As a workflow developer you get used to certain things just being easy. Yes, I said it, easy. Sending mail to your users is one easy thing. All you have to do in your workflow definition is include a send mail task. It’s beautiful. You can include all kinds of attributes of the business object and it’s an email that actually makes sense.
Finally, light dawned on Marblehead. I had been assuming that the error message was incorrect -it happens sometimes. I had checked my default printer and everything was fine. I had never looked at the default printer for the user WF-BATCH. Of course there was no default printer set up, so as soon as I added one and executed the business transactions, Poof! There was a new PDF in the outbound queue.
People sometimes laugh at me or shake their heads in disbelief when I say that most of our problems in the workflow world will come from configuration or master data. A configuration change, by definition, will impact a business process. And if config changes go up to production without consideration of the workflow world you can be sure that trouble will follow. Master data is another issue. Normally we think of it in terms of reorganizations, cost center or WBS begin and end dates, vendors changing, etc. So we think in terms of larger master data. But there’s no doubt that the default printer for the background user WF-BATCH is master data. And that bit of master data is now correctly assigned.
Moral of the story? Pay attention to the error messages, on the off chance that they will save you from beating your head against your desk.