Defining the Proper Scope When Configuring Workflows in Dynamics CRM

One of the options that can be a little puzzling when building workflows in Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the “Scope” setting.  Knowing when to select which option can be a bit confusing.

This selection controls which records will be affected by the workflow you are creating, based on the User who’s launching the workflow and the records that User owns.

selecting-the-proper-scope

The options available for defining scope are:

  • User
  • Business Unit
  • Parent: Child Business Units
  • Organization

The Scope definition is an added security control. If you select User, only records owned by that current User will be affected by the workflow, even if the User has a Security Role that gives them full Organizational access to that entity.

If you select Business Unit, only records owned by the User launching the workflow and records owned by User’s within the same Business Unit as the launching User, will be affected by the workflow – again, even if the User has greater access with the Security Role/Roles they are assigned.  For example:

  • If User Jill Smith is part of BU A and she triggers the workflow on a record she owns, the workflow will execute as expected.
  • If User Jill Smith is part of BU A and she triggers the workflow on a record owned by John Doe who is also part of BU A, the workflow will execute as expected.
  • If User Jill Smith is part of BU A and she triggers the workflow on a record owned by Ben Kim who is part of BU B which is not the same BU as Jill, the workflow will not execute as expected.

It’s important to understand that the selection you choose applies to all steps in your workflow.  For example: If you have “User” defined as your Scope selection and your workflow is launching on a Lead record, but one of the steps updates the associated Parent Account for that Lead, the User triggering the workflow must own BOTH the Lead and Account for the steps to process correctly.

The same logic applies to the Parent: Child Business Units and Organizational settings as well.

Understanding your organizations data and who owns the records you expect to be affected by your workflow is an important part of creating efficient and proper processes.  When in doubt, if there are no major security concerns regarding the data that you’d like updated with your workflow, I typically choose “Organization” as my Scope definition to ensure that the workflow will always execute and update properly, regardless of who owns the data.

By Jessica Carsten, Application Consultant with xRM³, Microsoft Partner focused exclusively on service, support and education for Dynamics CRM. San Diego, Southern California. To ensure CRM success for your organization, click here.