I am setting up a fairly large workflow to assist our sales group. The list in question tracks orders through our design, manufacturing and installation, as such, from start to finish could be 3 ~ 6 months or more.

Since the timespan is so long, is it better to create a single workflow and use a lot of wait for action / pause actions or would it be more efficient to create small workflows for each task, then use a timer job run daily to call the appropriate workflows?

I have read most, if not all the information on TechNet, and they recommend bigger workflows versus smaller ones. However I am looking for some information from someone who has done complex, long running workflows to give me some guidance.

We are a small company so I have one server with SharePoint and one server running SQL Server, SSRS and Workflow Manager.


I'd say several workflows for a few reasons.

  • Segregation of faulty tasks
  • Being able to pick/choose and loop or skip tasks from an outside factor (decision-making, rejection of approval workflow, etc)
  • Smaller testing
  • Easier maintenance and modification
  • Ease of additional functionality

You probably need to do some heavy documentation if it will be complex. I wouldn't write a timerjob to kick off the workflows, but rather a PowerShell script, so that it's not baked into on-prem SharePoint.

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