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Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Processes and Real Time Workflows
​Processes are a group of features that allow business analysts and users to define and enforce consistent processes for the organization. These processes assist in making sure that users can focus on their work and not to remember what manual steps they have to perform.
Processes can be simple or complex, and they should be expected to change over time as the business evolves. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 provides several options for defining processes.

There are four categories for processes, which include: Workflows (including real-time workflows), Dialogs, Actions and Business Process flows.
Workflows, Dialogs and Actions

​ Workflows, Dialogs and Actions were available in previous releases of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The follow illustration explains the major differences between the three. Real-time workflows will be detailed separately.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Processes
Real-Time Workflows

​ Real-time (synchronous) workflows are workflows that will run in the same transaction at the time as the event that it is being triggered for. The workflow infrastructure has been extended so that in can be invoked real-time as part of a user action synchronously as well as asynchronously. This reduces the ability to write code and the load on the asyncrhonous processing service.

Real-time workflows should be used when the business process requires the user to immediately see the results of the process or if you need the ability to cancel an operation.

Real-time workflows provide the ability to choose whether to execute the workflow as the workflow owner or the user making the change, as well as the selection of when the workflow will execute (either before or after the event), which correspond to the SDK pre-operation and post-operation messages.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Real-time Workflow
Business Process flows

​Business Process flows were introduced in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online December 2012 Service Update, but only with limited capability. This limited capability did not include support for multi-entity processes or multiple processes per entity, and no support for all system and custom entities.

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, an new approach for problem solving has been advocated, were processes act as proactive elements in the system that guide the users about the next steps and help navigate different flows to achieve the desired end result.

At the top of the CRM 2013 updated forms, we see a process flow control that provides a guide for the users to help them get their work done. The processes flow control provides a streamlined experience that ties data entry with stages in the lifecycle of a record.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Process Flow

This leads users through the processes that their organization has defined for interactions that need to be advanced to some sort of conclusion at the end. The user experience can be tailed so that users with different security roles will have an experience that best matches the type of work they do.

Business process flows reduce training time because new users don't have to focus on which entites to use, they let the process flow guide them through the steps that they have to complete. They can be configured to support common sales processes to help sales personnel achieve better results or help service staff quickly and more efficiently deal with customer requests.

Business Process flows can be used for a single entity or span multiple entities. Up to 10 active business processes flows can be enabled per entity in order to provide the appropriate process for different situations. Process flows can also be designed to tie together the records for up to five different entities into a single process so that the users can focus on their process flow rather then on the entity they are working on, and that way they can more easily navigate between related entity records.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Process Flow

Businesses process flows allow users define a set of Stages and Steps that are displayed at the top of the form. These Stages each have a group of steps representing the fields that have to be entered, and users can advance to the next stages after the required fields have been entered. They can be associated with security roles, and contolled by a default process, which works in the same way as multiple entity forms.

When creating a new record, the list of available business process flows is compared to the business process flows in the user's security role, and the first activated business process flow in the list wll be applied by default. You can switch between business process flows, but choosing the Switch Process from the command bar and apply a different process. Business Rules and form scripts are also automatically applied to the business process flow controls.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Process Flow

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