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Tech Insights 4 min read

How to Activate an Action Step in Dynamics 365 Business Process Flow?

Almost every business transaction consists of specific routine procedures and processes that can benefit from automation. Business operations can be efficiently regulated by defining the workflows that break these operations into simpler individual steps. Incorporating these workflows into enterprise tools using automation is a great way to reduce the time it takes to complete the operations and eliminate manual errors.  

The Dynamics 365 Business Process is a tool from the Dynamics 365 platform that defines workflows and seamlessly integrates them with the Dynamics 365 data. It provides an easy and intuitive interface to set up each step of a business process workflow, define branching conditions, set up triggers, events, automatic reporting, and so on.  

There are many more powerful workflow features provided by the Dynamics 365 Business process flow, the careful use of which can help you achieve a lot in terms of productivity and process efficiency. One such new feature is the action step capability, and here is everything you need to know about it.  

What is an Action Step in Dynamics 365 Business Process Flow?

The action step is a process flow element used to trigger a workflow execution to take in and process your data on demand. For example, let's say you are a sales manager trying to initiate a sale with a customer.  

You can enter the order details and notify your supervisor to approve the sales and get the order processed. This workflow starts with you triggering the sale by submitting the necessary details. This initiating step can be called the action step.  

When Use It?

Now let us consider the scenarios when an action step needs to be set up for a workflow. Not all workflows require an action step to start execution. Any internal process could trigger some, which could be triggered by a branching condition satisfaction. Workflows can even be triggered periodically. So it is necessary to have a good understanding of the business process flow to determine whether an action step is required.

What are the Benefits?

Action steps allow for more flexible workflow executions and efficient process workflows. Regular Business process flows have certain limitations, such as the number of entities. A single process can only encompass up to 5 entities. And you are allowed to only have 30 stages with a maximum of 30 steps each. Using action steps will enable you to run additional related workflows on the current stage entity on demand, thus adding more capability to your workflows.

How Do We Activate An Action Step In Dynamics 365 Business Process Flow?

To create action steps, follow the steps below  

Go to Settings and then click on Process. Create a new process by clicking on the +New button.  

Configure the process to be an action and set its entity as relevant to your process.  

You can also add the arguments or data to the Action. Enable the Business Process Flow action step check box, enter the name and type of data that needs to be set as the argument.  

Now add the various steps and actions to be executed as part of the action step workflow.  

Set the owner for the task and save your settings.  

Here are the steps to activate the action step in a business process flow:

Create your business process flow. Add the stages and steps according to the workflow using the drag and drop editor.

Add the action step you want to include similarly by dragging it to the appropriate spot in the workflow.

Click the Properties tab, set the Execute process to the Action, and click the Apply button.  

Test your workflow to see if it works properly and make it go live.  

Are There Limitations Of Using Action Step In Dynamics 365 Business Process Flow?

Remember the following pointers when considering setting up an action step:

Action step can help you trigger an Action as well as a workflow

The Action that is to be triggered should run as a business process flow

You cannot use input parameters such as Entity, Entity Reference of Option sets with Acton steps

The Action cannot be made global and only corresponds to the same entity as of its Business Process Flow stage  

There is no max limit set on the number of actions that can be executed from a Business Process Flow

Need a Little Bit More Help ?

Setting up a business process flow can be overwhelming for a beginner. While it does not require any programming knowledge, it does require quite a good deal of expertise concerning business process workflows, the various dependencies, and possible bottleneck situations. When you set up your business process flows to be too generic and not cognizant of the relevant optimizations, you may lose out on the potential productivity boosts and cost optimizations.  

The Dynamics 365 Business process flow is a powerful tool that has a lot to offer, and you should make the best use of it in every possible way. Get help from Gestisoft for top-notch training services on the Dynamics 365 BPF.

Our consultants are veterans of the business process flow and have a great deal of knowledge and expertise with everything related to Dynamics 365. We can help you get started with creating and executing well-optimized business process flows that ensure a great ROI on your Dynamics 365 investment. Call us today for expert guidance and training.

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April 18, 2022 by Lukas Vézina Marketing Content Specialist

Marketing specialist working at Gestisoft since 2017, I firmly believe any subject can be interestingly presented. It just takes empathic and creative storytelling.