Changes in solution management following the BPF model redesign

In the Dynamics 365 Fall 2016 release, we made significant redesign of business process flow model. Each BPF is now represented in dual way from the solution management point of view:

  • as process definition of BPF type
  • and as an entity (as a consequence, an instance of a process is represented as a record)

The benefits from this model change are described in the following blog: Concurrent business process flows in Dynamics 365. Let’s mention some of them: we can run simultaneous business process flows on the same record, we can have enhanced reporting possibility related with business process efficiency and execution quality, etc.

To align the new design model and assure the metadata consistency between the BPF process and entity definition, we are adding an additional check on the solution level, which is not allowing to import the solution with only BPF process definition but without BPF entity. The BPF entity is created when the BPF is first time activated; for this reason, before exporting the solution from unmanaged environment, assure that the BPF was at least activated once.

If you will try to import the solution with BPF processes and without BPF entities definition, the error which you will see will be following: “Microsoft.Crm.CrmException: Failed to export Business Process “{0}” because solution does not include corresponding Business Process entity “{1}”. If this is a newly created Business Process in Draft state, activate it once to generate the Business Process entity and include it in the solution”.

There are some solution management strategies, which impose separation of specific customization objects type in distinct solutions, which means separate solution for entity definitions, processes, reports and dashboards etc. In this case, the recommendation would be to add the BPF entities to BPF solution and to not keep their duplicated references in another solutions, in order to avoid dependency conflicts between solution layers.

 

Separate solution for entity and process definitions

 

If for any reason is not possible to follow this recommendation, keep the old BPF entities in both: solution with entities and solution with BPF definitions and add new created BPF entities only to solution with BPF definitions.

 

Other resources explaining latest modifications in BPF design and possible implementation scenarios:

Business process flow automation in Dynamics 365

Best practices for automating business process stage progression in Dynamics 365

Model business process flows

Sample: Work with business process flows

 

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