I tried to find out how to delete completed workflows in Alfresco, but I find no way to do that. I’m talking about HUGE number of completed workflows – a thousands. There are many questions on that topic, but no solution. I tried to play with Workflow console, also tried Alfresco Workflow Purge webscript by Rothbury software and also tried to write own deleters based on Workflow service (more on this next time), but no success at all. In better cases process dies with „out of memory“, or completely locks Alfresco in worst cases. So I choose hardcore solution – to delete database tables. And it works :-).

I’m talking about 10 tables, which are bind with foreign keys. So to remove ALL workflows follow those steps (note I’m not responsible for data loses, you’re on your own, so backup carefully!):

  1. Stop Alfresco and stop mysql
  2. Do backups – at least alf_data and /var/lib/mysql
  3. Start mysql and open mysql client
  4. Turn off foreign key checking: SET FOREIGN_KEY_CHECKS=0;
  5. Truncate following tables:
    • JBPM_TOKEN
    • JBPM_TOKENVARIABLEMAP
    • JBPM_TASKINSTANCE
    • JBPM_SWIMLANEINSTANCE
    • JBPM_PROCESSINSTANCE
    • JBPM_MODULEINSTANCE
    • JBPM_LOG
    • JBPM_BYTEBLOCK
    • JBPM_BYTEARRAY
    • JBPM_VARIABLEINSTANCE
  6. Maybe it’s good idea to set index.recovery.mode to FULL
  7. Start Alfresco and hope everything is well
  8. Turn off reindexing set in step 6

Simple yet effective. Please, let me know, if it works on your Alfresco too. I tested it od Community versions 3.4.e, 3.4.d and 4.1.0 (built from svn).