Copying an Address Using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Workflows


How do you increase user acceptance for any application? One way is to reduce the amount of data entry the user is responsible for. Most of us would rather spend our time ‘doing’ rather than pounding on a keyboard. There are many places you can use Microsoft Dynamics 365 workflows to help the user out and it doesn’t have to be complicated to produce some benefit. An example of this is copying an address using Microsoft Dynamics 365/CRM workflows.

What’s Your Address?

One of the most important pieces of information in Dynamics 365 is the Account address. For many organizations, tracking at least two addresses is a requirement. You can expose two sets of addresses on the Account form and designate each with a ‘friendly’ name. Some businesses want to maintain consistency so that the first address displayed is always the ‘Primary’ address or the ‘Bill To’ address, while the second one might always be labeled as ‘Mailing’ or ‘Ship To’.

Regardless of your choice of convention, if the second address is often the same as the first one, why not make it easy for the users to have Dynamics 365 take off the entry of the second address via a workflow?

There’s Nothing Wrong with ‘Simple’

Making this happen is one of the simpler workflows you’ll create–but simple is good. On the Account form, to let the user indicate that the 1st address should be copied to the 2nd address, you’ll need to add a new field of type ‘Two Options’:

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Next, add the field to the Address section of the form, right above the 2nd address fields.  On the ‘Formatting’ tab of the Field Properties, select a format to display the field as a radio button, check box or drop down.

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Save and publish your form and then navigate to ‘Processes’ in the ‘Customizations’ or ‘Solutions’ areas, depending upon where you do your configuration.

Create a new ‘background’ workflow and set the ‘Process Properties’ values as shown – select the ‘Same as Bill To’ field using the ‘Select’ button to the right of ‘Record fields change’ so that a change in that field will trigger the workflow:

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In the workflow steps area, our first step is to check the value of the ‘Same as Bill To’ field and to stop the workflow if the value is ‘No’.

However, if the ‘Same as Bill To’ is ‘Yes’, we simply have the workflow copy the Address 1 fields into the Address 2 fields:

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When the user checks the ‘Same as Bill To’ box / sets the value to ‘Yes and saves the record, the workflow will copy the address info in the background.

Naturally, there are other things that could be added to this such as using a Business Rule to lock the ‘Same as Bill To’ field if there is data in the 2nd address field, clearing out the 2nd address fields if the user changes the ‘Same as Bill To’ to ‘No’ (to force the user to make sure the 2nd address data is valid), checking to see if the 1st address does contain data before proceeding with an update to the 2nd address, etc.

Bang for the Buck

Even simple workflows can provide a lot of value for a small investment in time.  And if you need to add more conditions or make it a little more sophisticated you can do that, too.

By John Clifton, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Consultant, Dyn365Pros, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Partner, Southern California, San Diego

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