Ever since I started working with Dynamics CRM, I have always been searching for ways to become more efficient when it comes to those repeatable tasks we all love doing every day. CRM has limitations that we all do our best to find ways around. In this case, everyone I know that works with CRM has workflows that they run to manipulate data, usually in mass. The only drawback - running the same workflow for 25k records takes forever to go page by page, 250 records at a time. I would rather do the bug eating challenge on Fear Factor…
So I eventually thought, “There has to be a better way of doing this.” I came up with my first solution which was 100% CRM based, but the solution did not work well with due to plug-in timeouts. So I decided to make things run on the client side and created the Bulk Workflow Execution Tool.
Using the Bulk Workflow Execution Tool
The CRM 2011 Bulk Workflow Execution Tool allows you to run any On Demand workflow in CRM 2011 (On Premise and Online) for any view (System or Personal) for the entire record set returned by that view. Need to send an email out to all Leads created in the last 7 days, but send a different email based on Region? Create your workflow, create a view, and within 5 clicks you are done. The Bulk Workflow Execution Tool will use the record set returned by your view’s FetchXML, and execute the On Demand workflow for each record saving you the hassle of going page by page for who knows how long. You may also use a custom FetchXML query if needed.
If you are currently running Update Rollup 12 or higher, the Bulk Data API will be enabled – allowing the workflows to be created in batches of 200. We have found this to be an average of 5x faster than “pre-UR12” environments. The video below helps to prove just how fast the tool can help you run workflows for 2,500 records in less than one minute.
There are plans to add some features to this tool in the near future to make the process of running workflows even simpler, such as a workflow scheduler. And as soon as CRM 2013 arrives, this tool will be updated to be compatible.
Click here to download the CRM 2011 Bulk Workflow Execution Tool.
Big thanks to Jennifer Ford at Sonoma Partners for helping with the QA on this tool and also Gus Gonzalez for pushing me to get it done! You can find me on twitter @andypopkin, and please feel free to let me know if you find any bugs or think of improvements. Enjoy!
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