Schedule Workflow in CRM 2011

Written By: Ross Boe

from April 6, 2012

If there is one missing feature of Dynamics CRM 2011 that keeps coming to my attention it is the inability to schedule a Workflow to run at a given date and time. There are a few ways to work around this missing functionality but none of them are ideal and even potentially could cause the workflow to not run.

While browsing the myriad of tools that are available on CodePlex for CRM 2011 I ran across one called Workflow Automation for CRM 2011This tool claims to have made it possible to schedule a Workflow so I figured I had better give it a try. My testing is with CRM On-Premise I haven’t tried this tool yet with CRM Online.

The documentation included walks you through gathering most of the required information. One piece that they could cover a bit more is getting the FetchXML that the workflow will operate against. The easiest way to get this is to create an Advanced Find with the criteria you are looking for and then click the “Download Fetch XML” button on the ribbon. Once you have downloaded the FetchXML you can replace the “fetch” statement in the Workflows.xml file.

This tool relies on the Task Scheduler engine of Windows to run at the appointed time. So whichever Workflows are defined in the Workflows.xml this tool will run all of them at the scheduled time. What this means is that if you want two different Workflows to run at different times you will need to create two different instances of this tool in different folders and schedule them at different times.

 

This tool nicely accomplishes the task of scheduling a Workflow. I only wished that I could schedule Workflows independently without having multiple instances, but for a free tool it will get the job done.