Setting Alerts on Multiple Records

Standard

A recent project needed the ability to put an alert on multiple records at the same time. The list of records would only be known when the message was being added. A similar example may be adding product or pricing alerts to opportunities to inform sales people of what is coming up.

As it was a proof of concept system, and I am not one for coding, I chose to solve the problem through configuration. I could have used my codeless alert system but this triggered based on fields on the form and, in this case, there was not necessarily a hard and fast set of rules for a Business Rule trigger.

My Solution

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In the end the solution was quite simple. My record already had a Description text box where the users could add notes for the record as it progresses. Under this I added a text box and, with a workflow, had the contents of the text box get appended to the Description box on save and the text box blanked out.

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As you can see, this approach also allowed me to user and time stamp the entry.

However, this is only half the solution because, while this box allows us to add an entry to one record, it does not allow us to adjust multiple records at once. To do this requires the mass edit feature of CRM. That is, for my proof of concept, I gave the users who needed the ability to create alerts the Bulk Edit privilege as they were power users anyhow.

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The Workflow

The appending workflow is here:

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It is triggered when the Append to Description text box changes.

The Update step looks like this.

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Some things to note with this is the {Clear} slug on the Append to Description box. This is one of the available Operator values when specifying how the field gets updated.

Another thing to note is the recursive reference to the record’s Description (In our case the name of the entity we are acting on it ‘Contract’). I this case, the slug variable stores the pre-workflow value and then reinserts in into the text box once the other pieces have been added.

Conclusion

Another way of doing things without code which may not be how you want to do things in a production system but, hopefully, will inspire you to think of creative solutions when a curly requirement comes along.

See how you go with it and, if you do use it or a similar approach in a production system, please do mention it in the comments.

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