I have noticed over the last month or so that the "Automated process" user is being used to complete time based workflow actions instead of the triggering user. This is causing some issues with email alerts* but does anyone know under what conditions Salesforce would use this user?
Just to add this happens for me so while a user being inactive may be one scenario it's not the only one.
* When emails are sent via the "Automated Process" it appears they are sent with no from email address and gmail blocks it as spam. I have resolved this for my scenario but just in case others come across this.
An Example: 1. I update a field that causes a time based workflow field update to go into a the queue, due to fire an hour later 2. I can see the action in the queue, created by me 3. The action fires but the record is last updated by the "automated process" user No other record updates occurs between 1 and 3.
This is the user record I am referring to, note it's not clickable:
Edit: At least we can now debug the entity: