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Limit to number of states in a workflow?

Erik Mats (10511025) | asked Nov 08 '16, 6:41 a.m.
Is there a limit to the number of states you can have in a workflow?

One customer had 60 states each in a few workflows. They found some operations didn't quite work in Eclipse on Windows, which would show the states incorrectly and issue this error:

org.eclipse.swt.SWTError: No more handles

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Erik Mats (10511025) | answered Nov 08 '16, 6:41 a.m.

The limit they happened across is that Windows doesn't allow more than 10000 "USER objects" and Eclipse creates about 5 USER objects for each intersection between two states, when displaying a workflow.

So number of USER objects = constant of ~700 + number of states * number of states * 5, roughly.

This means that if you need to have more than about 40 states, you may need to edit the workflow using the web client, or using the XML view in Eclipse.

You should then also consider whether some of the workflow should be encoded differently, such as using an attribute or using separate work item types. Having a very large number of states is an anti-pattern and will not be easy to maintain.

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