Workflow and Rule Management

CRM 1.0

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.

Definition of Terms

Workflow process: 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 objects and other actions.

Process template: A blueprint of a process, which is used to create new processes.

Process instance: A running instance of a process. A process is instantiated either by a system event on its associated object or manually by a user or caller.

Automatic process: A process that is automatically triggered by some event.

Manual process: A process that is manually executed by a user.

Step: A container of actions and rules.

Action: An operation that the workflow system performs after navigating to a step. Some examples are: Create a task, send an e-mail, or change the parent object.

Condition: A parameter to be evaluated to either true or false.

Rule: A collection of conditions and a single transition.


The following table describes the classes of the workflow and rule management objects.

Class Description
CRMProcess Methods to manage workflow process objects
CRMProcessController Methods to manage workflow process instance objects


The workflow engine is responsible for executing the workflow rules that have been set for the business units. Developers can take advantage of the framework provided by the workflow engine to specify the workflow rules or expose them in such a way so that system administrators can specify their own workflow rules. 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 objects get sent to the appropriate users within an organization, based on the properties of that object. The object 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 objects to a queue or individual based upon the properties of that object.

More details on workflow objects can be found in the reference topic Workflow Reference.

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