The workflow module, introduced in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016, provides a platform to build instructions for automated commands. This functionality is very useful for automating processes such as notifications, approvals etc.
At its core, a workflow executes an action when an event occurs. The basic building blocks of workflows are:
- Event – what needs to trigger to activate the workflow
- Condition – allows for specifying filters for records that the workflow will apply to
- Response – one or more actions that the workflow will execute once the conditions have been met
When strung together, these workflow steps can supplement a wide range of day to day activities. As an example of workflows in action, I have set up the following to assist in purchasing:
When a staff member enters in a purchase invoice, identify the need for approval before proceeding. NAV will then email the selected invoice as a link to the approver, giving them the option to approve, reject or delegate the approval request.
Once the invoice has been approved, a second workflow is used to automatically post the purchase invoice. It then pre-populates a payment journal line to match the invoiced amount and notifies the user.
The reason why I find workflows so jazzy is that they offer tested and proven functionality without the need for custom modification. In fact, everything that had been described above has been included in the Dynamics NAV package as templates and can be fully set up/modified by an end user. If a scenario requires a specific workflow trigger or action, custom events and responses can also be developed to further extend this functionality.
In the latest version of Dynamics NAV 2017, Microsoft has added more workflow templates out of the box as well as improving ease of use by implementing guided wizards for workflow creation and maintenance. Workflows can provide you with simpler processes and increased productivity. Contact us if we can help you get started with this useful tool.