Before we delve into the process workflow changes it might be worthy for you know that the workflow system in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is purely based on the Windows Workflow Foundation (WF)4.0. What this does is that it brings into CRM a host of performance and reliability improvements which just makes the product more robust and reliable. In this blog you will see some of the application level changes that are prevalent in the beta version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
Support for New Entities
As such with the latest release of CRM the list of entities supported by workflows has increased so you have much more than earlier to now handle. However there is one noteworthy entity, Queue Item, that was available in CRM 4.0 but did not support workflow. In fact if you take a look at the improvements in Queue item you will notice that in 2011 there has been quite an enormous effort and thinking spent into improving the queue item which wasn’t majorly updated after v1.0. The result of these improvements is that workflows can be performed on the queue items.
Process Instance Detail View:
Now troubleshooting processes is also set to become easy with the CRM development team’s continued focus on that. With Visual Studio based XAML being supported this is going to prove extremely helpful. Some of the changes are detailed below.
- Retry Count – In all the earlier versions this was present in the database but in the new CRM application this is present right on the form. As the name suggests, this indicates the number of times the workflow has failed and been tried again.
- Postponed Until – Like the retry count this was available earlier in the database but the development has brought it to the fore and make it available on the form. Again, like the name suggests this indicates till when the workflow has been postponed.
Detailed Error Information (!)
This feature actually displays the complete XML error and exception that was generated by the Windows Workflow Foundation. This is not entirely new as you could obtain this information in previous versions by by creating a custom view in Advanced Find or looking in the database but it definitely wasn’t as easy as it is now.
Process Editor – Per Workflow job deletion
Earlier a registry key setting was used to handle this feature globally but now it works a lot differently where you can perform a per workflow job deletion. Now you can choose if you want to retain the history on few workflows while eliminating the unnecessary redundancy in the others. This is definitely a major improvement from the earlier versions.
In terms of the workflow level changes these are primarily it. There may be more once the feedback from the Beta rolls into the development team but we’ll save that for a later post. One thing for sure you can expect is that there are considerable changes being considered for the CRM 2011 version than the earlier released CRM 4.0 version