Register a plug-in to be deployed on-premise

Plug-ins and custom workflow activities are custom code that you develop to extend the existing functionality of Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (on-premises). Before a plug-in or custom workflow activity can be used, it must be registered with the server. A plug-in and custom workflow activity registration tool is available for download.

General information about plug-in and custom workflow assembly registration can be found in the Dataverse topics Register a plug-in and Register your assembly. The information that follows below is specific to on-premises plug-in development.

While this topic focuses primarily on plug-ins, most of the information is also applicable to custom workflow activities. One difference between the two is that for custom workflow activity assemblies, you register just the assembly. For plug-ins, you register the plug-in assembly and one or more steps per plug-in. For more information about custom workflow activities, see Custom Workflow Activities (Workflow Assemblies).


Do not register any plug-in or custom workflow activity unless it is obtained from a reliable and trusted source.

Plug-in Storage


For an on-premises deployment, plug-ins that are not registered in the sandbox can be stored in the Dynamics 365 Server's database or the on-disk file system. We strongly recommend that you store your production-ready plug-ins in the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (on-premises) database, instead of on-disk. Plug-ins stored in the database are automatically distributed across multiple Dynamics 365 Servers in a data center cluster. On-disk storage of plug-ins is useful for debugging plug-ins using Visual Studio. However, you can debug a plug-in that is stored in the database. For more information, see Debug a Plug-in.

Plug-ins registered in the sandbox must be stored in the database regardless of the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (on-premises) deployment (on-premises, IFD, or Online).



For on-premises or Internet-facing (IFD) Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (on-premises) installations, when you deploy plug-ins from another computer to the Dynamics 365 Server disk (on-disk deployment), the plug-in assembly must be manually copied to the server before registration. The assembly must be deployed to the <installdir>\Program Files\Microsoft CRM\server\bin\assembly folder on each server where the plug-in is to execute.

Plug-in registration should be done after the assembly has been copied to the …\bin\assembly folder on the server to prevent the situation where a system user causes an event in Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (on-premises) to be raised but the registered plug-in assembly does not yet exist on the server. For server database deployment, the plug-in assembly is automatically copied during plug-in registration so that the earlier situation is not an issue.

Depending on your plug-in’s design, your plug-ins may require other referenced assemblies to run. Regardless of whether you deploy your plug-in to the database or disk, if your plug-in requires other assemblies to run, you must put copies of these assemblies in the global assembly cache on each server where the plug-in is to execute.

To move a plug-in from a development environment to a staging or production server

  1. On the development computer, build the plug-in code. Do not include debug information. Optimize the plug-in for performance.
  2. Register the plug-in in the Dynamics 365 Server database.
  3. Using the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (on-premises) web application, create a solution or use an existing one, and add the plug-in to that solution.
  4. After you have added any other desired components to the solution, export the solution.
  5. Import the solution on to the staging or production server.

Security Restrictions

There is a security restriction that enables only privileged users to register plug-ins. For plug-ins that are not registered in the sandbox (isolation), the system user account under which the plug-in is being registered must exist in the Deployment Administrators group of Deployment Manager. Only the System Administrator user account or any user account included in the Deployment Administrators group can run Deployment Manager.


For non-isolated plug-ins, failure to include the registering user account in the Deployment Administrators group results in an exception being thrown during plug-in registration. The exception description states "Not have enough privilege to complete Create operation for an SDK entity."

For plug-ins registered in the sandbox (isolation mode), the system user account under which the plug-in is being registered must have the System Administrator role. Membership in the Deployment Administrators group is not required.

See also

Plug-in Development
Debug a Plug-in
Package and Distribute Extensions with Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (on-premises) Solutions