Orchestrator
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Orchestrator User Guide
Last updated Feb 15, 2024

Queue Item Retention Policy

Overview

Processing queues items generates large amounts of transactions, which may crowd your Orchestrator database rapidly. A retention policy helps you free up the database in an organized manner.

What is a retention policy? It is an agreement to ensure built-in data off-loading capabilities, by setting an action to remove data from your database after a period of time. What to expect? Due to a lighter database, your cloud Orchestrator performs better.

Queue Item Conditions

For the specified queue, the retention policy you configure applies to all queue items that simultaneously meet the following conditions:

  • they have a final status, such as Failed,Successful,Abandoned,Retried, or Deleted, and
  • they have been last modified more than X days ago, X being the retention duration.

Determining When a Queue Item Was Last Modified

The queue item validation algorithm searches through all queues and determines which queue items meet the conditions based on four properties, in the following order:

  • 1 - LastModificationTime
  • 2 - EndProcessingTime
  • 3 - StartProcessingTime
  • 4 - CreationTime

If a queue item does not have a LastModificationTime value (1), or if the value is null, the algorithm looks at the EndProcessingTime value (2). If the EndProcessingTime value is null, the algorithm looks at the StartProcessingTime value (3). If the StartProcessingTime value is null, the algorithm looks at the CreationTime value (4), and applies the policy based on the first non-null value found.

Determining When a Queue Item Is Deleted

The retention is calculated based on calendar days. Therefore, qualified queue items are deleted on the X+1 calendar day, X being the retention duration, and +1 representing the deletion job execution on the following calendar day.

Note that the job may execute at the very beginning of the following calendar day, hence a couple of hours apart from the moment the retention duration ends.

For example, say you set a retention duration of 1 day:

If the last modification date for a queue item is either 10-06-2022 00:01:00 (the first minute in the calendar day) or 10-06-2022 23:59:00 (the last minute in the calendar day), it qualifies for the deletion job that runs on June 12th (June 10th + 1-day retention duration + 1 day after = June 12th).

Therefore:

  • we ensure your queue item data is kept for at least 1 calendar day (the retention duration) by archiving it on the next calendar day,
  • we aim at ensuring your items are archived by the end of the next calendar day.

Policy Types

These are the types of retention policy:

  • the default policy for newly created queues - all transactions that are part of new queues are kept indefinetely in your configured database. This is the built-in option.
    Important:

    We strongly encourage you to either archive or delete queue items. This way, you prevent your database from increasing in size and causing performance degradations.

  • the default policy for existing queues - all existing transactions are are kept indefinetely in your configured database.
  • the custom policy - all transactions are deleted or archived after a retention duration of your choosing, which is maximum 180 days, or kept indefinetely in your configured database. This option can be configured as instructed in the Configuring a custom retention policy section.

Important: The default retention policies apply to all queues in the tenant.

Policy Outcomes

A custom retention policy has the following outcomes:

  • it keeps the valid queue items in your configured database.

  • it deletes the valid queue items that are older than the specified duration.
  • it deletes the valid queue items that are older than the specified duration, but archives their data into an existing storage bucket, for future reference. This way, you offload your Orchestrator database without losing the information.
  • it preserves the unique references of queue items, to guarantee the occurrence of validations after the policy applied.

    Note: Insights dashboards containing deleted queue item information will continue to display the correct data.

Queues Page

The retention policy is not reflected on the Queues page right away.

Data recalculation is triggered by any queue item event, such as Create, Edit, Delete, Status, or Retry. Deleted queue items are no longer included in the recalculated listing.

Offloading Mechanism

A background job runs daily during at a time your server is not busy and performs the actions necessary for all retention policies.

Initially, a large volume of data needs to be handled. To avoid any operational performance impact, the job may take about one month to parse its data backlog and become accurate to the day.

Therefore, policies may not apply immediately, but they will catch up in about one month.

For example, say you configure a deletion policy of 45 days for a queue. The policy becomes active at the end of phase 1, but it takes about one month to guarantee that all your 45-day older queue items are deleted. This is a first time exception, to allow the job to go through the data backlog.

Configuring a Custom Retention Policy

To configure a custom retention policy:

  1. In Orchestrator, navigate to the desired folder in your tenant.
  2. Open the Queues page.
  3. To add a new queue, click Add Queue. Respectively, to edit an existing queue, click More Actions > Edit for the desired queue. The Create/Update Queue page opens.
  4. In the Retention policy section, select the outcome of your policy from the Action dropdown menu.

    To delete queue items, but keep their information, read the steps in the Archiving queue items section.

    To permanently delete queue items, read the steps in the Deleting queue items section.

    To keep queue items in your database for an indefinite time, read the steps in the Keeping queue items section.

Archiving Queue Items

If you do not want to lose your queue items data, but you need to offload this information from the Orchestrator database, archive your queue items.

Prerequisite: You need a storage bucket to store your archived queue items.

  1. Select Archive from the Action dropdown menu.

  2. Select a Retention duration. Input a value between 1 and 180. The default value is 30. At the end of this duration, all final state queue items (including queue item events and comments) that have not been updated in the meantime are deleted, and their information is stored in a Target bucket.
  3. Select a Target bucket to store your archived items.

To retrieve the archived information, access the archive files from the associated storage bucket.

Note:

Note 1: You can either use an Orchestrator storage bucket, a link an external storage bucket, or the FileSystem bucket on your machine.

Note 2: The storage bucket you use must not be read-only, so that the archiving operation can add items to it.

Note 3: You can use the same storage bucket to archive queue items from different queues.

Note 4: This field is only available for the Archive option.

Note 5: Specific and Output Data of encrypted queue items are visible in the storage bucket, as the archiving operation decrypts data upon retrieval and exports it to the target storage.

Note 6: A successful archiving operation is logged on the Tenant > Audit page, identifiable by the Action type as Archive.

Note 7: If an error interrupts the archiving operation, an alert informs you in order to fix the error. The archiving operation is retried the next time the deletion job runs (the next calendar day). Until the archiving is successfully retried, the affected queue items cannot be viewed or accessed.

Deleting Queue Items

If you decide that processed queue items data is no longer useful, you can remove all that information from your Orchestrator database.

  1. Select Delete from the Action dropdown menu.

  2. Select a Retention duration. Input a value between 1 and 180. The default value is 30. At the end of this duration, all final state queue items(including queue item events and comments) that have not been updated in the meantime are permanently deleted.

Keeping Queue Items

If you want to keep the processed queue items data for an indefinite time, select Keep from the Action dropdown menu.

All final state queue items(including queue item events and comments) are kept indefinitely in your configured database.

Achive Output

The .zip File

When you archive your queue items, a .zip file is created at the end of the retention duration with the path:

"Archive/Queues/Queue-{queue_key}/{archiving_operation_date}-{archiving_operation_timestamp}.zip", in which:

  • {queue_key} - the unique identifier of the queue containing the queue items
  • {archiving_operation_date} - the UTC date when the archive was generated, in the yyyy-MM-dd format
  • {archiving_operation_timestamp} - the UTC time when the archive was generated, in the HH-mm-ss-fff format
    For example, an archive file could be named Archive/Queues/Queue-1d1ad84a-a06c-437e-974d-696ae66e47c2/2022-05-26-03-00-08-496.zip.

The .csv File

Once extracted, the .zip file displays a .csv file with the same name syntax:

"Queue-{queue_key}-{archiving_operation_date}-{archiving_operation_timestamp}.csv".

The .csv file contains the following information about your archived queue items:


The Metadata.json File

The .json file contains details about the container queue, to help you identify it more easily.

Large Data Volumes

For queues that processed a large number of transactions, queue items are archived in batches. In this case, the .zip file of each batch has a different {archiving-operation-timestamp}, depending on the time the batch archive was created.

Queue Retention Policy APIs

To incorporate the retention policy in your client, use the dedicated endpoints of the QueueRetention API in your Swagger file:

  • GET /odata/QueueRetention - returns the list of all active policies, containing information such as the policy action, the retention duration in days, the ID of the queue the policy applies to.
  • GET /odata/QueueRetention({key}) - returns the policy information about the specified queue.
  • PUT /odata/QueueRetention({key}) - updates the policy information about the specified queue.
  • DELETE /odata/QueueRetention({key}) - resets the specified queue policy to the default one of 30-day retention + deletion.
Note: If you call the DELETE endpoint for queues created before the introduction of the retention policy feature, the built-in retention policy of 30 days + deletion applies. See an example in our reference guide.

Policy Tracking Columns and Audit

To easily identify which queues have a custom retention policy in place, enable the Retention action and Retention (days) columns on the Queues page, by selecting the corresponding checkboxes from the Columns dropdown.

The Retention action column displays the policy outcome, while the Retention (days) column display the remaining time until the policy applies.



As mentioned, a 30-day retention policy applies to newly created queues. However, you cannot always rely on this value to identify the queues which have a default policy in place. For example, if you set a custom retention duration of 55 days and you later update it to 30 days, the resulting policy is not the default one. To see whether these scenarios represent default policies or not, check the Audit page.

1 represents the Archive action type

0 represents the Delete action type



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