CRM Manipulation Library

Very useful set of String manipulations, Date manipulations, Calculations, RegEx and Web functions which are not coming as CRM2011 OOB features are included in the manipulation Libray. In another words it is a set of custom workflow activities which can be used with crm workflows and dialogs as well.

Installation Manipulation Library comes as a CRM solution and as a solution of Visual Studio. There are two ways of installing it and use in CRM.

CRM Solution import

CRM solution can be imported to the CRM and after publishing it, the features will be available to use in processes. Thats the easiest way of installing it and if some one needs an unmanaged solution, they can export it as an unmanaged  solution and simply use it in any CRM environment.

Solution Import


Register workflow assemblyThis has bit of a work compared to the above method and user needs Plugin Registration tool to register the custom workflow assembly in the CRM environment. Assembly was given in the CodePlex and any user can build the C# solution provided and the assembly can be generated. If some one doesn’t need all the custom functions given in the manipulation library, those can be removed(Commented), built and registered in the CRM environment.After import and publish the solution it shows the workflow steps as follows
Workflow Steps

Date Utilities

Most important set of custom functions in the library according to me. 🙂 CRM workflows allows users to add, subtract normal calendar days and durations but not Business Days. Normally Mondays to Friday are the business days but there can be business closures in the weekdays as well. And also there are business closing hours where the developers need to consider about.

Create the custom workflow step.

Add Business Days

Using the custom workflow step in the workflow.
Use of Add Business Days

Calculation utilities
Calculation Utilities allow for quick calculations and logic based on numerical values such as Basic Math, Convert values, Maximum and Minimum. Its very important to get some simple calculations done within the CRM Workflow itself  rather than implementing seperate custom workflows.

String Utilities 

Another useful category under the manipulation library. Capitalize, Codify (SoundEx), Codify (Metaphone), Length, Pad String, Replace, Substring and Trim functions are coming under string utilities.

E.g. Need to get the first digit of the customer type and decide the next set of operations to be continued. In this case the user doesn’t need to get the first digit of the type seperately.

Create the custom step

Create Pad String

Using the custom step in the workflow.Using PadString

Thanks to Calton Cotler, I got lot of advantages and get my development time saved because of this.

Just try it http://manipulationlibrary.codeplex.com/releases/view/52128

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