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Fall Back Behavior of Dynamic Values in CRM Workflows

Post Author: Joe D365 |

Workflows are an integral part of CRM to automate user actions like creating and updating records, sending emails, and more. In today’s post, we’ll be describing a Fall Back Behavior of Dynamic Values in CRM workflows that is rarely discussed but can be observed when we have a requirement where we might need to design a workflow with multiple dynamic values as inputs. Consider the scenario below:

A customer service team sends out notification emails to a respective region’s manager when a case is resolved in their region. Here we can have multiple regions and based on region selected we need to pick up the email addresses of the region managers. And each region can have multiple managers.

To meet our requirement, we would create a workflow on case entity that will send out the email to region managers when case is resolved. The region managers’ email addresses will be added in the To field of the email and will be picked up from the related entity, Regions. When we go to Form Assistant on the right side of the workflow designer, we can have up to 4 region managers’ email addresses for one region and we need to notify all of them.

Scenario 1:

We start selecting each manager’s email field on Region entity from the form assistant and all of our selected Manager email fields should populate in the To section of the Email form; however, when the workflow is triggered the email will not be sent out to all email addresses in the Manager fields. Instead, the workflow will send the email to the first field in which it finds a value that is not null and stop reading other fields in the To section. It goes through each field in the order it was selected under Form Assistant (you can change this order using the green arrows on the right side).

If our workflow finds no data in all 4 Manager email fields specified in the To section, it will fall back to the default value, which we can specify under Form Assistant.

Scenario 2:

With the above fall back behavior of Dynamic fields in workflow, how do we make sure our workflow picks up the value from each manager’s email field and sends the email to every field that has an email address rather than stopping on the first field where it finds a not null value? To make sure all email addresses are picked up by the workflow, we need to add each manager’s email field individually from the Form Assistant and place it in the To section.

Select manager email field 1 and click <OK>.

Now select manager email 2 field and click <OK>.

Notice the difference between the two scenarios – when fall back behavior is observed and when not – from the way fields are added in the To section:

Fall back behavior: Fields are separated with a semicolon, indicating CRM will read the entire string of fields as one until it finds the first not null field rather than looking ahead.

No fall back behavior: Fields are separated without semicolons, indicating each field added will be read and picked up individually, regardless of whether the previous field was not null or null.

With this fall back behavior of dynamic fields in mind, we will be better suited to make sure our workflows behave as we expect.

Happy D365’ing!

By Joe D365
Joe D365 is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 superhero who runs on pure Dynamics adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe D365’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics 365 and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.

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