Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 has a useful new feature called “Business Rules”. Not to be confused with “Process Flows”, Business Rules help us to provide a few common functions without the need to write JavaScript. CRM 2013 will initially come with five standard Business Rules; more will be added at a later date.

Setting up Business Rules
There are numerous places you can configure Business Rules from:

1. Settings – Customizations – Customize the Solution

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2. On the Form customization

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3. On the Field Properties screen

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4. On the Field Properties Dialog (when you edit the Properties of a Field from within the Form Designer)

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Defining a Business Rule

A Business Rule consists of three parts:
1. Condition
Defines when the action should be invoked
2. Action
Denotes what to do when the Condition has been met
3. Description
Free text description of the Business Rule

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Condition

The Conditions you specify here are the same as those that you would specify from within a Workflow process. You can have multiple Conditions within one Business Rule, however, each Condition must be satisfied in order for the Action to be performed (so the logical operator between each Condition is AND – there is no support for OR).

Action
Specify one or more of the following Actions to be performed:

a) Show error message
You can specify an error message to be displayed linked to a relevant field, similar to the alert Javascript function: Business Rules crm 2013 6

b) Set field value
You can set the value of a field to either a specific value or to the same value as another field: Business Rules crm 2013 7

c) Set business required
Allows you to easily toggle whether a field is mandatory or not: Business Rules crm 2013 8

d) Set visibility
Simple way to control the visibility of a field on the form: Business Rules crm 2013 9

e) Lock or unlock field
Another simple function to make a field read-only or editable: Business Rules crm 2013 10

Example
In this simple example, we have defined a Business Rule called “Identify High Value Customers”.

The purpose of the Rule is to set a fixed description for any Account where the Annual Revenue exceeds £500k. The description field will also become locked and a warning message will be displayed to the User. The Business Rule is defined as below:  Business Rules crm 2013 11

NOTE: We click the Activate button at the top of the screen to make the Business Rule live.

Now, just like normal Javascript functions, our Business Rule executes as soon as the Conditions have been met.

So as we have entered a high value in the Annual Revenue field, we get the warning symbol appear:

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The error message is displayed in the top part of the screen:

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And our Description field has been set and locked:

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Summary

Business Rules help you to easily configure some of the more commonly required functions where previously you would have had to write Javascript code. The ability to group several conditions and actions together to form one rule makes them quite versatile.

A very welcome addition to Dynamics CRM!