Create a business process flow

Dynamics CRM 2016
 

Updated: November 4, 2016

Applies To: Dynamics 365 (online), Dynamics 365 (on-premises), Dynamics CRM 2013, Dynamics CRM 2015, Dynamics CRM Online, Dynamics CRM 2016

This topic shows how to create a business process flow with Dynamics 365 or Dynamics CRM. You must have the December 2016 update for Dynamics 365 (online and on-premises) to use Dynamics 365. To learn more about why you use business process flows, see Business process flows overview. For information on creating a mobile task flow, see Create a mobile task flow.

When a user starts a business process flow, the stages and steps of the process are displayed in the process bar at the top of a form:

Business process with stages

Dynamics 365 and Dynamics CRM come with several ready-to-use business process flows for common business scenarios. Add them to your system and use as is, or modify them to fit your business needs. To find out how to add ready-to-use business process flows, see Add ready-to-use business processes.

  1. Make sure that you have the System Administrator or System Customizer security role or equivalent permissions.

    System_CAPS_tipTip

    In Dynamics 365, after you create a business process flow definition, you can provide control over who can create, read, update, or delete the business process flow instance. For example, for service-related processes, you could provide full access for customer service reps to change the business process flow instance, but provide read-only access to the instance for sales reps so they can monitor post-sales activities for their customers. To set security for a business process flow definition you create, click Enable Security Roles on the action bar.

    1. Follow the steps in View your user profile.

    2. Don’t have the correct permissions? Contact your system administrator.

  2. Go to Settings > Processes.

  3. On the Actions toolbar, click New.

  4. In the Create Process dialog box, complete the required fields:

    • Enter a process name. The name of the process doesn’t need to be unique, but it should be meaningful for people who need to choose a process. You can change this later.

    • In the Category list, select Business Process Flow.

      You cannot change the category after you create the process.

    • In the Entity list, select the entity you want to base the process on.

      The entity you select affects the fields available for steps that can be added to the first stage of the process flow. If you don’t find the entity you want, make sure the entity has the Business process flows (fields will be created) option set in the entity definition. You cannot change this after you save the process.

  5. Choose OK.

    The new process is created, and the business process flow designer opens with a single stage already created for you.

    Business process flow window showing main elements
  6. Add stages. If your users will progress from one business stage to another in the process:

    1. Drag a Stage component from the Components tab and drop it on a + sign in the designer.

      Drag a business process stage
    2. To set the properties for a stage, click the stage, and then set the properties in the Properties tab on the right side of the screen:

      • Enter a display name.

      • If desired, select a category for the stage. The category (such as Qualify or Develop) appears as a chevron in the process bar.

        Business process bar chevron


      • When you're done changing properties, click the Apply button.

  7. Add steps to a stage. To see the steps in a stage, click Details in the lower-right corner of the stage. To add more steps:

    1. Drag the Step component to the stage from the Components tab.

      Add step to a stage in a business process
    2. Click the step, and then set properties in the Properties tab:

      1. Enter a display name for the step.

      2. If you want users to enter data to complete a step, select the appropriate field from the drop-down list.

      3. Select Required if people must fill in the field to complete the step before moving to the next stage of the process.

      4. Click Apply when you're done.

  8. Add a branch (condition) to the process. To add a branching condition:

    1. Drag the Condition component from the Components tab to a + sign between two stages.

      Add a Condition to a business process flow
    2. Click the condition, and then set properties in the Properties tab. For more information on branching properties, see Enhance business process flows with branching. When you're finished setting properties for the condition, click Apply.

  9. Add a workflow. To invoke a workflow:

    1. Drag a Workflow component from the Components tab to a stage or to the Global Workflow item in the designer. Which one you add it to depends on the following:

      • Drag it to a stage when you want to trigger the workflow on entry or exit of the stage. The workflow component must be based on the same primary entity as the stage.

      • Drag it to the Global Workflow item when you want to trigger the workflow when the process is activated or when the process is archived (when the status changes to Completed or Abandoned). The workflow component must be based on the same primary entity as the process.

    2. Click the workflow, and then set properties in the Properties tab:

      1. Enter a display name.

      2. Select when the workflow should be triggered.

      3. Search for an existing on-demand active workflow that matches the stage entity or create a new workflow by clicking New.

      4. Click Apply when you're done.

        For more information on workflows, see Workflow processes.

  10. To validate the business process flow, click Validate on the action bar.

  11. To save the process as a draft while you continue to work on it, click Save in the action bar.

    System_CAPS_importantImportant

    As long as a process is a draft, people won’t be able to use it.

  12. To activate the process and make it available to your team, click Activate on the action bar.

System_CAPS_tipTip

Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you work on your task flow in the designer window:

  • To take a snapshot of everything in the business process flow window, click Snapshot on the action bar. This is useful, for example, if you want to share and get comments on the process from a team member.

  • Use the mini-map to navigate quickly to different parts of the process. This is useful when you have a complicated process that scrolls off the screen.

  • To add a description for the business process, click Details under the process name in the left corner of the business process flow window. You can use up to 2000 characters.

To edit business process flows in Dynamics 365, Go to Settings > Processes., and then select the Business Process Flows view.

Business Process Flows view selection

When you click on the name of the business process flow you want to edit it opens in the designer, where you can make any updates you want. Expand Details under the name of the process to rename it or add a description, and view additional information.

Expanded details section of a business process flow


  1. Make sure that you have the Manager, Vice President, CEO-Business Manager, System Administrator, or System Customizer security role or equivalent permissions.

    1. Follow the steps in View your user profile.

    2. Don’t have the correct permissions? Contact your system administrator.

  2. Go to Settings > Processes.

  3. On the Actions toolbar, click New.

  4. Complete the required fields.

    For the Category, select Business Process Flow from the drop-down list.

    For the Entity, select the type of record from the drop-down list.

  5. Select New blank process.

  6. Choose OK.

  7. Type a description for the process. You can use up to 2000 characters.

  8. If users will progress from one type of record to another in order, click the Plus/Minus button Add record type button, and then select the next type of record in the process. Select more types of records to use in the process, if desired.

  9. Type a name for the stage in the process.

  10. If desired, select a category for the stage, either Qualify, Develop, Propose, Close, Identify, Research, or Resolve.

  11. Type a name for the first step in the stage. To add more steps, click the Add button Add Stage or Step button, and then type a name.

  12. If you want people to enter data to complete a step, select the field from the drop-down list. Select Required if people must fill in the field to complete the step and move to the next stage of the process.

  13. If desired, click the Add button Add Stage or Step button to add another stage. Repeat steps 9 through 12 until you have added all the stages and steps to the process.

  14. To save the process as a draft, click Save at the top of the screen. (As long as a process is a draft, people won’t be able to use it.) To activate it so that people can use it, click Activate.

System_CAPS_noteNote

Business process flows have a simplified way to reuse existing business process flows as an advanced starting point for new business process flows. When you select Business Process Flow as the Category, there is no option available to set the Type value as you can for other types of processes. Instead, when you open an existing business process flow, you will find a Save As button on the command bar. This will create a new business process flow that is the same as the existing one, except that the text (Copy) will be appended to the name.

To edit a business process flow, go to Settings > Processes > Business Process Flows and then select the business process flow you want to edit.

Edit a business process flow

Expand Details under the name of the process, to rename it or add a description, and view additional information.

When you configure a business process flow, you can edit it and add stages and steps. For the complete procedure to edit a business process flow, see the eBook: Customize a business process in Dynamics CRM.

Edit Stages

Business process flows can have up to 30 stages.

  • To add a stage, select Insert stage beneath a stage and enter a Stage Name.

  • To remove a stage, select it and then choose the X in the upper right corner.

You can add or change the following properties of a stage:

  • Stage Name

  • Entity. You can change the entity for any stage except the first one.

  • Stage Category. A category lets you group stages by a type of action. It is useful for reports that will group records by the stage they are in. The options for the stage category come from the Stage Category global option set. You can add additional options to this global option set and change the labels of existing options if you want. You can also delete these options if you wish, but we recommend that you keep the existing options. You won’t be able to add the exact same option back if you delete it. If you don’t want them to be used, change the label to ”Do not use”.

  • Relationship. Enter a relationship when the preceding stage in the process is based on a different entity. For the stage currently being defined, choose Select relationships to identify a relationship to use when moving between the two stages. It is recommended you select a relationship for the following benefits:

    • Relationships often have attribute maps defined that automatically carry over data between records, minimizing data entry.

    • When you select Next Stage on the process bar for a record, any records that use the relationship will be listed in the process flow, thereby promoting reuse of records in the process. In addition, you can use workflows to automate creation of records so that the user simply selects it instead of creating one to further streamline the process.

Edit Steps

Each stage can have up to 30 steps.

  • To create a new step, select a stage, and then select the plus sign (+) under Step Name. Enter a name.

  • In the Value column, select a field to use for data entry.

  • Optionally, you can select the Required check box for any required field.

  • To remove a step, select it and then choose the X to the right of the step.

Add branch

To learn about adding a branch to a stage, see Enhance business process flows with branching.

To make a business process flow available for people to use, you must order the process flow, enable security roles, and activate it.

Set Process Flow Order

When you have more than one business process flow for an entity (record type), you’ll need to set which process is automatically assigned to new records.. In the command bar, select Order Process Flow. For new records or records that do not already have a process flow associated with them, the first business process flow that a user has access to is the one that will be used.

Enable Security Roles

People will only be able to use business process flows that are associated with security roles assigned to their user account. By default, only the System Administrator and System Customizer security roles can view a new business process flow.

  • To set these roles, in the command bar, select Enable Security Roles. You can choose either the Enable for Everyone or Enable only for the selected security roles options.

  • If you choose Enable only for the selected security roles, you can select which security roles will allow access to the business process flow.

Activate

Before anyone can use the business process flow, you must activate it. In the command bar, select Activate. After you confirm the activation, the business process flow is ready to use. If a business process flow has errors, you will not be able to activate it until the errors are corrected.

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