ValidateSingleEnd

The ValidateSingleEnd validator finds and identifies multiple End activities in a single workflow.

Multiple End activities in a workflow might be intentional and have no affect on the workflow, or might be a mistake that the designer needs to correct.

Validation summary

  • Risk: If the execution paths to the End activities are not mutually exclusive, then the first End encountered completes the workflow and cancels all other executing activities.
  • Severity Level: Warning
  • Valid Result: Valid
  • Valid Message: This workflow contains 1 End activity.
  • Invalid Result: Invalid Activity
  • Invalid Message: This workflow contains <count of ends> End activities.
  • Suggested Action: Remove extraneous End activities that are not intended as part of the design.
  • Publishable: Yes
  • Runnable: Yes
  • Related Information: None

Troubleshooting

As soon as an End activity is encountered in the workflow, the workflow completes even if there are other viable execution paths leading to a second End activity that is still executing. Those executing activities are canceled as part of the End activity's clean up actions. Therefore, the results of designing workflows with multiple Ends must be carefully considered.

In the case of large workflows, it is often more intuitive to read the workflow when there are multiple End activities. In the following example, the paths to the two Ends are mutually exclusive execution paths. If this was a large workflow, with many activities between Branch and the second End, the value of the multiple ends becomes apparent. Tracing a No response from User is invalid to a single End behind 33 other activities would be significantly more difficult. There is no risk in this workflow design because there is no reason for other activities to execute if the End after the Notification activity terminates the workflow.

Figure 1. Mutually exclusive execution paths

The next example has multiple End activities in execution paths that are not mutually exclusive. A Yes response from User is valid causes the Set Values activity to finish immediately. By reaching its End activity first, this execution path cancels the Approval for Apps and the DB Task activities, which might not be the desired outcome. If the paths are all expected to complete before End, the activities should come to a Join (as in the previous example) that transitions to a single End.

Figure 2. Mutually inexclusive execution paths
Note: To add the second End, right-click to copy the original End activity and paste it onto the canvas. In most cases, a single End is the best and most reliable way to ensure that all activities expected to execute prior to workflow completion, do so successfully.