Building Business Processes in Dynamics CRM 2011: Installment 11


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I often encounter a situation where I’ve got a workflow or dialog process and want to create another one similar to it. There are a couple ways to accomplish this, and I’ll describe here the way I usually do it.

Suppose I’ve got a simple sales process workflow, written for the opportunity record type, called Solution Selling Process, Simple:

I’ll follow these steps to make a copy of it:

  1. It’s in Draft status, so I can double-click it to open it in the workflow designer.
  2. In the Process Properties section, select the Process template option for Activate As field:

  3. Click Save and Close, and then from the processes data grid, select All Process Templates from the Processes drop-down menu:

  4. Click Activate, and then click OK to confirm.
  5. Still in the process data grid, click New. The Create Process dialog opens. For this example, I’ll specify the following values:

    1. Select Opportunity in the Entity list.
    2. Select Workflow in the Category option.
    3. Enter an appropriate value in the Process name field:

  6. Notice that Solution Selling Process, Simple is available but grayed out in the list. As soon as I select the New process from an existing template option, it lights up and I can select it:

  7. Click OK, and the brand new workflow opens in the workflow designer:

    Now all I need to do is turn this copy of the simple process into something worthy of the new name, but that’s for a separate article. But remember back in steps 2-4, I activated the workflow I wanted to copy as a Template. If you do this and want to make more copies of a process, you can keep it as a template. However, suppose you just wanted to create the new process and then continue using the original workflow as before. For that, deactivate it, open it, and select Process in the Activate As field:

    Then activate it and it works as before.

    I’ve been trying hard to write shorter articles, and I’m going to stop while this one still qualifies. But first, here are two questions for you to think about, which I’ll cover in more detail later in the book, in the troubleshooting section:

    1. What would happen if you activated both of these workflows as is, without making any changes to the copied version?
    2. What if you made changes to the actions performed by the copied version, but did not change the Options for Automatic Processes settings?

    Situations like that go into what I call the “when workflows collide” category. Neither is good, but the second one is worse. If you want to try a real head-scratcher, do the following (but make sure it’s not in a production environment!):

    Create two automatic workflows, A and B that run when a case record is created. Have the first one route the case record to queue A. Have the second one route it to queue B.

    See if you get the same results I get, and let me know if you have any ideas about what’s going on!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Richard Knudson
Richard Knudson is a Dynamics CRM consultant and instructor, and has a special interest in cloud computing and helping organizations realize the potential of social CRM. His company, IMG, specializes in helping businesses implement and customize the Dynamics CRM platform.


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