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Working with Business Process Flow Entity

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In the previous step, you learnt about how business process flows interact directly with the user, guiding them through a real-life business process. In this step that will be expanded to the Business Process Flow Entity.

When a Business Process Flow (BPF) is created, a custom entity is created automatically with the same name.

The custom entity enhances how business process flow data can be used in reporting and automation and adds a granular level of control in security. With automation (workflow or flow) you can create the custom entity record to start the process on the target record as well as modify the progress on the BPF including completing or abandoning the process.

Screenshot of creating a custom entity

The custom entity appears in the solution and looks very similar to other custom entities, but the use of the entity is a bit different. For example, there is a blank form for the business process flow custom entity but the form shown is not used, and additional custom forms cannot be created. The views, charts, and fields nodes are used like other entities, but other nodes should be ignored.

It is important to put thought into naming your automation. If you simply name the process after the target entity, you will likely confuse your users. For example, you have a Player Recruiting entity that needs a business process flow. By naming the process Player Recruiting you will introduce two entities bearing the same name. If you simply add the word process to the name, you can help avoid this confusion. You would then have the entity Player Recruiting and the process entity Player Recruiting Process.

When the business process flow instance records are shown in an advanced find various records can be opened depending on the link clicked. Additionally, you can add this to your site navigation for ease of use.

  • Clicking on the name of the record, shown here as the title of the opportunity, will open that record and display whichever business process flow is active on the record at the time. Keep in mind that multiple business process flows may be applied to a record, allowing users to switch between the processes as needed.
  • If the active stage link is clicked for a record, the record will be opened with the business process flow shown even if that is not the active process at the time.
  • If the process link is clicked, the business process flow designer will be opened to display the stages and steps of the process.

Screenshot of example of finalised stages

The custom entity is available as a record type to be used in views and charts which can be added to dashboards. Reporting on business process flow entities allows for greater pipeline and process visibility than reporting on related records alone.

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Dynamics 365: Working with Power Platform Automation

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