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Workflows

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[Applies to: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0]

This documentation describes the programming model and samples for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Workflow, which offers additional business value and increased productivity for businesses that use Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Workflow has changed extensively in this release. The workflow designer, used to create workflows, is now incorporated into the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Web application. It is available to all users whose role includes workflow privileges. By incorporating the workflow designer into the Web application, many features are automatically enabled for workflows such as advanced find and reporting.

The new workflow designer supports more events, including multiple events. Workflows can be created for many entities, including user and organization-owned custom entities. There are more choices for flow control including a parallel wait step and a catch-all statement for if-else conditions.

You have the most flexibility with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 on-premise, where you can also write custom workflow activities that are compiled as an assembly and uploaded to the server. As soon as the assembly is deployed, your custom workflow activity can be used within a workflow created by using the workflow designer in the Web application.

Most operations that can be accomplished using workflows can also be achieved by using plug-ins. However, you should use workflows instead of plug-ins when:

  • Changes in the business logic must be performed by people who are not developers, or the changes should not be dependent on the availability of a developer to do the work. When custom workflow activities are defined as Workflow .NET assemblies, a person who is not a developer can use Microsoft Dynamics CRM to define the conditions when the custom actions are performed and the parameters that will be passed to the assembly.
  • It is acceptable to have a delay between when the event occurs and when the workflow rule runs. Unless applied manually, workflow rules run asynchronously and run after the event occurs. If you need synchronous processing, use plug-ins.
  • You must let users apply your workflow logic manually. With workflows, users can trigger the processing of workflow rules by clicking Run Workflow on the form or from a grid.

In This Section

Workflow Overview

Provides an overview of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Workflow.

Custom Workflow Activities

Provides information about how to develop custom workflow activities by using Microsoft Visual Studio 2005.


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