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About Workflow Rules

A workflow rule is an instruction to Oracle CRM On Demand to perform one or more actions automatically each time a specified event occurs.

About Setting Up Workflow Rules Functionality

If you are a new customer, then the workflow rules functionality is automatically enabled. However, if you are an existing customer, then Oracle CRM On Demand Customer Care and your company administrator must configure the Oracle CRM On Demand workflow rules functionality:

  • Oracle CRM On Demand Customer Care Setup. When Oracle CRM On Demand Customer Care sets up workflow rule functionality, the Workflow Configuration link is visible in the Business Process Management section of the Admin Homepage. Also, the Administrator user role has the Manage Data Rules - Manage Workflow Rules privilege enabled. For more information about user roles, see Adding Roles.
  • Enable Workflow option. Workflow rules cannot be executed until the company administrator selects the Enable Workflow check box on the Company Profile page. For information about configuring your company profile, see Setting Up Your Company Profile and Global Defaults.
  • Integration events. An integration event is a mechanism for triggering external processes that are based on changes to the records in Oracle CRM On Demand, including create, update, delete, associate, dissociate, restore, and merge operations . You can specify which fields on a record that you want to track. If your company wants to use workflow rules to create integration events, contact Oracle CRM On Demand Customer Care to request support for Integration Event Administration and to specify the total size of the integration event queues that you require. When the value changes in a tracked field, the change is recorded in the integration event. You can also specify to which integration event queues the integration events are added. For more information about managing integration events, see About Integration Events.
  • Books. If your company wants to use workflow rules to update the associations between records and books, contact Oracle CRM On Demand Customer Care to request support for Book Management. For more information about book management, see Book Management.

Trigger Events and Actions on Workflow Rules

A workflow rule is evaluated when the event specified on the rule (the trigger event) occurs. If the conditions on the rule are met (or if there are no conditions on the rule), then the actions specified on the rule are performed. For example, you can create a workflow rule to specify that when an opportunity is created (the workflow rule trigger event), an email is sent to the opportunity owner's manager (the workflow rule action). You can also specify that the email is sent only if the revenue on the opportunity is in excess of a certain amount (the workflow rule condition), and you can specify the content of the email.

You can also configure workflow rules so that actions are performed when a specified period of time has passed, or when a specified date and time is reached. For more information about time-based workflow actions, see About Time-Based Workflow Rules.

Workflow rules can be triggered by one of the following:

  • A record is created, updated, restored, merged, or deleted.
  • A record is associated with another record or dissociated from another record.

    Association and dissociation workflow rule triggers are supported for associations between certain record types only. For more information, see the Association and Dissociation Trigger Events section of this topic.

Workflow rules are configured for a record as a whole, and not for individual fields. There are several types of trigger events for workflow rules, but each workflow rule has only one trigger event. Depending on the trigger event you select for the rule, you can specify that Oracle CRM On Demand is to perform one or more actions automatically when the workflow rule conditions are met.

NOTE: After a rule is created, you cannot change the record type or trigger event on the rule. However, you can update the workflow condition.

The trigger event for each rule is shown on the Workflow Rules List Page and on the Workflow Rule Detail page. The following table shows the actions that are available for each trigger event.

Trigger Event

Available Actions

When New Record Saved

  • Send Email
  • Create Task
  • Assign a Book
  • Create Integration Event
  • Wait
  • Update Values

When Modified Record Saved

  • Send Email
  • Create Task
  • Assign a Book
  • Create Integration Event
  • Wait
  • Update Values

Before Record Is Deleted

  • Send Email
  • Create Task
  • Create Integration Event

Before Modified Record Saved

  • Update Values

After Association With Parent

  • Send Email
  • Create Integration Event
  • Wait

After Dissociation From Parent

  • Send Email
  • Create Integration Event
  • Wait

When Record Is Restored

  • Send Email
  • Create Integration Event
  • Create Task

When Records Are Merged

  • Send Email
  • Create Integration Event
  • Create Task

Three additional workflow actions are available only in Oracle CRM On Demand for Partner Relationship Management:

  • Partner Book Sync
  • Book Partner Sync
  • Owner Partner Account Sync

For more information on these actions and how you can use them, see Oracle CRM On Demand for Partner Relationship Management Configuration Guide, available from the Oracle CRM On Demand documentation library on Oracle Technology Network.

Restrictions That Apply to Workflow Rules and Rule Actions

The following restrictions apply to workflow rules and rule actions:

  • Workflow rule conditions. If you define conditions on a workflow rule, then the workflow rule actions are performed only if the rule conditions are met when the rule is triggered. If the conditions are not met, then the actions are not performed. If you do not define any conditions on a workflow rule, then the workflow rule actions are performed each time the rule is triggered.
  • Multiple actions on workflow rules. You can create multiple actions for a workflow rule, up to a maximum of 25 actions for each rule. If you try to create more than 25 actions on a rule, then you receive an error message. Where there are multiple actions on a workflow rule, the actions are performed in the order specified on the workflow rule, starting with the action numbered 1. Each action is completed before the next action starts. You can change the order of the actions on a rule. For more information about workflow actions, see About Workflow Actions.

    NOTE: If a workflow action terminates unexpectedly without being completed, then any remaining actions on the rule are not performed.

  • Record types. You can create workflow rules for a number of record types. However, each workflow rule applies to only one record type. This means that if you create a workflow rule for a specific record type and you want the same action to occur for another record type, you must create a second workflow rule (with the same trigger event, rule conditions, and action) for the second record type.
  • Single-record context. A workflow rule that is triggered when a record is created, updated, or deleted, is restricted to work in the context of a single record—that is, such a workflow rule can access and update fields on only one record.

NOTE: When a workflow rule is triggered by a record association or dissociation action, the integration event created by the workflow can contain fields from both the child record and the parent record.

Workflow Rules Order

When you create a workflow rule, Oracle CRM On Demand automatically assigns the rule to the next unused order number for the rules that are based on the same record type and the same trigger event. If the trigger event for the workflow rule is After Association With Parent or After Dissociation From Parent, then Oracle CRM On Demand automatically assigns the rule to the next unused order number for rules that are based on the same record type, the same trigger event, and the same parent record type. The order number determines the order in which Oracle CRM On Demand invokes a sequence of workflow rules that are based on the same record type and the same trigger event, and if applicable, on the same parent record type. You can change the order of your rules. For more information about changing the order of workflow rules, see Changing the Order of Workflow Rules.

Exiting a Sequence of Workflow Rules

You can specify that Oracle CRM On Demand is to stop processing a sequence of workflow rules if the condition on a workflow rule is met. When a workflow rule is triggered, the condition on the rule is evaluated. If the condition on the rule is met and the Exit check box on the workflow rule is selected, then the active actions on the current workflow rule are performed, but the subsequent workflow rules that are based on the same record type and the same trigger event, and where applicable, the same parent record type, are not processed.

Association and Dissociation Trigger Events

Association and dissociation trigger events on workflow rules are supported for associations between certain record types only. The following actions are available for association and dissociation trigger events:

  • Send Email. This action is available for all association and dissociation trigger events.
  • Wait. This action is available for all association and dissociation trigger events.
  • Create Integration Event. This action is available for some associations only.

The following table lists the associations that support association and dissociation trigger events and indicates which of the associations support the Create Integration Event action.

Parent Record Type

Record Type

Create Integration Event Action Supported

Account

Contact

Yes

Account

Custom Object 01

No

Account

Custom Object 02

No

Account

Custom Object 03

No

Activity

Contact

No

Contact

Account

Yes

Contact

Custom Object 01

No

Contact

Custom Object 02

No

Contact

Custom Object 03

No

Contact

Opportunity

Yes

Opportunity

Contact

Yes

Opportunity

Custom Object 02

No

The following table lists the actions that can trigger an association or dissociation workflow rule. It also shows the integration events that are generated by the workflow rule in each case (if an integration event action is configured on the workflow rule).

NOTE: Depending on the data in the records, additional integration events can be generated. For example, if a new contact created on an account is the primary contact for the account, an additional (account update) integration event is generated.

Action

Parent Record

Child Record

Channel

Integration Event

Create a new contact on an account.

Account

Contact

User Interface

Account: Update

Contact : Insert

Contact: Associate

Web Services

Contact: Insert

Contact: Associate

Account: Update

Link an existing contact to an account.

Account

Contact

User Interface

Account Contact: Insert

Contact: Update

Web Services

Contact: Associate

Account: Update

Remove a contact from an account.

Account

Contact

User Interface

Account Contact: Delete

Contact: Update (primary contact only)

Web Services

Contact: Dissociate

Account: Update

Link an existing account to a contact.

Contact

Account

User Interface

Account Contact: Insert

Account: Update

Web Services

Account Contact: Insert

Contact: Update

Remove an account from a contact.

Contact

Account

User Interface

Account Contact: Delete

Contact: Update (primary contact only)

Web Services

Account Contact: Delete

Contact: Update (primary contact only)

Create a new opportunity on a contact.

Contact

Opportunity

User Interface

Opportunity: Insert

Opportunity: Associate

Web Services

Opportunity: Insert

Opportunity: Associate

Contact: Update

Remove an opportunity from a contact.

Contact

Opportunity

User Interface

Opportunity: Dissociate

Web Services

Opportunity: Dissociate

Create a new contact on an opportunity.

NOTE: This action is not available through the user interface.

Opportunity

Contact

Web Services

Contact: Insert

Contact: Associate

Link an existing contact to an opportunity.

Opportunity

Contact

User Interface

Opportunity: Update

Opportunity Contact Role: Insert

Web Services

Contact: Associate

Opportunity: Update

Remove a contact from an opportunity.

Opportunity

Contact

User Interface

Opportunity Contact Role: Delete

Opportunity: Update

Web Services

Contact: Dissociate

Opportunity: Update

Workflow Rule Action Failures

If a workflow rule action fails to complete, then the following happens:

  • If an Update Value action fails, then the operation that triggered the rule is blocked and none of the other actions on the workflow rule are performed. An error message is displayed telling the user that the operation has failed.
  • If any other type of workflow rule action fails, then the user gets an error message but the operation that triggered the rule is not blocked, and other actions on the rule are performed. Some error messages, such as the message that is returned when a Create Task action fails because the user is not allowed to create a task, are not displayed to the user. Such errors are written to the log file.

Record Visibility and Workflow Actions

When a user performs an action that triggers a workflow rule, some of the actions on the workflow rule can fail if the user’s action resulted in the user losing visibility to the record.

For example, you might have a workflow rule that is triggered when a modified account record is saved. If a user who owns an account record reassigns the account to another user, then the workflow rule is triggered when the account record is saved. If the original owner of the record no longer has visibility to the account record through any other means, such as team or book membership, then any workflow action that requires access to the account record fails.

Record Ownership Modes and Workflow Actions

You can configure record types that support custom books in different ownership modes: user mode, mixed mode, or book mode. For more information about records ownership modes, see About Record Ownership Modes. The record ownership mode interacts with workflow rules and actions.

If an Assign a Book workflow action attempts to remove the primary custom book from a record, then the following happens:

  • If the record type is configured in book mode, then the workflow action fails.
  • If the record type is configured in mixed mode, then Oracle CRM On Demand removes the value in the Book field on the record when the primary custom book is removed from the record.
  • If the record type is configured in user mode, then none of the books on the record is a primary custom book, and the record ownership mode does not impact the workflow action.

If a workflow action has a dependency on the value in the Owner field on a record, such as when a Send Email action is configured to send email using the Relative User on Record option, then the following happens:

  • If the record type is configured in book mode, then the workflow action fails.
  • If the record type is configured in user mode or mixed mode, and the field that identifies the relative user on the record is blank, then the workflow action fails.

    For example, if you configure a Send Email action to send email to an account owner and the Account record type is configured in mixed mode, then the workflow action fails if the Owner field on the account record is blank. However, if the Owner field is populated, then the workflow action succeeds.

Latency

Workflow rules are evaluated in sequence and synchronously. Therefore, until all the rules are evaluated, the overall update operation is not completed. Workflow rules add a certain amount of latency to operations (that is, the time between the start of an operation and its completion). For example, each task created by a workflow rule can add as much as 20% latency to a record update operation. Each email created by a workflow rule adds about 5% latency.

Expressions take less time to evaluate. To minimize latency, add mutually exclusive expressions to your workflow conditions. Build your workflow rules incrementally, keeping performance in mind.

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Published 5/4/2012 Copyright © 2005, 2012, Oracle. All rights reserved. Legal Notices.