“Stats-On-The-Fly” and Time Management with Dynamics CRM 2013

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Time management is our ability to control the time we spend on specific activities. If my task is to complete 50 phone calls in 8 working hours, I will first aim to make 25 phone calls in my first 4 working hours.  I will measure my progress based on the number of completed calls, average time per call, and the maximum and minimum times spent on calls. The same applies to managing opportunities. If my target is 20 opportunities per month with an average of $1,000 per opportunity, I will monitor my progress weekly or even daily.

“Stats-On-The-Fly” is a plug-in workflow that provides the sum, total number of records, average, median, minimum and maximum value of a field for a group of records. The user can filter the records to be included in the workflow using Rollup Queries in in the CRM function Advance Find.

Stats-On-The-Fly displays the calculated results, in real time, as a message that pops up on the screen, using synchronous workflow.

“Stats-On-The-Fly” is included in the “Dynamics Workflows” CRM solution. The solution includes four groups of workflows:

Text Functions- Join two text strings, find and replace one text with another, right and left trim of text
Math Functions- Calculate the sum, multiplication, division, and difference of two fields of a record
Date Functions- find the difference between 2 days or a date and todays date. Convert date to day of the week, the month and the year. The workflow also extracts the time from date / time field and convert to decimal format.
Stats-On-The-Fly – as explained above.

Click Here to Download the trial version of Dynamics Workflows


Watch this video on how Stats On The Fly works

The story behind Stats-On-The-Fly.

When we designed Stats-On-The-Fly we had two issues:

  1. A workflow is designed to act upon one record at a time, while we wish to sum up the value of one field in all filtered records and count the number of records
  2. How to show the results and display them to the user, in real time

The answer to the first issue is by using rollup query. The user can create a rollup query for any CRM entity and assign a filter to the query. The input parameters to the Stats-On-The-Fly workflow are the rollup query and the name of the field (attribute) to use.

The obvious answer to the second issue is using synchronous workflows, introduced in CRM2013. The problem is that to display a message on the screen, the workflow needs to be stopped with the status “Cancelled”, which then displays a message to the user. The error message says:” Business Process Error” and can be customised to include up to 2,000 characters of additional information. The calculation results are displayed below the “error” message (see image below).

It is unfortunate that such a nice feature does not come with a third option that displays the message without the error icon and the text “Business Process Error”

Till then our users enjoy a great product with somewhat incorrect title   🙂

Business Process Error










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