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Topic Title: Task hangs after last executable step
Topic Summary: Stays in "running" state in Execution Status tab
Created On: 07/06/2012 05:50 PM
Status: Read Only
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 07/06/2012 05:50 PM
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JohnScott
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I have a workflow that it emulating a user logging in to our web site. I have one task in it that contains the script for doing this. Open web browser to URL X, wait for window with title.., set username, click login btn, wait for window with title, and so forth.

At the end of this process, it reaches the inside of the site, clicks the Log Out button, and closes the browser. After the "Close browser.." step the only remaining steps below that in the script are a couple End Ifs and an Else clause that it won't execute because it already ran the part after the IF.

When I run this workflow it runs successfully all the way through closing the browser, but then hangs in a Running state. The palette that shows what step you are on in the current task closes (indicating that at least part of the agent thinks that it has completed the task), but the task still shows as Running in the Mgmt Console's Execution Status tab. If I stop the task using the button in the Execution Status tab, the workflow will write to the Output tab that the task "had its execution interrupted" and follow the Success flow control to the next downstream task. (The effect of the interrupted task on the shared variables seems to be rolled back, though.)

After the step that I can see succeeds as I watch the console, there are no remaining executable steps in the task.

At some earlier point in this coding session (before some changes that are nowhere near this area) this section of code was working perfectly. Then, it started hanging here. I have gotten it to stop hanging by inserting a Stop Task (Success) step, but that seems a redundant workaround.

Are you aware that this product can do such a thing? (I've searched the forum and found no similar posts.)

(vers 8.0.1.10, running on Windows Srvr 2003 Std, sp2, in a VMware v4.1 environment)

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AutoMate BPA Server 8 version: 8.0.1
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 07/06/2012 09:01 PM
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JeanDelfosse
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John,
there were such reports on BPA 9. But I can't remember if I saw some on BPA8.
And I'm unsure also solutions were found (unless an extraneous STOP step as you did)
However, in order to better diagnose :
- If the tasks run in High Isolation mode, they run each in an individual BPATask.exe process. Is it your case ?
- When the task "terminates" but still appears "running", is there a BPATask.exe process left behind ?


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Jean Delfosse - Automate Beta Tester
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 07/09/2012 05:37 PM
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JohnScott
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Jean, thank you for your reply.

* Both at the workflow level and for the individual task, this is inheriting the Default isolation level.

* Yes, when the task hangs, it leaves a BPATask.exe instance running in the task list. (The tray icon reflects this with a green status.)

Even adding the explicit STOP TASK step has not fixed this behavior in the way I thought it did when I made my original post at the top of this thread. In the last half-hour I have run this workflow 3 times. The first time, the task ended and the whole workflow ran successfully. The last two times, the task hung, apparently while or immediately after executing the STOP TASK step.

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AutoMate BPA Server 8 version: 8.0.1
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 07/09/2012 05:54 PM
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JohnScott
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I've just tested whether changing the isolation level has any effect: it doesn't seem to. I changed the isolation at the workflow properties from inherited/default to Always Isolate. The first time I ran it after that, the task did not hang, but stopped appropriately and the entire workflow completed without requiring intervention. The next two times I ran it, though, the problem task hung.

Then to check whether this pattern of first-one-works-later-tries-hang was consistent, I changed the workflow isolation level back to the inherited/default. The first run after that hung at the usual place.

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AutoMate BPA Server 8 version: 8.0.1
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 07/09/2012 09:06 PM
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JeanDelfosse
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John,
your findings are quite interesting, but I have no idea of what could be the root cause of the problem. Why the hell does further runs behave differently than the first one ?
Only N/A could hopefully help.

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Jean Delfosse - Automate Beta Tester
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 07/10/2012 06:45 AM
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Leonard Amabile
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Hi John,

If possible, please update to the latest version of BPA v8.0.9.0. This version contains quite a few stability corrections. Also, would it be possible to export your workflow and attach the .ampkg file? Do you have any SQL queries in the task itself?





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Leonard Amabile | Director, Cross Platform Support
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 07/10/2012 02:54 PM
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JohnScott
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Leonard, thanks for responding. I have exported the workflow, changed the filename extension from ampkg to aml, and attached it to this post.

This workflow does not execute any SQL queries or connect to any SQL servers. The task that hangs only manipulates a web browser session and sets shared variables.

We can consider upgrading to 8.0.9.0, but it would help to sell it to my change control board if you could link any of the deltas between 8.0.1 and 8.0.9 to behavior like we're seeing here, or at least pronounce your unequivocal recommendation that all AutoMate shops should move to 8.0.9.0 as the definitive 8.x version. We would also consider upgrading to a 9.x version if you could make a similar case for it.

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 07/11/2012 11:32 AM
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JohnScott
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This morning, I ran the workflow three consecutive times successfully, all times in which I started with the console woken from sleep but no one logged in.

Then I launched it once with the console logged in to automate_user but locked. The workflow failed to open the lock, so I stopped the workflow.

Then I launched it with the console logged in to automate_user and unlocked. The IBperf nav task hung. Thinking I might be on the verge of recognizing a element of reproducability, I repeated, from the same logged in starting environment. IBperf nav hung.

Then I launched it with the console woken and no one logged it. the IBperf nav task hung, dashing my theory that this problem was tied to the circumstances of the workflow login.

Then I logged in as automate_user, logged out without doing anything, then launched the workflow. the IBperf nav task hung.

Then I waited 10 minutes, and launched the worflow with the console woken and no one logged in. the IBperf nav task hung, dashing my theory that this was related to how recently the workflow had logged in for itself.

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 07/16/2012 12:04 PM
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Liz Casale
AUTOMATE EMPLOYEE

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Joined: 05/23/2011

Hi John,

What logon properties do you have set up for this task/workflow? The logon properties must be set to:

Run as Logged on User
Logon Specified User
Unlock using Specified User

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Liz Casale
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Network Automation, Inc.

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 07/17/2012 09:32 AM
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JohnScott
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Workflow logon properties are:
Run as logged on user
Logon Specified user
Unlock using Specified user

Task logon properties are:
Inherited: Log on as background user
Inherited: When logged on, Run as background user
Inherited: When locked: Run as background user

Both the inherited background user and the specified user are the same credentials.

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 07/17/2012 09:40 AM
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Liz Casale
AUTOMATE EMPLOYEE

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Hi John,

Thank you for your reply. You will want to change the task properties to match the WF properties. Since your task interacts with a browser window, it cannot run in the background.

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Liz Casale
Technical Support Representative
(213) 738-6966
Network Automation, Inc.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AM5 5.5.5.1; AM6 6.2.8.0; AM7 7.1.3.0; AM8 8.0.9.0; AM9 9.0.3.4
BPA7 7.1.3.0; BPA8 8.0.9.0; BPA9 9.0.3.4
 07/17/2012 12:35 PM
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JohnScott
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Changed the task Logon properties to match them to the workflow properties, per your direction, Liz.

Launched the workflow with the console woken and the user logged in to the console. The entire workflow ran successfully without hanging.

Launched the workflow with the console woken and no user logged in. The IBperf nav task hung after completing its last executable step (no change).

Launched the workflow with the console woken and the user logged in to the console. The IBperf nav task hung in the same way it has been.

Launched the workflow with the console woken and the user logged in to the console. The IBperf nav task hung in the same way it has been.

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AutoMate BPA Server 8 version: 8.0.1
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 07/17/2012 04:15 PM
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Liz Casale
AUTOMATE EMPLOYEE

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Joined: 05/23/2011

Hi John,

Thank you for your post. After you upgrade to BPA Server 8.0.9, please send an email to support@networkautomation.com with your availability so we can set up a GoToAssist session. This will allow us to view your system.

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Liz Casale
Technical Support Representative
(213) 738-6966
Network Automation, Inc.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AM5 5.5.5.1; AM6 6.2.8.0; AM7 7.1.3.0; AM8 8.0.9.0; AM9 9.0.3.4
BPA7 7.1.3.0; BPA8 8.0.9.0; BPA9 9.0.3.4
 07/18/2012 11:28 AM
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JohnScott
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We are willing to upgrade, but it may take several weeks to work that through change management here at our end.

If we were to upgrade next week, would you recommend going to 8.0.9, or 9.0.1? Aside from the new features supported in v9, how do 8.0.9 and 9.0.1 compare in stability?

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 07/18/2012 12:35 PM
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Liz Casale
AUTOMATE EMPLOYEE

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Joined: 05/23/2011

Hi John,

Thank you for your reply. We always suggest the most recent version, which would be 9.0.1. BPA Server 9 does have a DataStore Migration Utility you can use the migrate all of the data.

Here is the changelog for BPA Server 9:

http://www.networkautomation.c...A-Server-9/9.0.1.0/10/

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Liz Casale
Technical Support Representative
(213) 738-6966
Network Automation, Inc.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AM5 5.5.5.1; AM6 6.2.8.0; AM7 7.1.3.0; AM8 8.0.9.0; AM9 9.0.3.4
BPA7 7.1.3.0; BPA8 8.0.9.0; BPA9 9.0.3.4
 01/21/2013 04:37 PM
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RolandGarrison
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Joined: 12/13/2010

I have the same problem with Automate Professional 8.0.1.10 on Windows server 2003
It did not occur in the past, but it started doing it a few months ago (October or September possibly). I suspect it may be related to some Windows updates. I really would like to find a solution.

It happens with multiple tasks. One of them ends with a label EndTask: and the script actually stops at that step.

Is it possible that some setting for the step could resolve this?

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 01/21/2013 08:42 PM
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JeanDelfosse
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Roland,
this appears to happen in various circumstances, and could never be solved so far.
See the related article for AM9 where some users report some success.

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Jean Delfosse - Automate Beta Tester
Win7 Pro 64 bits -Win XP Pro SP3 32 bits - AM8, AM7, BPA10, BPA9, BPA8, BPA7, AM6 Enterprise, AM4
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