Workflow in CRM provides the facility to automate business processes without a user interface. Workflow usually uses to initiate automation that doesn’t require any user interaction.
Workflows in Dynamic CRM 2013 are not new, however Microsoft introduced new feature in Dynamics CRM 2013 that allows users to create real-time/synchronous workflows.
Each workflow process is associated with a single entity. We can configure workflows in four major areas.
- Start time i.e. when to start workflow?
- Choose the option to run the workflow as a real-time workflow or a background workflow?
- The actions you want to perform.
- Under what condition workflow should fire.
Some of the simple example of CRM workflow:
- To send a confirmation email to a customer in a specific time periods.
- Passing on accounts to the correct sales team based on the account territory.
- Alert sales people when customer contracts are due for renewal.
Apart from above workflow can also be used to automate much more complex processes according to the business requirements.
From where do you customize workflow processes?
You can see workflows in your company by viewing the ‘Processes’ in ‘Default Solution’.
You can create a new workflow by clicking on "New" icon left side corner in the form as showing in screen shot below.
2. Some of the properties of workflow
in the diagram below showing three requires field in the ‘Create Process’ dialog.
- Process name: Give the name of process but if you expect you will have a lot of workflows, naming convention can be use to clearly differentiate your processes or you can apply standard prefixes to the name of the workflow. Prefixes will describe the function of the workflow or the in an organization. Grouping of similar items become easy and you can group in a list of workflows.
- Category: Simply to assign as workflow process.
- Entity: Each workflow process must be set to a single entity. The entity you select here can’t be change.
Workflow is created or if you want to edit an existing one. After you create the Workflow or if you edit which already exist, you will have the following extra properties:
- Activate As: You can select ‘Process template’ to create an advanced starting point for other templates. Choosing this option gives you option to select in the ‘Create Process’. After you activate the workflow it will not be applied but instead it will be available to select in the ‘Create Process’.
Process templates are suitable when you have a number of similar workflow processes and want to define them without duplicating the same logic.
- Available to Run: This section contains options that describe how the workflow is available to be run.
- Run this Workflow in the background (recommended): This check box reflects the option you selected when you created the workflow. By default this option is disabled, according to the organization’s need you can change it from the ‘Actions’ menu by choosing either ‘Convert to a real-time workflow’ or ‘Convert to a background workflow’.
- As an on-demand process: If you want to allow users to run this workflow from the ‘Run Workflow’ command.
- As a child process: When you want workflow to be available and it start from another workflow.
- Scope: You have to mention the scope of entities which is owned by user, options are Organization, Parent: Child Business Units, Business Unit, or User. You can choose option Organization for Organization-owned entities.
If scope is for organization, then the workflow logic can be applied to any record in that organization. Else, the workflow can only be applied to a subset of records that fall within the scope.
- Start When: Specify when a workflow should start automatically. We can configure a real-time workflow to be run before some events. This is a very powerful capability because the workflow can stop the action before it occurs.
- Record is created
- Record status changes
- Record is assigned
- Record fields change
- Record is deleted
Note: One point should be kept in mind that the actions and conditions you define for the workflow are not aware of when a particular workflow is run. For example, if you define a workflow to update the record, this action can’t be executed by a real-time workflow before the record is created. A record that doesn’t exist cannot be updated. In the same way, a background workflow can’t update a record that has been deleted, even though you could define this action for the workflow. If you configure a workflow to execute an action that can’t be executed, it will fail and the entire workflow will fail.
- Execute As: ‘Execute As’ option is only available if you unselected the ‘Run this workflow in the background (recommended)’ option when you created the workflow or if you later converted a background workflow to be a real-time workflow.