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Update ProcessInstanceWorkItem in an @future method

I have an @future method that runs to reassign open approval requests based on Out of office rules.  If I don't have the method decorated @future - I have no issues everything works fine.  But if I decorate the method @future - i get a NullReference exception 



System.DmlException: Update failed. First exception on row 0 with id 04iXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX; first error: UNKNOWN_EXCEPTION, java.lang.NullPointerException: Argument Error: Parameter value is null: []


The only thing that changed is the @future decorator.  I would like to use this in Code Scheduler - but I also get the same error.  Anyone worked around this?





Can you please post the @future code that updates the ProcessInstanceWorkItem?


Well, can you specify what is the signature of this method which you are decorating as @future?


Note - if this method was operating on some instance variables of the class it is part of, then instance variables will not be available to the method when you decorate it with @future annotation.


Reason is @future executes asynchronously at later point and hence @future method would not be having references to class level instance variables.


This could be the reason of NullPointerException from @future decorated method.


Solution - if you needed to work on sObject record within @future method, make sure when you call this method, you pass the ID of the sObject record as an argument of the method. Now within @future you can fire SOQL on sObject id to retrieve the relevant details and process the record further.


Hope this helps. Please mark it a solution if your issue has been addressed.






public class DelegationOfAuthorityProcessor {
	public void process() {
		System.debug(LoggingLevel.INFO, UserInfo.getUserId());
		List<ProcessInstanceWorkItem> updateProcs = new List<ProcessInstanceWorkItem>();
		Map<Id, Temporary_DOA__c> activeDOAs = new Map<Id, Temporary_DOA__c>();
		Map<Id, ProcessInstanceStep> procStepMap = new Map<Id, ProcessInstanceStep>();
		Set<Id> delegatedUser = new Set<Id>();

		// Get approved re-assignments  
		for(Temporary_DOA__c doa : [SELECT id, name, Approval_Process__c, Comments__c, Delegate_From__c, Delegate_To__c, Start_Date__c, Stop_Date__c FROM Temporary_DOA__c where start_date__c <= and stop_date__c >= and Status__c = 'Approved']) {
			// Map the delegated from user to the approved re-assignment
			if (!activeDOAs.containsKey(doa.Delegate_From__c))
				activeDOAs.put(doa.Delegate_From__c, doa);
		// Get ProccessInstanceWorkItems outstanding for users with approved reassignments
		List<ProcessInstanceWorkItem> processes = new List<ProcessInstanceWorkItem>([Select p.ProcessInstanceId, p.OriginalActorId, p.Id, p.ActorId, processinstance.targetobjectid From ProcessInstanceWorkitem p where actorid in :delegatedUser]);

		for(ProcessInstanceWorkItem proc : processes) {
			// If an active reassignment exists for the user...
			if (activeDOAs.containsKey(proc.ActorId)) {
				// And it has someone to reassign to...
				if (activeDOAs.get(proc.ActorId).Delegate_To__c != null) {
					// update the ActorID
					proc.ActorId = activeDOAs.get(proc.ActorId).Delegate_To__c;
		if (!updateProcs.isEmpty())
			update updateProcs;				






If I try running the above - i will get a failure with null reference on the DML statement for update.  The ActorID is not null... and if I remove the @future - it works just fine.

I get the same symptoms as @future when I run as part of a schedulable apex job.