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ChrisC
Level 8

Flow becomes unresponsive with added steps

Hey guys, I was hoping you all had some tips

 

I have a flow with 19 steps and it has become unresponsive or at least very hard to work with. I am assuming this is due to the size of the flow, but I have other flows with near that number and they work reasonably well in Chrome.

 

Is there a recommended browser to edit flows? Which is most efficient? Is there going to be an editor that doesn't rely on a browser? 

13 REPLIES 13
Super User
Super User

Re: Flow becomes unresponsive with added steps

Hi @ChrisC,

 

There is no recommended browser for editing flows. I use Edge more than Chrome. Again I don't have a flow with 19 steps. So it's difficult to say which is most efficient. Currently there is no specific editor available to edit flows. You can submit this in ideas forum.

 

https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Flow-Ideas/idb-p/FlowIdeas

 

Thanks



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ChrisC
Level 8

Re: Flow becomes unresponsive with added steps

I'll give edge a shot. to be a little more specific I think I've reduced the problem to being the "Sharepoint - Get Items" function. I have 8 of them in the flow & it needs to loop through all of them to find a specific item, or the lack of it. I remade it exluding the get items functions and it was fine until I began adding them. If there was a method of having FlowA start FlowB etc this could be solved too, but I haven't been able to find one

ChrisC
Level 8

Re: Flow becomes unresponsive with added steps

Little more info:

 

The memory usage of the tab seems to continuously rise, even beyond the physical size of all of the lists it is retrieving. Becomes unresponsive at around 1.4Gb used. The PC I am using has 8gb RAM and the tab became unresponsive at around ~65% total memory usage. Nothing else on the computer slowed down. I'm fairly positive it is all the get item calls causing this.

Super User
Super User

Re: Flow becomes unresponsive with added steps

Hi @ChrisC,

 

Thanks for your reply. Yes It will be good to call parent and child workflows. Currently this is not available in flow. The other option I can think is host a custom API to do the more complicated stuff by passing the parameter from your flow and do the processing.

 

Good luck.

 

Thanks



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Microsoft Employee

Re: Flow becomes unresponsive with added steps

Having the same issue. Seems like a week or so ago it started to really get bad, now I cannot even get my flow to be editable. I have 5 get SharePoint item calls and a number of steps, all works great, I just cannot edit the flow now.

 

I get unresponsive messages in Chrome, Edge or IE. I have tried increasing the cache size, clearing the cache, etc. I will close everything else down and set the power management to High Performance. I cannot even remove steps.

 

Any advise on this?

ChrisCC
Level: Powered On

Re: Flow becomes unresponsive with added steps

I found that pressing Update Flow immediately after opening the flow helps. It still takes anywhere from 5-20 minutes to be editable. Also, minimizing the window while it's loading causes it to crash so make sure it's left open

AdrianSullivan
Level: Powered On

Re: Flow becomes unresponsive with added steps

I have quite a lot of steps, and I cannot interact with my flow even after 60 minutes.

When adding an action I get the item select option come up, but I cannot interact with it.

 

This has become a lot worse in the last week for me, since my URL has been showing https://australia.flow.microsoft.com

 

It is very difficult to manage this flow if we cannot edit it, and this is impacting our ability to showcase this internally, or externally.

 

I have the same issue on Chrome, Edge and IE. Although Edge has been the best, it's pretty much unusable.

ChrisCC
Level: Powered On

Re: Flow becomes unresponsive with added steps

HI Adrian,

 

I have the same issue with a few of my flows. I can sometimes get them to finish loading if I open it up in Edit Mode, and immediately hit Update Item and wait. The tab cannot be minimized while it is loading or else it will become unusable again.

 

I've gotten around it by having Flows dump the data to SQL and perform all my actions with stored procedures. It's an annoying couple extra steps and it isn't always a viable solution, plus it clutters our server, but it makes it manageable. This does need to be addressed

AdrianSullivan
Level: Powered On

Re: Flow becomes unresponsive with added steps

Hi Chris,

 

I followed your advise and got the flow editable after leaving it to load for 2 hours. At the moment I have 80 action steps in this flow, so even sitting idle Edge is consuming 1GB or RAM and 30% CPU. I have tried this on a 512GB RAM, 42 CPU server with the exact same results. Actually it took longer on the 42 CPU machine because the server CPUs are slower and Javascript is single threaded so you only ever use 1 CPU, at least that's what the clever chaps have told me.

In terms of browsers I find that Edge is the most reponsive, Chrome second, almost everything else in between and then IE as the least responsvie.

 

I do like how you are offsetting your workflow to SQL, but that means you are using SQL as your workflow engine instead of Flow. 

 

I have also had mixed success exporting my flow to zip and editing the JSON file directly before repacking it an updating the flow. This works fine as long as I have a sample action items to copy. It just feels like I'm spending my time in a text editor instead of the Flow GUI. Maybe I should try SSMS while I'm at it.

ChrisCC
Level: Powered On

Re: Flow becomes unresponsive with added steps

Hi Adrian,

 

Thanks for your response, editting the JSON file is a good approach. I wonder if you can get around Flows limitations like nested loops by creating them manually..hm.

 

That was a good test on the server. I think the problem is being rounded down to be some in-browser limit

Super User
Super User

Re: Flow becomes unresponsive with added steps

@Hi @ChrisC.

 

I have here a flow with 29 steps and is realy hard to work with him, is slow and unresponsive as you said.

 

A strategy that we use here is put the Chrome in a half of screen, when we do this the flow layout change(i think to mobile) and is more easy to work. Is slow equals but more easy

 

 

Hope have helped,

 

Gustavo Moraes


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Gustavo Moraes, o astronauta brasileiro do Flow!


Dcurran12
Level: Powered On

Re: Flow becomes unresponsive with added steps

Ditto for me...I have a large flow with several Sharepoint Get Item steps in it...takes upwards of 10-20 minutes before I get any response from the editor...tried all the stuff people have suggested here...no help.  Once the page does become editable, performance is spotty at best.

 

Can't help but notice that MSFT is very quiet on this issue...any updates for us MSFT? 

BrianR
Level 10

Re: Flow becomes unresponsive with added steps

I'd love to hear Microsoft's response on this too as it is a MAJOR issue.  Just deployed a large project where MS Flow is a critical component, and it is almost unusable to be able to change anything in the Flow.  I was initially thinking that it may have been due to the firewall, etc they put on our work systems, but after trying on my personal machine, same thing...  No difference.

This is getting to the point of being unusable, and making me consider that we'll need to move away from Flow for this (which at the moment is critical for this project, but I have alternatives).  

 

Even editing a comment in a block takes FOREVER.  I can literally count to 15-20 between when it accepts each keypress at times.  

No reason in 2018 on a decent system (i7 SP4, 16GB RAM) that simple edits to a flow need to take so long.  This is VERY frustrating...

 

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