Why workflows are not allowed in CRM 2011 Online?

Ever think of why custom workflows are not allowed in CRM 2011 Online version? Here is the reason for that. First you need to know how the CRM pipeline processes work.


Plug-in developers have the option of registering their plug-ins in the sandbox, known as partial trust, or outside the sandbox, known as full trust. Full trust is supported for on-premises and internet facing Microsoft Dynamics CRM deployments. For a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online deployment, plug-ins must be registered in the sandbox (partial trust) where they are isolated as previously described.

The Sandbox

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online support the execution of plug-ins in an isolated environment. In this isolated environment, also known as a sandbox, a plug-in can make use of the full power of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK to access the organization Web service. Access to the file system, system event log, certain network protocols, registry, and more is prevented in the sandbox. However, sandbox plug-ins do have access to external endpoints like the Windows Azure cloud.

So what exactly is the problem?

In a nutshell, if you have CRM on-premise, then you will not see that much difference in the plug-in environment. But, if you are using CRM 2011 Online, you now have the ability to install plug-ins into a CRM organization in what is called a Sandbox, which restricts the actions your plug-in can perform. Code within the Sandbox runs in partial-trust mode.

Windows Workflow Foundation requires a full-trust environment in order to function properly. But, in order to provide any plug-in functionality within CRM Online, Microsoft has restricted that all custom code to the Sandbox for stability and security purposes.

So, without full trust, we do not have the ability to install and run custom workflow activities on CRM Online.

**For CRM 2011 Training, please check out our CRM Training page. Please share |Like in Facebook if you feel like this page is useful.

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