Dynamics 365 Plugins

What is a D365 Plugin?

Dynamics 365 (D365) is a powerful platform that can be customized to meet specific business needs. One of the ways to customize it is by using plugins. A plugin is custom code that can be executed when specific events occur in D365, such as creating or updating a record. Plugins can be used to extend D365’s functionality and provide additional business logic.


When to Use a D365 Plugin?

Plugins can be used in a variety of scenarios, such as enforcing custom business rules, integrating with third-party systems, and generating automated notifications. Let’s consider a scenario where a company wants to send an automated email to a customer service representative when a new case is created in D365.

In this scenario, a plugin can be used to automatically send an email notification to the assigned customer service representative when a new case is created in D365. The plugin can also be used to set the priority of the case based on the category of the case and the customer’s history with the company.

Plugins can be used to perform complex calculations or validation checks that would be difficult to achieve using out-of-the-box features. Plugins allow developers to extend D365’s functionality without having to modify the core system, making it easier to maintain and upgrade the system in the future.


Plugin Events

Plugins can be triggered by a variety of events, also known as “message types,” including create, update, delete, and retrieve. These events are defined in the D365 platform and can be subscribed to by plugins.

For example, you can create a plugin that is triggered when a new account is created in D365. You can then use this plugin to perform a custom action, such as sending an email notification to the account manager. Plugins can also be triggered when a record is updated, deleted, or retrieved from D365.

In addition to the message type, plugins can also specify a stage in which they should be executed. There are two main stages: pre-operation and post-operation. Pre-operation plugins are executed before the event is processed by D365, while post-operation plugins are executed after the event is processed.

Plugins can also specify the order in which they should be executed within a stage. This is useful when multiple plugins are registered for the same message type and stage, and you want to control the order in which they are executed.

Another important aspect of plugin events is the “pipeline” in which they execute. The pipeline is a series of stages that D365 processes a message type through. Plugins can be executed in any of the stages within the pipeline, allowing them to interact with the data at different points in the process.

In conclusion, understanding plugin events is important when developing a plugin in D365. Plugins can be triggered by a variety of message types, and can be executed at different stages within the pipeline. Understanding the order in which plugins are executed and the pipeline in which they execute can help you create more effective and efficient plugins.


Alternatives to Using a Plugin

If you’re looking to extend D365’s functionality, there are several alternatives to using a plugin. These include:

  1. Workflows: Workflows are a visual representation of a business process that can automate tasks and send notifications. Workflows are less flexible than plugins, but they can be used to automate simple processes.
  2. Business Rules: Business rules are a set of conditions and actions that can be applied to a field on a form. Business rules are less powerful than plugins, but they can be used to enforce simple business logic.
  3. Custom Code: If none of the out-of-the-box features meet your needs, you can write custom code to extend D365’s functionality. However, this requires more technical expertise than using plugins or workflows.

In conclusion, plugins are a powerful tool that can help you extend D365’s functionality and provide additional business logic. They allow developers to automate complex processes and integrate with external systems.


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