Kevin Kempf's Blog

November 12, 2010

Babysitting the Java Workflow Mailer in 11i

Filed under: 11i — kkempf @ 3:20 pm

Love, Hate

When it works, it’s great.  Users love being able to respond to workflows via the inbound java notification mailer in 11i.  They don’t have to log into the apps to do their work, and in our case (iProcurement) they can even approve a purchase from their Blackberry while out of the office.   Not exactly cutting edge technology, but it’s a visible, worthwhile enhancement which costs about nothing to implement.

The issue

The java workflow mailer gets hung up all the time.  On average, about once a week, it would hang or shut itself down.  As far as I can tell from the logs, many times this was because someone would reply directly to the inbound mailer via email, but not all the time.  Despite uploading log after log in SRs, and confirming over and over I had the latest patch set it, the only surefire way to fix this was to stop the workflow mailer service (container)  and restart the container.   This has two major problems.  First, it can be hung up without my knowledge, and people get annoyed when they approve a PO and it doesn’t show up.  Second, it’s a manual effort to check all the time, and if I’m out of the office I have to plan for someone to “check and see if the workflow notification mailer is running”.

My Fix

Unbeknown to me, the solution was right in front of me, and relatively painless.  Based on the assumption that 1) restarting the container always fixed it and 2) restarting it didn’t break anything, I came up with this fix.  Using the Service Components’ own internal settings, I told it to shut down every day at 8am and restart at 8:10am.  While I will freely admit that this is a Microsoft solution (reboot to fix), I just don’t care.  Since implementing it, I have not had a single problem with the mailer in nearly a month.

  1. From OAM, Navigate to Applications System:SID> Workflow
  2. Select the radio button for Workflow Notification Mailer and hit the Edit button
  3. Hit the Advanced button.
  4. Hit the Next button until you get to step 5 of 8 (Edit Workflow Mailer: Schedule Events: SID)
  5. Hit the button Add another Row
  6. Hit the flashlight and select stop, then accept
  7. Fill in the start date, and time.  For Interval, use 1440 (minutes) for every day
  8. Hit the flashlight and select start, then accept
  9. Fill in the same start date, and time from step 7 +10 minutes.  For Interval, use 1440 (minutes) for every day
  10. Hit Finish

Setting up a recurring stop & start

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