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Workflows now suggesting I use Flow

  • 1.  Workflows now suggesting I use Flow

    GOLD CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 12 days ago
    This morning I started seeing this message when I edit workflows:
    We recommend using Microsoft Flow instead of background workflows. Click here to start building Flows!
    I still find there are too many issues with using Flow to attempt to switch over. How has your organization approached these issues?

    • Flows are owned by a user, while workflows can be set to any owner. I want the workflow to be run by a system user or user who initiated the workflow.
    • Flows require syntax knowledge in order to accomplish the same action in a comparatively simple approach using dropdown selections.
    • Flows do not "port" existing workflows. If I am using a plugin or workflow toolkit, it is prohibitive to attempt to recreate this using flow.

    Flow was pitched as a "no cliff" approach to automation at the CRMUG Summit last October, with complete parity to workflows. As far as I can tell, the development of a more pleasing graphical interface was done without regard for the fact that actually using workflows is easier.

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    Adam Posegate
    Fox Valley Technical College
    Appleton WI
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  • 2.  RE: Workflows now suggesting I use Flow

    GOLD CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 12 days ago
    I have only started using flows for things I cannot do in the traditional workflow engine. In my case that means I have set up two flows that connect with CRM and send out daily reminders to anyone who has an open Opportunity with an Estimated Close Date in the past. I think it's best to gradually try to migrate flows - starting with the ones that you can fully migrate already and giving feedback to Microsoft about the ones that you cannot yet fully migrate. I'm hoping they will give lots of transition time for this one.

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    Sissy Bottcher
    Business Process Innovation Specialist
    StudyPortals
    San Diego CA
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  • 3.  RE: Workflows now suggesting I use Flow

    MICROSOFT MVP
    Posted 11 days ago
    Yes, I've seen that message as well. I think it is a little premature to show the message because we don't have parity between workflows and flows.

    However, I don't see Microsoft investing in workflows any more and that one day (whenever that is), workflows will be deprecated.

    So I agree with Sissy, start migrating, investigating and give feedback on the features missing from Flow that are holding you back.

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    Feridun Kadir
    Principal Consultant, MVP
    Expert CRM Services Ltd
    Stansted
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  • 4.  RE: Workflows now suggesting I use Flow

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 11 days ago
    Hey @Adam Posegate

    We've taken the approach of a Flow first design. That is,any new async interaction with D365 ​we approach the solution with Flow first, and if it doesn't fit, we fall back to Workflow.

    It has had some output so far.

    1. Pushed the developers into the Flow space and doing their own due diligence on if the operation will scale on flow, and expanding best practices. 
    2. Has led to some heated debates on if Flow is ready for all operations vs. the tried and true workflow / async plugin model. 
    3. Lots of testing and conversations around DLP on environments
    4. Pushing us to develop our ALM strategy for Flow. 
    5. Flows can be owned by a System user, and is actually considered a best practice vs. leaving system flows owned by a user.
    Eventually, Flow will reach parity and go beyond workflow. So we're doing what we can now to stay ahead of that curve.   Once we have the process ironed out we'll start migrating over our existing workflows.

    Good Luck!

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    Todd Mercer
    Dynamics CRM Technical Lead
    MD Financial Management
    Ottawa ON
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  • 5.  RE: Workflows now suggesting I use Flow

    Posted 10 days ago
    One potential reason to show this message would be Microsoft don't want to promote usage of workflows much because they might have plans to deprecate/replace the workflows eventually with the flows.
    There are many high-level functionalities which can be achieved with the flows which are not possible with workflows and so it becomes more complex to use because of its flexibility.
    However it's true that flow still needs to be refined to further to reach the maturity and reliability in terms of workflows,
    In the flows the one particular point which I have felt where the flow fails is the filtered trigger, if we get functionality to trigger the flow on particular field change OOB that would be very nice.



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    Nidheesh C P
    Corporate Renaissance Group
    Ottawa ON
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  • 6.  RE: Workflows now suggesting I use Flow

    GOLD CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 10 days ago
    Can the workflows be converted to Flow even if you haven't switched to the Unified Interface?

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    Mary Cunningham
    Director - Service Technology
    Comfort Systems USA
    Ocala FL
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  • 7.  RE: Workflows now suggesting I use Flow

    Posted 10 days ago
    No at this point there no options to convert the workflows to flows and there are some functional differences between these two as well which makes it difficult to programmatically convert the functionalities.
    If you need to do it has to be a manual process and regarding the interface, it doesn't matter which interface you are in as these are processing functionalities both flow and workflow will behave exactly same in both UI.

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    Nidheesh C P
    Business Application Consultant
    Corporate Renaissance Group
    Ottawa ON
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  • 8.  RE: Workflows now suggesting I use Flow

    GOLD CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 9 days ago
    Thanks for your feedback. Another item I'm looking at is the parity for triggering on field change. This does not exist with the Dynamics 365 trigger. It does exist for the Common Data Service PREMIUM trigger.
    When a Record is Updated
    When record is updated screenshot

    Looking at the features/pricing plan for flow (link below), it appears that using CDS costs extra even for Dynamics users.

    Flow Pricing Header
    CDS
    https://us.flow.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/


    Is that right? Are they deprecating a feature in Dynamics and requiring businesses to pay additional fees to have the same usability in Flow?

    In such a case it may be better to develop custom plugins without the limit on flow runs and monthly service costs. For many of the advanced functions in Flow, the same person who develops those could likely develop a custom plugin.

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    Adam Posegate
    Fox Valley Technical College
    Appleton WI
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  • 9.  RE: Workflows now suggesting I use Flow

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 8 days ago
    @Adam Posegate - I believe you are looking at the incorrect section of the Flow pricing. You posted a screen shot of the Capacity (storage) pricing. According to the licensing guide for Flow, Dynamics 365 Enterprise includes PowerApps and Flow Plan 2.

     ​

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    Aaron Back, MCSE
    Sr. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Consultant
    www.acemicrotech.com
    _______________________________________
    CRMUG Board Member
    CRMUG Chapter Leader - Cincinnati, Ohio
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  • 10.  RE: Workflows now suggesting I use Flow

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 8 days ago
    Adam, I completely agree. I do not see how Flow will be able to replace native workflows because there are use-cases for synchronous workflows that Flow cannot do. I prefer to work with Azure LogicApps becuase it can do what Flow does for a fraction of the cost. When they advertise 2000 "runs", that is actually each step in the Flow that interacts with CRM, not a single execution of a Flow. For example, If you have a single Flow that has 10 action steps that access D365, then you have 10 runs each time you run that flow.

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    Thanks.
    Nelson Johnson, Solution Architect
    BroadPoint, Inc., Bethesda MD
    Link with me! https://www.linkedin.com/in/nelsonjohnson/
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