Create a business process flow


Applies To: Dynamics 365 (online), Dynamics 365 (on-premises), Dynamics CRM 2013, Dynamics CRM 2015, Dynamics CRM Online, Dynamics CRM 2016

This topic shows how to create a business process flow with Dynamics 365 or Dynamics CRM. You must have the December 2016 update for Dynamics 365 (online and on-premises) to use Dynamics 365. To learn more about why you use business process flows, see Business process flows overview. For information on creating a mobile task flow, see Create a mobile task flow.

When a user starts a business process flow, the stages and steps of the process are displayed in the process bar at the top of a form:

Business process with stages

Dynamics 365 and Dynamics CRM come with several ready-to-use business process flows for common business scenarios. Add them to your system and use as is, or modify them to fit your business needs. To find out how to add ready-to-use business process flows, see Add ready-to-use business processes.

In This Topic

Create or edit a business process flow in Dynamics 365

Create a business process flow in Dynamics CRM

Edit business process flows in Dynamics CRM

Create or edit a business process flow in Dynamics 365

For detailed information, see Create or edit business process flows

Create a business process flow in Dynamics CRM

  1. Make sure that you have the Manager, Vice President, CEO-Business Manager, System Administrator, or System Customizer security role or equivalent permissions.

    Check your security role

    1. Follow the steps in View your user profile.

    2. Don’t have the correct permissions? Contact your system administrator.

  2. Go to Settings > Processes.

  3. On the Actions toolbar, click New.

  4. Complete the required fields.

    For the Category, select Business Process Flow from the drop-down list.

    For the Entity, select the type of record from the drop-down list.

  5. Select New blank process.

  6. Choose OK.

  7. Type a description for the process. You can use up to 2000 characters.

  8. If users will progress from one type of record to another in order, click the Plus/Minus button Add record type button, and then select the next type of record in the process. Select more types of records to use in the process, if desired.

  9. Type a name for the stage in the process.

  10. If desired, select a category for the stage, either Qualify, Develop, Propose, Close, Identify, Research, or Resolve.

  11. Type a name for the first step in the stage. To add more steps, click the Add button Add Stage or Step button, and then type a name.

  12. If you want people to enter data to complete a step, select the field from the drop-down list. Select Required if people must fill in the field to complete the step and move to the next stage of the process.

  13. If desired, click the Add button Add Stage or Step button to add another stage. Repeat steps 9 through 12 until you have added all the stages and steps to the process.

  14. To save the process as a draft, click Save at the top of the screen. (As long as a process is a draft, people won’t be able to use it.) To activate it so that people can use it, click Activate.


Business process flows have a simplified way to reuse existing business process flows as an advanced starting point for new business process flows. When you select Business Process Flow as the Category, there is no option available to set the Type value as you can for other types of processes. Instead, when you open an existing business process flow, you will find a Save As button on the command bar. This will create a new business process flow that is the same as the existing one, except that the text (Copy) will be appended to the name.

Edit business process flows in Dynamics CRM

To edit a business process flow, go to Settings > Processes > Business Process Flows and then select the business process flow you want to edit.

Edit a business process flow

Expand Details under the name of the process, to rename it or add a description, and view additional information.

When you configure a business process flow, you can edit it and add stages and steps. For the complete procedure to edit a business process flow, see the eBook: Customize a business process in Dynamics CRM.

  • Edit Stages
    Business process flows can have up to 30 stages.

    • To add a stage, select Insert stage beneath a stage and enter a Stage Name.

    • To remove a stage, select it and then choose the X in the upper right corner.

    You can add or change the following properties of a stage:

    • Stage Name

    • Entity. You can change the entity for any stage except the first one.

    • Stage Category. A category lets you group stages by a type of action. It is useful for reports that will group records by the stage they are in. The options for the stage category come from the Stage Category global option set. You can add additional options to this global option set and change the labels of existing options if you want. You can also delete these options if you wish, but we recommend that you keep the existing options. You won’t be able to add the exact same option back if you delete it. If you don’t want them to be used, change the label to ”Do not use”.

    • Relationship. Enter a relationship when the preceding stage in the process is based on a different entity. For the stage currently being defined, choose Select relationships to identify a relationship to use when moving between the two stages. It is recommended you select a relationship for the following benefits:

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

      • When you select Next Stage on the process bar for a record, any records that use the relationship will be listed in the process flow, thereby promoting 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 to further streamline the process.

  • Edit Steps
    Each stage can have up to 30 steps.

    • To create a new step, select a stage, and then select the plus sign (+) under Step Name. Enter a name.

    • In the Value column, select a field to use for data entry.

    • Optionally, you can select the Required check box for any required field.

    • To remove a step, select it and then choose the X to the right of the step.

  • Add branch
    To learn about adding a branch to a stage, see Enhance business process flows with branching.

To make a business process flow available for people to use, you must order the process flow, enable security roles, and activate it.

  • Set Process Flow Order
    When you have more than one business process flow for an entity (record type), you’ll need to set which process is automatically assigned to new records.. In the command bar, select 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.

  • Enable Security Roles
    People will only be able to use business process flows that are associated with security roles assigned to their user account. By default, only the System Administrator and System Customizer security roles can view a new business process flow.

    • To set these roles, in the command bar, select Enable Security Roles. You can choose either the Enable for Everyone or Enable only for the selected security roles options.

    • If you choose Enable only for the selected security roles, you can select which security roles will allow access to the business process flow.

  • Activate
    Before anyone can use the business process flow, you must activate it. In the command bar, select Activate. After you confirm the activation, the business process flow is ready to use. If a business process flow has errors, you will not be able to activate it until the errors are corrected.

See Also

Business process flows overview
Create a mobile task flow
Add ready-to-use business processes
Create business rules and recommendations to apply logic in a form
Guide staff through common tasks with processes
Enhance business process flows with branching (Dynamics CRM)
Workflow processes
eBook: Introduction to business processes in Dynamics CRM
eBook: Customize a business process in Dynamics CRM