I’m an old school developer, so I’ll admit, I do like XML. Even though JSON is the flavor of the day these days.
A little while ago, Nintex released XML actions for Nintex Workflow Cloud. The first thing that came to mind, is a great way to store more complex data inside a workflow instance. Then we released the “Call a Web Service On-premises” action. So there are more reasons to use the XML actions. If you plan on calling an on-prem SOAP service, you’ll get XML back. If you need to extract data out of it, the Query XML action is perfect for that.
But, I’m moving away from the point of this post. The idea of having temporary storage inside a workflow instance. You’re probably wondering what that means.
If you have a database that you use, and you need to store and read data from it, then that is persistent data. If a workflow instance writes to the database and then ends, the data remains in that database. The next workflow instances that queries that data, will get the updated data.
With temporary storage, I’m talking about data that only lives for the life of the workflow instance. It’s a more complex workflow variable.
There are a number of reasons why this is helpful. The main one for me, is when you have a large workflow that is querying data from another system (Database, SharePoint, Salesforce) and you do need to calculations on that data throughout the workflow. Especially if the end result is that you to output that data into a document or even a table in a document. Outside the instance of that workflow, you don’t need the data that you have accumulated, calculated or manipulated.
Watch the video below, to see an example of how to do this easily in Nintex Workflow Cloud.