Customize business process flows (Sales Professional)

Important

This capability is introduced in the Dynamics 365 Sales Professional app version 9.1.0.0.

With Dynamics 365 Sales Professional, you can help ensure that users enter data consistently and follow the same steps every time they work with a customer by creating a business process flow. For example, you might want to create a business process flow to have everyone handle customer service requests the same way, or to require that users get approval for an invoice before submitting an order.

Business process flows use the same underlying technology as other processes, but the capabilities that they provide are very different from other features that use processes.

With business process flows, you define a set of stages and steps that are displayed in a control at the top of a form. Each stage contains a group of steps. Each step represents a field where data can be entered. Users advance to the next stage by using the Next Stage button. You can make a step required so that users must enter data for the corresponding field before they can proceed to the next stage. This is called “stage-gating.”

Business process flows appear relatively simple compared to other types of processes. This is because they do not provide any conditional business logic or automation beyond providing a streamlined experience for data entry and controlling entry into stages. However, when you combine them with other processes and customizations, they can play an important role in saving users time, reducing training costs, and increasing user adoption.

Entities available for business process flows

Entities are sets of records. You can use the following entities to create business process flows in Dynamics 365 Sales Professional:

  • Account

  • Contact

  • Invoice

  • Lead

  • Opportunity

  • Quote

You can use the following entities in additional stages added to a business process flow:

  • Account

  • Appointment

  • Contact

  • Email

  • Invoice

  • Lead

  • Opportunity

  • Phone Call

  • Product

  • Quote

  • Task

  • Team

  • User

Create a business process flow

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

  2. In the site map, select Sales Settings.

  3. Under Customization, select Business Process Flows.

    Business Process Flow in site map

  4. On the Business Process Flows page, select Create New.

  5. Enter a name for your business process flow in the Name field.

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

  6. 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. You cannot change this after you save the process.

  7. Select Launch Designer.

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

    Business Process Flow designer

Add stages to your business process flow

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.

    Add stage to a business process flow

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

    1. Enter a Display Name.

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

      You can select from the following categories:

      • Qualify

      • Develop

      • Propose

      • Close

      • Identify

      • Research

      • Resolve

      • Approval

    3. Select the Relationship, if applicable. The selections available for Relationship will vary by the entity selected for the stage. In some cases, there are no selections for Relationship.

      Enter a relationship when the preceding stage in the process is based on a different entity (record type). We recommend that you select a relationship because of the following benefits:

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

      • When a user selects Next Stage on the process bar for a record, any records that use the relationship will be listed in the process flow, which promotes 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. This further streamlines the process.

    4. When you're done changing properties, select Apply.

Add Data Steps to a stage

  1. To see the Data Steps in a stage, choose Details in the lower-right corner of the stage.

    Stage details

  2. To add more steps, drag the Data Step component to the stage from the Components tab.

  3. Select the step, and then set properties in the Properties tab:

    1. Enter a name for the step.

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

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

    4. If you have more than one Data Step, select the sequence for the step.

    5. Select Apply when you're finished.

Add a branch (condition) to the process

  1. To add a branching condition, drag the Condition component from the Components tab to a + sign between two stages.

    Add condition to business-process-flow

  2. Select the condition, and then set properties in the Properties tab.

  3. When you're finished setting properties for the condition, select Apply.

Add a workflow

  1. To invoke a workflow, drag a Workflow component from the Components tab to a stage or to the Global Workflow item in the designer. Whether you add a workflow to a stage or to a Global Workflow item 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 in the lower-right corner of the designer if 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. Select the workflow, and then set properties in the Properties tab:

    1. Enter a display name.

    2. Select when the workflow should be triggered.

    3. Optionally, in the Workflows box, search for an existing on-demand active workflow that matches the stage entity.

    4. Select Apply when you're finished.

Set process flow order

When you have more than one business process flow for an entity, you’ll need to set which process is automatically assigned to new records.

To set the order:

  • On the command bar, choose 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.

Validate and save the business process flow

  1. To validate the business process flow, choose Validate on the command bar. Any errors in the business process flow are highlighted in red. You’ll need to correct them before you can save the business process flow.

  2. To save the process as a draft while you continue to work on it, choose Save on the command bar.

Activate a business process flow

  • To activate the process and make it available to your users, choose Activate on the command bar.

Edit a business process flow

You can edit existing business process flows, as needed. If your business processes change, or you just want to make minor modifications, you can simply open the business process flow and change most properties.

Things you can change:

  • Stages or other components

  • Properties of existing components

  • Name

  • Description

Things you can't change:

  • Entity on which the process flow is based

  • System name for the business process flow

  • Owner

  • Category

To edit a business process flow:

  1. In the site map, select Sales Settings.

  2. Under Customization, select Business Process Flows.

  3. Select the name of the business process flow you want to edit in the Process Name column.

Remove a component from your business process flow

  1. Select the component in the designer, and then select Delete at the top of the screen (or press the Delete key).

  2. In the Delete Confirmation dialog box, select OK.

  3. Optionally, select Validate to confirm that the deletion didn’t result in errors in your business process flow.

  4. Select Save to save your changes.

Add components to your business process flow

To add additional stages and modify the properties of the components in your business process flow, follow the steps about creating a business process flow earlier in this topic.

Create an image of your business process flow

You can easily create an image of your business process flow from within the designer. This can make it easier to share the process flow with others, or to print the process flow. The image is created in Portable Network Graphics (.png) format. Only the design canvas is captured in the image created. It will not capture the command icons or the Components and Properties tabs.

To create the image:

  • Open the business process flow you want to create an image from, and then choose Snapshot at the top of the screen. The .png file that is created shows up in the lower-left corner of the screen.

See also

Customize forms
Customize views