In this blog we will discuss the use of Queues in Workflow.
In Dynamics 365 we have the concept of Work item queues which can be embedded into a workflow.

Use Case Scenario:
There can be many use case scenarios for using Queues but I will use one that is very typical and related to Purchase requisitions:
Let's imagine your organization produces a certain number of Purchase requisitions per day, and within this organization you have 4 buyers,

Instead of routing Purchase requisitions (PR) to specific Buyers, you can route the PR’s to a queue, where the Buyers, can then select the PR’s they would like to handle and process.

Note, this is (one) of the differences with queues instead of a User group to route PR’s.
With a queue, there is an extra step where each buyer can select and accept the PR, and once selected by the buyer, he or she has now taken ownership of the PR for processing, and therefore another cannot be processing the same PR at the same time.

Using a User group, all PR’s are exposed to the users in the User group, and two or more users in the user group can potentially be evaluating the same PR at the same time.

First step in this example, is to create your queue, and to do that go to: Organization administration > Workflow > Work item queues.

As you can see below, I have created a 'Buyer group1' with 4 users assigned as reviewers (1).

Under ‘Document’ select ‘Purchase requisition’(2) to associate the queue to your Purchase requisition workflow.
Once you are done, it's important to remember to activate the work Item queue, to make the queue visible in the workflow.

Notice also, that you as the user you’re logged in as, will be added in the queue automatically as an ‘administrator’, but once you have added an additional person and assigned that person ‘administrator’ also, you are then able to delete yourself from the queue, if you wish to do so.

 

 

You then need to associate your queue with a 'Work item queue groups' which can be found at: Organization administration > Workflow > Work item queue groups:

Your queues should appear in the ‘Available work item queues’ box, and you then select and move the queues you want into the ‘Selected work item queues’ box.

Now go to: Procurement and sourcing > Setup > Procurement and sourcing workflows:

And select ‘New’ and then select to create ‘Purchase requisition review’ workflow.

(We will not be using a ‘Purchase requisition line review’ in this example, as the sole purpose is to illustrate the queue functionality).

Once you have the workflow editor open, select the ‘Review purchase requisition’ task element (1).
The reason we are using the task element here, and not the approval element, is that queues are only

available on the task elements, and not on the approval elements.

Right-click on the Task element and select ‘Properties’ (2).

  

a

a

a

Under ‘Assignment, now select ‘Queue’:

 

On the Queue based tab, select ‘Work item queues’ and then select the buyer group that you just created:

 

 

Click ‘Save and Close’, and make sure to select ‘Activate the new version’.

 

Process steps of Purchase Requisition using Queues:

We are now ready to process the Purchase requisition:

Go to: Procurement and Sourcing > All purchase requisitions

Click ‘New’ to create a new purchase requisition:

In our example, we are using a Procurement category, but you could obviously use items as well. Once complete, click ‘Submit’ for approval.

 

The workflow has been triggered and it will land in the queue we created.

Go to: Common > Work items > Work items assigned to my queues.

I am signed in as Julia Funderburk, and if you recall, she was one of the 4 buyers we added to the queue.

Now, we can see that a work item has been assigned to the Queue ‘Buyer group1’ (1).
As you can see from the screenshot below, Julia Funderburk is member of several queues.  

Likewise, it is also possible to have several different queues, and have them embedded into the same workflow.

Notice above, that you as one of the 4 buyers, now have the option to ‘accept’ a work item (2), and once accepted, it is you as the buyer/user who will process this workflow work item. Once you have accepted the work item, it will disappear from the queue.

Once you as the buyer have reviewed the PR and are ready to approve, you can then click on ‘Workflow’ again, and click ‘Complete’, and the workflow goes to complete and approved.

 

Hope you found this example and use case helpful. 

In the next blog, 'using conditional work item queues in Workflow', we will look at a use-case scenario, where we are using conditional queues.