All workflows Sets of logical rules that define the steps necessary to automate specific business processes, tasks, or sets of actions to be performed on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online records. in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online are a combination of workflow properties The basic details of a workflow, including its name and the primary entity that it acts on (such as Lead or Case). and workflow logic All of the conditions, actions, and other logical elements that define when and how a particular workflow takes action on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online records.. Workflow properties and workflow logic form the structure of each workflow record An entry in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online database that stores all the information about a specific item, such as a contact. Records are like individual index cards in an index-card filing system. You can view basic information about records in a list, and you can view or change detailed information about records in a form..
Workflows include a number of options and settings, called workflow properties The basic details of a workflow, including its name and the primary entity that it acts on (such as Lead or Case). that are required as part of any workflow in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.
At a minimum, each workflow requires the following properties:
Entity. Although a workflow can take action on more than one entity A structure used to manage data. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online entities include Account, Case, and Activity., it is still associated with a single primary entity The entity that a related entity is associated to. Sometimes called a parent entity..
Scope. A workflow's scope determines the records that the workflow can take action on. The scope is limited by the permissions that the workflow's owner has, as well as by the view A filter applied to a list of records.Users can choose different views that contain all the records or activities of a particular type or that are a subset of that type. the owner selects for the scope when they are creating the workflow.
Type. You can select whether the workflow you create is a workflow or workflow template A type of workflow that serves exclusively as the basis for creating other workflows. Workflow templates cannot start workflow jobs..
How automatic workflows are started. You can specify what events in your Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online implementation will cause the workflow to take action, such as the creation of a new lead A potential customer who must be qualified or disqualified as a sales opportunity. If a lead is qualified, it can be converted to an opportunity, account, and/or contact. record or a specific change to a case A customer service issue or problem reported by a customer and the activities that customer service representatives use to resolve it. record.
Availability. In addition to workflows that run automatically when certain events occur, you make the workflow available as an on-demand workflow A type of workflow that only runs when a user chooses to apply it to records from a toolbar or menu in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online., a child workflow A type of workflow that runs only when started by another workflow. It is contained within a parent workflow and cannot be run on its own., or both.
The workflow logic All of the conditions, actions, and other logical elements that define when and how a particular workflow takes action on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online records. you add to your workflow determines the specific actions that the workflow will take on records.
Workflow logic includes the following elements:
Stages. By adding workflow stages Elements of workflow logic that group steps. Workflow rules determine the required activities for a workflow and the order in which those activities must be performed. to your workflow logic, you can group the steps in your workflow. Workflow stages make the workflow logic easier to read, and explain the workflow logic. However, stages do not affect the logic or behavior of workflows.
Workflow stage descriptions appear as headings in system job A process that Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online performs independently or in the background. Other processes can be started before a system job has finished. Examples of system jobs include workflow jobs and duplicate detection jobs. forms, which display the progress of a workflow job A type of system job that performs the actions defined in a workflow on a specific record.. Stage descriptions can also appear in reports.
You can use stages to define business processes that your organization uses. For example, one workflow could use stages to describe the opportunity management process for your sales team, while another workflow could define the case resolution process for your customer service representatives.
Steps. Each workflow step An element of workflow logic that defines a unit of business logic within a workflow. Steps can include conditions, actions, other steps, or a combination of these elements. you add defines the underlying logic of your workflow. Workflow steps can contain actions, such as creating a new record or sending an e-mail notification, or even other steps. (There is no limit to how deeply you can nest workflow steps.)
You can add the following types of steps to workflows:
Check condition An element of workflow logic that defines a specific situation and any actions that should be taken if that situation occurs. A logical "if-then" statement in a workflow.
Conditional branch An element of workflow logic that defines an alternative condition and action or additional steps, in cases when the criteria in a condition element are not met. A logical "else-if-then" statement in a workflow.
Default action An element of workflow logic that defines an alternative action in all cases that do not match the criteria defined in condition or branch elements. A logical "else" statement in a workflow.
Wait condition An element of workflow logic that enables a workflow to pause itself until the criteria defined by the condition have been met. The workflow starts again automatically when the criteria in the wait condition have been met.
Parallel wait branch An element of workflow logic that defines an alternative wait condition 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 timeouts in your workflow logic. They help prevent the workflow from waiting indefinitely until the criteria defined in a wait condition have been met.
Custom step An element of workflow logic that provides extensions to the logical elements available by default in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. Steps can include conditions, actions, other steps, or a combination of these elements. Custom workflow steps can be developed by using the information in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Software Development Kit.
Actions. By adding workflow actions Elements of workflow logic that specify the actions that should be performed by workflow jobs when conditions defined in the workflow have been met. to workflow steps, you define the specific actions you want the workflow to perform.
You can add the following actions to workflows:
Create a record
Update a record
Assign a record
Send an e-mail notification
Start a child workflow A type of workflow that runs only when started by another workflow. It is contained within a parent workflow and cannot be run on its own.
Change the status of a record
Stop the current workflow
Perform a custom workflow action An element of workflow logic that specifies a custom operation that should be performed by workflow jobs when conditions defined in the workflow have been met. Custom workflow actions can be developed by using the information in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Software Development Kit, and are not available in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online by default.