We have problems with regards to backing up workflow status data, that we have been trying to solve for about a year now.

The situation: After restoring individual InfoPath forms the workflow status data ('workflow metadata'?) are being displayed in Unicode characters. I'm told it's actually binary data that is not meant for display. The workflow status as on the original item are not retained. This presents problems when infopath forms are used for certain organisational processes, for example employee timesheets, where the status data is crucial.

As we have tried two different products and have not yet found a successful sharepoint backup solution, I was hoping someone here recognises this issue or is using a product that successfully restores all the information associated with these forms. enter image description here

edit @Lori: In the case of this form is using the regular Sharepoint Workfllow (Approved Holiday Requests > Settings > Workflow settings > Add or Change a Workflow > Approval)

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    Is the approval actually contained within a form, or is this an SPD or Some other external workflow process that you are trying to get the status of?
    – Lori
    May 19, 2011 at 19:46

1 Answer 1


This has long been an issue as the workflow data is actually kept separately from the actual form itself. However, the best way to manage this to be able to restore is to have the data contained within the form. Let the workflow run, but the actual statuses should be based on fields in the workflow, then your status will always be restored when you restore the item.

What I usually do is create a form with an approval section (or sections) then have the workflow route the form to the approver via a link in email. Then the approval is actually made on the form while the workflow waits for a field to change. Once the field changes, then the workflow moves to the next appropriate step. This way, if a form is deleted and needs to be restored, all of the approval data is there within the form and there is no worry about having lost the status of the workflow.

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