Custom Workflow Activities (Workflow Assemblies) for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Custom Workflow Activities (Workflow Assemblies) for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

[Applies to: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011]

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 supports the registration and execution of custom workflow activities in addition to the out-of-box activities provided by Windows Workflow Foundation. Windows Workflow Foundation includes an activity library that provides activities for control flow, sending and receiving messages, doing work in parallel, and more. However, to build applications that satisfy your business needs, you may need activities that perform tasks specific to that application. To make this possible, Windows Workflow Foundation supports the creation of custom workflow activities.

You can write custom workflow activities in Microsoft Visual C# or Microsoft Visual Basic .NET code by creating an assembly that contains one or more classes derived from the Windows Workflow Foundation CodeActivity class. This assembly is annotated with .NET attributes to provide the metadata that Microsoft Dynamics CRM uses at runtime to link your code to the workflow engine.

After you have created an assembly that contains one or more custom workflow activities, you register this assembly with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This process is similar to registering a plug-in. The custom workflow activity can then be incorporated into a workflow or dialog in the Process form in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Custom workflow activities are supported for workflows and dialogs (processes) when built using Windows Workflow Foundation 4. Custom workflow activities created by using Windows Workflow Foundation 3.5 can only be used with workflows (not dialogs) in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 (on-premises and IFD), and only when not registered in the sandbox (isolation mode). If you want to use your custom workflow activities with both workflows and dialogs, you must use Windows Workflow Foundation 4 to create the custom workflow activities, or update your older custom activities code to work with Windows Workflow Foundation 4. In addition, to register custom workflow activities in the sandbox (partial trust), your custom workflow activities must be built using Microsoft .NET Framework 4 PU3 (platform update 3) or a later update.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online support for sandbox (partial trust) execution of custom workflow activities was added in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM December 2012 Service Update.

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