaData()    
 at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlDataReader.get_MetaData()    
 at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlCommand.FinishExecuteReader(SqlDataReader ds, RunBehavior runBehavior, String resetOptionsString)    
 at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlCommand.RunExecuteReaderTds(CommandBehavior cmdBehavior, RunBehavior runBehavior, Boolean returnStream, Boolean async)    
 at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlCommand.RunExecuteReader(CommandBehavior cmdBehavior, RunBehavior runBehavior, Boolean returnStream, String method, DbAsyncResult result)    
 at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlCommand.RunExecuteReader(CommandBehavior cmdBehavior, RunBehavior runBehavior, Boolean returnStream, String method)    
 at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlCommand.ExecuteReader(CommandBehavior behavior, String method)    
 at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlCommand.ExecuteReader(CommandBehavior behavior)    
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I would start by checking the lag time. Is the SP farm and the SQL Server in the same data center? ping from a SP server to the SQL server, for a duration of 10 minutes (ping SERVER -n 600). Make sure the intra-farm latency is < 1ms. Next, is this a custom code you have created? Do you have a dedicated SQL Server for your SP DBs? Is your custom code calling an LOB DB? Maybe other LOB applications are competing for resources on that SQL Server? I don't recommend you change the timeout settings as this will effect other operations in your SP farm. You have find out what is causing the timeout. –  Hossein Aarabi Dec 30 '13 at 21:25

2 Answers 2

Are you only receiving this timeout error in one particular webapp/site collection/subsite/list workflow history or does this seem to happen intermittently and not specific to any one item? Look over the suggestions provided here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/wbaer/archive/2009/10/06/intermittent-database-server-connectivity-and-microsoft-sharepoint-products-and-technologies.aspx. We increased our timeout to 45 seconds per that article, which makes a change to the server's dsn (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\14.0\Secure\configdb\DSN)

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It seems you are putting a heavy load on the server and that cannot be handled by the SQL Server itself. I would suggest splitting it into chunks, executing one by one and also increase the timeout to something relatively better for the particular query.

I think it is ok to increase timeout upto 90 seconds depending on the situation and then can rollback after its done or specify timeout to the specific command.

Also keep a track of timing and plan the future as you may experience the same in future with the solution getting much complicated and heavy with data.

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