Resolving Exponential Smart Folders Duplication

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Overview

There is a known product defect in IBM BPM that causes smart folders to duplicate with each import of a process application. This duplication causes large TWX file sizes and can result in installation failures. Removing the smart folders fixes this problem.

Problem

The number of smart folders in a Process Application or Toolkit doubles when imported into a different Process Center, resulting in an exponential increase in the number of smart folders. See IBM Defect JR55349 for additional details. This can cause the following issues:

  • Import of a TWX containing thousands of smart folders can be slow or even fail due to hung threads and resource consumption.
  • Likewise, deployment of a process application to a Process Server may also fail as it attempts to process all of the smart folders.
  • Opening a process application or toolkit in Process Designer may also negatively impact the Designer's performance as it loads the smart folder information.

Brazos UI and Smart Folder Duplication

A past release of the Brazos UI Toolkit included two smart folders named Controls and Charts. Although these smart folders were removed in release v3.18 and higher, earlier versions of Brazos UI might have introduced them into a Process Center. Over time, the number of smart folders could have increased as process applications utilizing the Brazos UI toolkit were exported and imported due to the IBM BPM defect. We recommend that all Brazos UI customers check their environments for this potential issue.

Solutions

Remove existing smart folders

Smart folders only duplicate when custom folders are used (the standard system smart folders do not exhibit this behavior). By removing smart folders from an application the problem will not occur or spread.

Deleting the folder entries directly from the database is quick and easy and ensures that all of the smart folders are removed from the environment. Before directly modifying the IBM BPM database, you should observe the following cautions:

  • Direct modifications of BPM's databases are not supported by IBM.
  • Before proceeding, make a backup of the database state in case a problem requires a rollback.

The procedure outlined below will remove ALL custom smart folders from the system.

    1. Stop the BPM server. Do not modify the targeted database while BPM is running.
    2. Run the following SQL queries:

      select count (*) from lsw_smart_folder where live='T'

      If the count is >0 then run the following delete statement:

      delete from lsw_smart_folder where live='T'

    3. Restart BPM.

If you actively utilize custom smart folders in your process application these can be recreated after they have all been removed or targeted SQL statements can be used instead. You may contact BP3 support if you need assistance with this.

You can also manually delete the smart folders from your process applications and toolkits, but this is impractical if you have more than a few smart folder, and in some cases manual deletion does not remove the entries from the database.

Apply iFix 8.5.5.0-WS-BPM-IFJR53349 or 8.5.6 Cumulative Fix 2

Version 8.5.5.0 of BPM has an available iFix which removes the check on smart folder ownership. This iFix is also included as part of Cumulative Fix 2 for Version 8.5.6. This fix will prevent the duplication of smart folders when importing an application. Note that this will not remove existing smart folders in an application or prevent the import of smart folders that are included in an export. This means you will need to delete smart folders from all Process Centers that you interact with and watch for the introduction of smart folders due to exports from external environments.

Avoid using smart folders

As long as smart folders are not utilized there is nothing to duplicate. If you currently have an excess of duplicated smart folders, removing them from all environments that participate in export and import of applications will make sure no environment will spread the folders.

As an alternative to smart folders, tags can used for organizing artifacts in BPM applications.

Avoid importing duplicated smart folders

TWX exports can also be examined for smart folders and duplication problems before import. The first hint that there is a duplication problem is if the export is larger than expected. Direct evidence of duplication can be observed by examining the package.xml file. In the case of the Brazos UI Toolkit as part of an application, you would look in export_file\toolkits\toolk_identifier.zip\META-INF\package.xml for something similar to this:

 

 

External Links

IBM Knowledge Center: http://www.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg1JR53349

IBM Cumulative Fix 2 for 8.5.6: http://www.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg27047175

IBM dW Answers: https://developer.ibm.com/answers/questions/200856/is-there-a-way-to-delete-all-the-smart-folders.html

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