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Business rules are also known as portable business logic (although I don’t know anyone who calls them that) because they also work on the mobile app.
I have written a quick guide to business rules here
Business rules are useful because they allow non developers to provide the functionality mentioned above on forms. Business rules can be used on Main and Quick Create Forms.
You bet there are, here are the main ones
There is also a big logical error which can be added using business rules and this is when you have either
Conflicting business rules
Business rules are created on an entity basis
Business rules come in two parts, the condition and the action.
The condition is the criteria for the business rule to test to see if it runs. Currently business rules can have more than one condition and they work on an AND basis (e.g. all conditions have to be true).
If the condition is successful, then the action will execute.
You can view business rules a bit like real time workflows, but the actions can show/hide, enable/disable fields and show error messages etc.
Business rules also run only on the client side (e.g CRM FORM), which means they can only be triggered when adding/editing data on the CRM form.
Business rules usually have to be created in pairs and most people when they first use business rules they only create one.
You don’t need two but you usually do. If you hide a field/section with a business rule then you need another business rule to show the field/section otherwise it’s always hidden
To read more about this, read the blog post below
CRM 2013 – Business Rules work in pairs because the condition is AND and not IF
According to this MSDN article on business rules
The logic included in your business rules is applied together with other logic in the form that could include system scripts, custom scripts, and other business rules. The order in which this logic is applied will affect the outcome. The order is as follows:
This means that to control the order in which business rules are applied, you must deactivate and reactivate the ones you want to be applied last.
I guess there isn’t any real way of knowing what Systems scripts are running or what they are doing so I will ignore those.
Business rules are run in order of activation. This sounds like a painful process of having to deactivate business rules and activate them in the order you want them to run (surely there must be an easier way), I can see some very tricky bugs to find
A bit like workflows, business rules have a scope but business rules are only concerned with forms. The scope choices are
Choose one of the main forms
If you choose all forms, the business rule will run on the main form and Quick Create form but you cannot individually choose a Quick Create form.
Business rules are going to be upgraded in CRM 2015 and I have seen it nicely put as Business rules enhanced
The biggest enhancement to business rules will be the adding of if statements. At the moment conditions must all equal true, this means you have to create two business for most functionality (e.g. one business rule to show a field and another business rule to hide a field)
Here is a good article on the new IF, THEN
Conditions in business rules CRM 2015 will all combinations of AND or OR, with the limitation of only using them in one/single condition, so it’s a bit better.
A business rule to set default values for fields
Business rules will be able to work server side. The reason this is important is because it means business rules won’t only work when the entity and fields are updated using the CRM form but also when bulk updates, imports or plugins changes those fields.
CRM 2015 business rules will be enhanced but they won’t be totally awesome yet, there will be a few errors which could still do with some improvement.
Conditions have been improved but they are limited to one If/Else in a condition.
Hide/Show Sections and Tabs
I don’t think you can hide/show sections and tabs in the CRM 2015 enhanced business rules.
Cannot clear a field
You can set a default but you cannot null or clear a field using business rules
Related entity fields
Formula’s could be enhanced. E.g. dynamic dates can only be created by adding on days (not hours)
Business Applications communities