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Setting Long-Term Workflows in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

by Leon Tribe
Consultant, CDC

Microsoft Dynamics CRM workflows are remarkably useful because they are so powerful as well as being easy to configure. A feature of them that takes a little getting used to is the  ‘waiting' step. I recently had a problem where a client needed to use the waiting steps well beyond the time limits available in the product. The solution, while a bit out of the ordinary, demonstrated how even the lesser used workflow attributes can, when properly understood, further boost the flexibility of Dynamics CRM.

The Problem

The client in question was a financial management company who classified its clients into three categories - let us call them gold, silver and bronze. Based on their category, a major review of their financial situation happens every one, three or five years respectively. The idea was that when the record was created, a review date would be set. A month before this review date the client was contacted and an appointment set up (handled by a different workflow). When the review date passed, the review date was again reset.

The problem with this requirement is that timeouts can only happen up to 24 months out, not three or five years out.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Workflow Extend Timeout Defaults

My initial reaction was to tell the client it was not possible. My main contact smiled and she suggested I think it over. Sure enough I found a solution.

The Solution

The solution in the end turned out to be quite simple.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM ...

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About Leon Tribe
Leon Tribe is a Dynamics CRM Consultant based in Sydney, Australia. He's been working with CRM systems for over ten years and with Dynamics CRM since version 1.0 beta. In October 2009 he received the MVP award for CRM from Microsoft.He writes a blog about Dynamics CRM.
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