Changing Workflow Composer Database Connections

The Workflow Composer application maintains three connection strings for the database(s) that it uses. Those connection strings represent the CampusNexus Student database, the durable instancing database used for workflow persistence, and the one for workflow tracking.

The CampusNexus Student database refers to the main SIS database. The database for workflow persistence captures a workflow instance’s state. A workflow can become idle for various reasons, such as when it is waiting for input from some user or external system, or is waiting on a timer. In such situations, a workflow is unloaded and persisted so that it can be resumed later. The Workflow Composer application also provides functionality to let users terminate idle workflows.

The tracking database stores data that allows users insight into a workflow’s execution. Tracking information is emitted from the workflow runtime and can be used to view a workflow’s execution at runtime.

When a user installs the Workflow Composer application, they are prompted to provide database connection information.

Workflow Composer Installation

Typically, the CampusNexus Student and workflow persistence databases are one and the same, so those two connection strings are both set using the information entered. The tracking database is usually a separate database named “WorkflowTracking”. As a result, the workflow tracking connection string is set using the entered value for “Database Server”, along with “WorkflowTracking” for the database name.

But what if you want to modify one or more of the connection strings after installation? You could uninstall the application and then reinstall it, but an alternative to that approach, which may be faster, is to modify the application’s configuration file.

If you go to the file directory where the Workflow Composer application executable (WorkflowComposer.exe) resides, you will find a configuration file named “WorkflowComposer.exe.config”. This file is in XML format and can be opened with any text editor.

Within the file, you will find a “connectionStrings” section which has information for the three connections:

  • dbConnection – CampusNexus Student database
  • WorkflowDurableInstancingConnection – Workflow persistence database
  • WorfklowTrackingConnection – Workflow tracking database

Workflow Composer Config File

Each connection element has an attribute named “connectionString” that contains the actual connection string for the database. Within the connection string, “data source” represents the database server name and “initial catalog” represents the database name. You can make the changes that you want and save the file.

The next time you run Workflow Composer, it will use the new connection information. You can confirm which databases the application is using by viewing the database connection information that is displayed in the lower left hand corner as well as on the About window.

When you want to change database connection information but don’t want to bother with uninstalling/reinstalling the application, modifying the configuration file is a viable alternative.

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