In the database, there is a table WFL_PROCESS_HISTORIES - Does the part of the Purge Tool to clear the workflow process histories simply clear down this table, or are other changes made to the database at the same time when doing a purge of these items?

We are seeing a large number of workflow process histories, and aren't always able to access the content manager server in order to run the purge tool.

If it is safe to do so, I would like to be able to delete all rows from the WFL_PROCESS_HISTORIES table rather than running the Purge Tool or manually deleting the items from the GUI.

  • Hi Stef, could you tag your Q with a tridion version tag (i.e. R5, 2009 or 2011 etc Feb 21, 2013 at 12:10
  • No problem Chris. All done. Feb 21, 2013 at 12:21

2 Answers 2


The purge tool is just another client of the API. It doesn't touch database tables. It uses standard API calls to clear the histories out.

Deleting records from the database will make the system "unsupported", meaning that Tridion support will then have the option of refusing to help you with it in the future. Don't ever do anything to take a production system out of support. No one will thank you. :-)

If you want to look at an alternative to the purge tool, you could always write scripts yourself. I have an example which could easily be modified to delete workflow histories.

Actually - I think the purge tool will meet your needs. It can be run unattended (requires login) You can create a configuration file by saving from the File menu, and then run with the /Purge flag, like this:

PurgeTool <XML file> /Purge

Obviously, you can do this from a scheduled batch task or automate it by some other means.

One note of caution: be careful to check all the tabs of the purge tool to verify that your batch task will not be purging anything you didn't intend to purge.

  • 3
    I wouldn't advise you to spent too much time on this as purge tool is replaced in Tridion 2013 Feb 21, 2013 at 8:42
  • 1
    Definitely an insider's view :-) Out in the rest of the world, people will be using pre-2013 versions for a couple of years at least. Feb 21, 2013 at 13:40

The safest way is to just schedule purging every once in a while. It's never good idea to do something on the database directly, becides you will lose your support if you will delete something from the database.

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