As part of daily CRM use, you'll probably need to set up some automated workflows. The question is, what is the best way to implement such workflows?

Basic Workflows

Microsoft Dynamics CRM has some fairly straightforward worklfow creation functionality, which can be quite useful in many basic scenarios.

For example, you can create a workflow which notifies a user by email when an entity (e.g. a Lead) is created or is reassigned. This is especially useful in a sales team scenario, to notify sales people that they have been assigned ownership of new leads or opportunities.

You can create such processes in the Settings > Process Center > Processes window:

The Workflow Creation interface includes good basic process creation features, such as setting if the process is On-Demand or Automatic, and what the Process scope is (per user, organisation, etc.).

You can then add steps to the process in a linear fashion, using the basic workflow editor:

Advanced Workflows

All of the above is excellent for such basic scenarios as creating new records, sending email notifications, etc.

But what if your solution requires more advanced workflow functionality, such as creating a process with two branches, a gateway switch/split or a logical loop, or in cases where the process needs to communicate with external systems such as SharePoint or ERP? In these cases the basic editor is not sufficient.

In such cases, I recommend using a third-party BPM (Business Process Management) software such as PNMsoft's Sequence Kinetics which integrates with Dynamics CRM and includes advanced workflow and systems integration functionality.

This type of solution can extend Dynamics CRM data with advanced capabilities such as visual flowchart design, processes with logical loops and multiple branches, web forms, dynamic task queues and integration with other systems such as ERP and SharePoint.

Bottom Line

To sum up,  the first question to ask when you are planning a CRM workflow solution is, "do I require basic or advanced workflow functionality?" Getting the answer to that question will help you decide what type of workflow solution to pursue.

Learn more about Intelligent Workflow Software for Dynamics CRM

In the next posts, we'll go over some examples of complex workflow scenarios.

Eli Stutz

Head of Knowledge and Collaboration, PNMsoft