Workflows and by extension, custom workflow activities, execute totally asynchronously.

Plugins can execute both asynchronously and synchronously. Workflows can be manually executed, or automatically triggered by selected events.

Workflows can be limited to automatically execute within specific organizational scopes (ie. Org, BU, Parent and Child BUs, or for the Owner only).

Plugins are always triggered by the messages to which they’re subscribed, though some Messages allow limiting execution based on whether certain attributes have been passed into the Message.

Workflows can be turned off (by unpublishing). Plugins are always on.  Custom workflow activities can be used in many Workflows.

Workflows can be developed through the Workflow design interface.  Plugins must be developed in Visual Studio.  Workflows do not require compiling (though custom workflow activities do).  Plugins and custom workflow activities must be compiled and deployed through processes external to CRM.

In short: though only asynchronous in nature, Workflows allow an unimpeachable degree of flexibility and ease of configuration which Plugins do not afford, and their administration can be granted to power users of CRM without necessary access to the server or platform code.  Plugins offer the highest degree of security and performance and surpass Workflows in capability and ability to augment platform operations.

When speed of execution, security of process, and validity of data are integral, I choose Plugins.  When flexibility, functionality reuse, and optional user involvement are integral, I choose Workflows.

About the Author Dynatecon Solutions

DYNATECON is a group of dynamic professionals who are passionate about building affordable IT solutions using Dynamics 365 and Power platform. We focus on enabling digital transformation in Small scale as well as Medium scale industries. Whether you have 1 user or 100 users and planning to implement a new CRM system, please contact us at info@dynatecon.com. We can guide you for sure!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s