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We have seen a new category under Processes called Real Time Workflows as one of the Top 10 New features of CRM 2013. In addition to this, we have another exciting feature for developers called Actions, which is also under Processes.


Actions are messages that can be defined for an entity. Out-of-the-box CRM provides a set of pre-defined messages for each entity (like create, update, delete and others), but there can be cases when you want a custom action. For example: approve, reject, delegate or any other action that fits your business needs. Through actions, we can create our own messages for any entity type. Below are the steps to create a sample action.

Here is an example of creating an action when an account record is delegated.

1. Go to Settings > Processes > Click New

Actions in Dynamics CRM 2013

2. A screen similar to the workflows/dialogs screen will be displayed with slightly different options.

Actions in Dynamics CRM 2013

Enable Rollback: There may be cases when you have a code which runs out of the scope for CRM and you may not be able to roll back the action. The option of rolling back can be disabled for each action.

Direction: You can set either the Argument as an input or Output Argument to an action, by using direction.

Type: Below are the available types of arguments.

Actions in Dynamics CRM 2013

3. Once the Arguments are set, the Steps available to add the logic is similar to the workflows.

Actions in Dynamics CRM 2013

When the logic is defined for the action, you just need to activate it. Now this action is available for the developers and they can easily call this action from a custom code whenever it is required.

The main advantage of actions is to provide the ability to modify the logic easily whenever a business process is changed. A business user can modify this without the help of a developer. Although you won’t be able to run the actions without a custom code, they are helpful when there is frequent change in the process. Actions can be run by a plugin, a custom workflow, or while doing integration with another system, a custom client application, or JavaScript.

In addition to the messages for a specific entity, CRM 2013 provides an option to create a Global Action. This can be created by selecting the entity name as None (global), as shown below while creating the action in step 1.

Actions in Dynamics CRM 2013

This is useful when you have any common actions that need to be performed for multiple entities or globally across the application.

Now you know how to create actions in Dynamics CRM 2013, which are a powerful and easily manageable feature.

For more helpful tips, keep checking back for more blogs covering Dynamics CRM 2013 features, and check out our events page for upcoming CRM 2013 educational webinars.

Happy CRM’ing!

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Joe CRM is a CRM superhero who runs on pure Microsoft Dynamics CRM adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe CRM’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics CRM and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.