In Microsoft CRM, workflow and rule management can be used to set up sales processes and is also used for routing of activities, leads, and opportunities. A workflow process is a group of interrelated steps, or actions, and the rules that drive the transition between these steps. This is an encapsulation of an entire business policy or business process. A workflow process may include e-mail, updating entity instances and other actions. A process instance is a running instance of a process. A process is instantiated either by a system event on its associated entity instance or manually by a user or caller.
The workflow engine is responsible for executing the workflow rules that have been set for the business units. By using the Workflow Manager tool, system administrators and developers can take advantage of events and actions exposed in this tool to specify their own workflow rules using the graphical user interface that the tool provides.
Routing, a subset of workflow, is the process by which entity instances get sent to the appropriate users within an organization, based on the properties of that entity instance. The entity instance can either be assigned directly to the appropriate person or assigned to a generally accessible queue that applies to all such users, until one of those users decides to either handle it themselves or assign it to another specific individual. Items can be routed in Microsoft CRM using a set of rules configured by the business unit that will direct specific entity instances to a queue or individual based upon the properties of that entity instance.
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