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CRM Business Process Flows (BPFs): How to Automate Switching Using Security Roles

Business Process Flows (BPFs) are a star feature of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. They are a powerful way to unify business process and technology by guiding users through a specific process towards a defined outcome.

Business Process Flows: Facts

Slight variances between similar business processes are supported via Business Process Flow branching logic. If there are a few or no commonalities, up to 10 different BPFs can be created for an entity.  This allows administrators to define specific and independent processes for different functional areas of an organization.

Business Process Flows: Applying the Facts

At Catapult, we use two different BPFs with the Case entity.  The first BPF (Customer Service) is used by our operations team to track services requests raised by clients.  The second BPF (Internal Support) is used by our internal support team to track issues raised by employees.

Business Process Flows

Business Process Flows: End User Impacts

The flexibility to define multiple BPFs for an entity is convenient for system administrators; however, it is not always convenient for end users. When multiple BPFs exist, the system administrator sets the default BPF for users, if an end user requires an alternate BPF, they must manually switch BPFs.

Business Process Flows - Switch Process


To improve the user experience, a developer could write custom code to automatically switch between BPFs, or the CRM security model may be used to switch between BPFs. 

To Execute This Without Code:

  1. CRM > Settings > Process > Business Process Flow record
  2. In the Business Process Flow record, click Enable Security Roles.
  3. In the Enable Security Roles window, click Enable only for the selected security roles.
  4. Select security roles(s), click OK.
Business Process Flows Enable Security Roles

Order the Business Process Flows

  1. CRM > Settings > Process > Business Process Flow record, click Enable Security Roles
  2. In the Order Process Flow window, select the target Business Process Flow
  3. Click the arrow buttons to re-order the Business Process Flow
  4. Repeat until each Business Process Flow is ordered correctly, and click OK.
Business Process Flows Order

How it Works

If an active Business Process Flow exists, and a record is created or opened for the first time, the system will associate a BPF to this record. When multiple active BPFs exist, the system will work though the defined BPF order and associate the first BPF the user has the appropriate security permissions to access. Security permission is determined based on the Security Role(s) assigned to each BPF, and Security Role(s) assigned to the user who created or loaded the record form the first time.


Using the CRM security model can be an effective way to improve user experience by automatically switching between multiple BPFs. Before applying this in your CRM environment, we recommend you consider the following:


The BPF applied is based on the first user that creates or loads the target record (eg. Case). Once a BPF is associated to a record, if the next user who opens/views the record requires a different BPF, they must manually switch BPFs.


If users require access to all BPFs, or if all users working with BPFs share a single security role, the CRM security model cannot be used to automatically switch between BPFs.

Final Thoughts

Defining multiple Business Process Flows in Microsoft Dynamics CRM can further customize the system to meet various business processes. In these situations usability can be impacted. To address this, custom code can be written to automatically switch between BPFs to satisfy complex requirements. Otherwise, these quick and easy steps (that can be applied by a system administrator) can help you achieve similar results!

Have more questions about Business Process Flows? Get in touch!

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