Thursday, January 12, 2012

CRM 2011: Distribute Workflow

A few months ago I extolled the virtues of the distribute workflow in CRM 4.0 and wondered when it might become available for CRM 2011. Well the good news is that I recently discovered that this has now become available for CRM 2011 and can be downloaded from codeplex.

To install into your environment, all you need to do is to import the managed solution from the codeplex downloads page into your environment and once you have done so it will start showing up in the Add Step menu of the Workflow and Dialog process editor.

The codeplex site also contains pretty good documentation for configuring this option. It walks through a use case scenario for setting all cases for a particular customer to high.

There are many other scenarios where this workflow plugin can come in handy. Previously you might have gone about solving a requirement such as that presented by the use case by developing a custom plugin solution. With the distribute workflow it can be done via configuration and it is flexible in that you can specify under which specific conditions you want it to run by employing the use of some simple check conditions in the body of the workflow.

I'll provide another use case example that can further sharpen this point. Let's say you wish to close all open Campaign Responses automatically once the parent Campaign is completed. The distribute workflow can easily be used to accomplish this via simple configuration.

First design a simple manual workflow against the Campaign Response that:
  1. Evaluates whether the Campaign Response is open
  2. Changes the status of the Campaign Response to Closed

Then design another simple workflow against the parent Campaign that is triggered when the status is changed that does the following:

  1. Evaulates whether the Status Reason has changed to Completed
  2. Executes the Distribute Workflow which will call the workflow above for each child Campaign Response

And that is all there is to do.

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