Customer Engagement & Dynamics CRM Forum

Expand all | Collapse all

MS Flow vs Workflows

  • 1.  MS Flow vs Workflows

    Posted Sep 13, 2019 10:26 AM
    Are there recommendations on when to use MS Flow vs the out-of-the-box Dynamics Workflow process?

    Arvic Canaria
    Project Manager / Business Analyst
    Cineplex Entertainment
    Toronto, ON

  • 2.  RE: MS Flow vs Workflows

    Posted Sep 13, 2019 11:13 AM
    Hi Arvic

    I've not seen anything official but the fact that a notification now appears when creating a workflow suggesting Flow instead makes me wonder whether workflows will be deprecated at a future date.  As it stands I tend to continue to use workflows for any Dynamics only jobs and then Flow if we need to talk to any other systems.  Flow still missing some functionality, such as being able to use activity parties, to make a permanent change, although I do expect this to change in the near future.


    Luke Sartain
    Dynamics 365 (CE) Developer
    ICS Cool Energy
    Southampton, UK

  • 3.  RE: MS Flow vs Workflows

    Posted Sep 15, 2019 08:32 PM
    Hey @Arvic Canaria

    I agree with @Luke Sartain; If you are going to be interacting with services outside of D365 then go with Flow.  If the process you are building is all internal actions to D365 entities you can stick with workflow, but I would recommend going with flow or give it some consideration.


    Todd Mercer
    Dynamics CRM Technical Lead
    MD Financial Management
    Ottawa ON

  • 4.  RE: MS Flow vs Workflows

    Posted Sep 16, 2019 03:58 AM
    Agree with both Luke and Todd. I'd say that workflows will be deprecated at some time but I don't think anything has been announced.

    The deprecation of the "classic" interface in favour of the unified interface for Oct 2020 does not mention deprecating workflows.

    In fact, one of the comments at suggests that there might be a different workflow designer.

    Feridun Kadir
    Principal Consultant, MVP
    Expert CRM Services Ltd

  • 5.  RE: MS Flow vs Workflows

    Posted Sep 16, 2019 06:26 AM
    I haven't seen any automatic conversion from workflow to flow, and custom workflow activities are not supported in flow. Deprecating workflows would be a really big deal for many implementations.

    I didn't like the dialog deprecation, although they certainly have telemetry that says this is not in use so much. Dialogs are a little bit ugly, but still useful for many tasks. Not a straightforward job to replace them with canvas apps.

    Zarko Radevic
    Dynamics CRM Programmer
    Digitale Medier 1881 AS

  • 6.  RE: MS Flow vs Workflows

    Posted Sep 16, 2019 10:28 AM
    One small addition here - Flow can do some things entirely within Dynamics that workflow cannot do (such as update child records from a change on the parent).  Certainly it's not ready to replace workflows yet, but you might consider what you need the workflow to accomplish in determining the best tool.  I probably would still default to a workflow for anything it's good at, and then use Flow for external systems or things workflow can't do well/easily.

    Merlin Schwaiger
    Director of Solution Design
    PowerObjects, an HCL Company
    Minneapolis MN

  • 7.  RE: MS Flow vs Workflows

    Posted Sep 17, 2019 05:47 AM
    Flow is great but not yet mature enough to replace workflow completely.  It's great in Flow that you can loop really easily and update child records and loads of other things.  We've just hit a limitation recently regarding the listing of custom entities, which doesn't appear to work.

    At the moment, Workflow very much still has a place particularly as custom workflow actions are not supported in Flow.

    Stewart Tranter
    Business Systems Manager
    TCL Group
    Derbyshire, UK

  • 8.  RE: MS Flow vs Workflows

    Posted Sep 17, 2019 08:48 AM
    Workflows will eventually be depreciated, but I would imagine we are a long ways from that happening.
    A big thing to consider is real time vs background. If you require the workflow to action immediately upon trigger, then you must use a workflow. A flow can be used if you are looking for a number of things:
    1. If you need to list records
    2. If you're okay with the action potentially not actioning immediately
    3. You need to interact with content outside of Dynamics.

    Hope this helps!

    Emma D'Arcy
    MCSE: Business Applications
    Pre-Sales Consultant

  • 9.  RE: MS Flow vs Workflows

    Posted Sep 18, 2019 03:04 AM
    @Emma D'Arcy - I'd forgotten about no 1 as one of the reasons to use Flow instead of classic workflows.
    Another one is Scheduling workflow - while this can be achieved to a degree with classic, it is delivered as you would expect with Flow.

    Donal McCarthy
    Digital Marketing Administrator

  • 10.  RE: MS Flow vs Workflows

    Posted 19 days ago
    I think the days of classic worfklows may be numbered.
    It is no longer possible to add a classic workflow from the modern solution builder - you have to go into classic.
    My guess is that they have worked out how to convert workflows to flows - I recently saw some system messages about converting workflows to flows in regard to a migration tool for automatic record creation rules and service-level agreements (SLAs).
    See Migrate automatic record creation rules and service-level agreements | Microsoft Docs

    It's just the realtime synchronous ones that will be an issue. Also, possibly workflows with custom action like those created with Workflow Tools.

    Donal McCarthy
    Digital Marketing Administrator

If you've found this thread useful, dive deeper into User Group community content by role