Dynamics CRM 2013 – Processes Overview

Defining and enforcing consistent business processes is one of the main reasons people use Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Processes

  • (Processes) are a group of features that can be used to define and enforce consistent processes for your organization

  • These help make sure users can focus on their work and need not to be worried to remember a set of manual steps

  • These are designed to be used by people who aren’t developers [ developers may use them to take advantage of course 🙂 ]

    • For example processes in Dynamics CRM 2013 allow Business Analyst or other non-technical users to enforce complex business logic without writing any code

  • Processes are user-owned just like accounts and contacts

Types of Processes

Workflows

  • To automate business processes behind the scenes

  • typically initiated by system events (users do not need to be aware that they are running

  • can also be configured for users to manually initiate them

  • workflows can be configured to run in background (asynchronously) or in real-time (synchronously). These are referred as background workflows and real-time workflows (new feature in Dynamics CRM 2013)

Dialogs

  • To create a user interface to guide people through a script for customer interaction or a wizard to perform complex actions consistently

Actions

(new feature in Dynamics CRM 2013)

  • Actions are verbs (a.k.a. messages by developers) that can be defined for an entity

  • Existing verbs (or messages) include Create, Update, Set State, Assign, Delete etc

  • In Dynamics CRM 2013 you can create custom actions like Escalate, Convert, Schedule, Route, or Approve

  • Once an action is defined and activated, a developer can use that action (message) like any of the other messages provided by the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform

  • Actions can be built using CRM user interface just like other processes, but can’t be used anywhere without custom code

Business Process Flows (BPFs)

  • To define steps in which people should enter data to achieve an outcome

  • BPFs add a control to the top of a form that show people what data they need to enter to move to the next stage and finally to the completion of a business process

  • BPFs can span multiple entities

Who can create processes?

  • Users with System Administrators, System Customizers or CEO-Business Manager security roles (or equivalent access) can create processes that apply to the whole organization (Click the image below)

WhoCanAccessProcesses-I

  • Other people can create processes with limited access level

  • While people may be able to create business process flow, real-time workflow, or action processes, they’ll need to have the Activate Business Process Flows or Activate Real-time Processes privileges to activate them (Click the image below)

WhoCanAccessProcesses-II

Table: Access level of processes based on default security roles

Security role

Access level

CEO-Business Manager

Organization

System Administrator

Organization

System Customizer

Organization

Vice President of Marketing

Parent: Child Business Units

Vice President of Sales

Parent: Child Business Units

CSR Manager

Business Unit

Marketing Manager

Business Unit

Sales Manager

Business Unit

Schedule Manager

Business Unit

Customer Service Representative

User

Marketing Professional

User

Salesperson

User

Scheduler

User

Where are processes located in the Dynamics CRM 2013 system?

  • Two paths to navigate to processes

    • Settings > Processes

      • This is the easiest to access the Process entity (click the image below)

      WhereAreProcessesLocated-I

    • Settings > Customizations > Customize the System > Components > Processes

      • Using this path workflows are convenient to access while you are doing customization work in the Customization tool (click the image below)

      WhereAreProcessesLocated-II

    • Business process flow can also be accessed for editing using the Edit Process button on the entity form

What can processes do?

  • Processes (other than Business Process Flows) can:

    • Check conditions

    • Apply branching logic

    • Perform actions

  • They perform actions in a series of steps

  • Business process flows are different from the other types of processes

    • These contain stages, and

    • Control advancement to stages

    • Do not provide any of the other capabilities

Available steps in workflow, dialog, and action processes

Step

Process Type

Description

Stage

Workflow, Dialog, Action

  • Make the workflow logic easier to read, and explain the workflow logic

  • Do not affect the logic or behavior of processes

  • If a process has stages, all the steps in the process must be contained with a stage

Check Condition

Workflow, Dialog, Action

  • A logical “if-<condition> then” statement

  • You can check values for

    • The record that the workflow is running on

    • Any of the records related to the current record with an N:1 relationship

    • Any records created by earlier steps

  • Based on these values you can define additional steps when the condition is true

Conditional Branch

Workflow, Dialog, Action

  • A logical “else-if-then” statement

  • You can add a conditional branch to define additional steps when the check condition returns false

Default Action

Workflow, Dialog, Action

  • A logical “else” statement

  • You can use a default action to define steps for all cases that don’t match the criteria defined in condition or branch elements

Wait Condition

Background Workflow only

  • Enables a background workflow to pause itself until the criteria defined by the condition have been met

  • Starts again automatically when the criteria have been met

Parallel Wait Branch

Background Workflow only

  • Defines an alternative wait condition for a background workflow with a corresponding set of additional steps that are performed only when the initial criterion is met

  • You can use parallel wait branches to create time limits in your workflow logic

  • They help prevent the workflow from waiting indefinitely until the criteria defined in a wait condition have been met

Assign Value

Dialog, Action

  • Sets a value to a variable or output parameter in the process.

Create Record

Workflow, Dialog, Action

  • Creates a new record for an entity you choose and assigns values

Update Record

Workflow, Dialog, Action

  • You can update

    • The record that the workflow is running on

    • Any of the records that are related to current record with an N:1 relationship

    • Any records created by earlier steps

Assign Record

Workflow, Dialog, Action

  • You can assign

    • The record that the workflow is running on

    • Any of the records that are related to current record with an N:1 relationship

    • Any records created by earlier steps

Send Email

Workflow, Dialog, Action

  • Sends an email

  • You can choose to create a new email message or use an email template configured for

    • the entity of the record that the workflow is running on

    • any entities that have an N:1 relationship with the entity

    • the entity for any records created by earlier steps

Start Child Workflow

Workflow, Dialog, Action

Starts a workflow process that has been configured as a child workflow

Change Status

Workflow, Dialog, Action

Changes the status of the record

  • that the process is running on

  • Any of the records that are related to current record with an N:1 relationship

  • Any records created by earlier steps

Stop Workflow/Stop Dialog

Workflow, Dialog, Action

  • Stops the current workflow, dialog, or action

  • You can set a status of either Succeeded or Canceled and specify a status message

Page

Dialog

A container for prompt and response steps in a dialog

Prompt and Response

Dialog

Displays a prompt in a dialog page and may provide a field to capture data from a response

Query CRM Data

Dialog

Defines a query that returns data to provide options for a response in a prompt and response step of a dialog

Link Child Dialog

Dialog

Starts a dialog process that has been configured as a child dialog.

Custom Step

Workflow, Dialog, Action

Provides extensions to the logical elements available by default in CRM. Steps can include conditions, actions, other steps, or a combination of these elements. Developers can create custom workflow steps. By default, there are no custom steps available in CRM. For more information for developers, see the Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK topicCustom workflow activities (workflow assemblies).


For more detail see the topics for each type of process in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Implementation Guide.

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Posted in Dynamics CRM, Dynamics CRM - Customization and Configuration
3 comments on “Dynamics CRM 2013 – Processes Overview
  1. […] This post is in continuation with the previous blog post Dynamics CRM 2013 – Processes Overview […]

  2. […] Dynamics CRM 2013 – Processes Overview […]

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