CRM 2013 – Business rule workings, limitations and Exam Notes

Business rules were a new feature added into CRM 2013, so this means there will definitely be a few questions on business rules on the MB2-703 exam.

Business rules have a few quirks to them and I think you will find how they work interesting.

If you want to learn how business rules work, read my previous article on business rules

CRM 2013 – Understanding Business Rules

The notes below primary use is to study for the exam but they are also useful for understanding all the workings of business rules and their limitations

for my other exam notes and study information go to the link below

MB2-703 – CRM 2013 Customization and Configuration Certification

Business Rule Exam Notes

Business rules allow a user with no programming skills to create conditional logic, form validation and functionality normally only available using Javascript.

Business rules actions are

Show/Hide fields – Field visibility

Set business required attribute

Display error messages

Business rules can apply to all

Lock or unlock field

Set field values

  • Business rules are split into separate sections, the condition is evaluated and the actions is the instructions to run.
  • You can only modify business rules when they are in draft mode (like workflows)
  • You cannot save a record whilst a business rule error is being displayed, e.g. it prevents the record being saved until the error message is resolved
  • Business rules are often referred to as portable business rules because business rules work in the browsers and CRM for tablets/phone applications (e.g. portable and everywhere)
  • Business rules are client side, they run on the form (unlike plugins, workflows which are server side)
  • Business rules can run on multiple forms for an entity or specific forms for an entity.
  • Each individual form can have zero, one or multiple business rules
  • Business rules can run when a form is loaded or when a field value changes (causing the condition to be evaluated)
  • Saving a record will not run the business rule again
  • Business rules conditions are checked onload and when the field changes. The conditions are evaluated and if the conditions are met the business rule actions will be
  • Fields referenced in a business rule condition or action MUST be displayed on the form or the business rule will not run.
  • Business rules which don’t run due to fields not included on the form will not cause an error, it just won’t run.
  • CRM Tablets display the first 75 fields on a form, so business rules will only work for tablets based on fields in the first 75 fields on a form.
  • Business rules have a status of Draft and Active
  • Business rules when created start with a status of draft.
  • Activating a business rule will change the status to Active. You cannot edit the rule in an active status
  • Deactivating a business will change the business rule status to draft. You can edit the business rule in draft status
  • CRM 2013 business rules conditions work only with AND status and not IF. This means if you want to reverse an action you need two separate business rules (e.g. one business rule to hide a field and another business rule to display the field)
  • Descriptions in business rules are optional
  • Business rules cannot run only for Quick Create forms
  • Business rule scope All Forms will result in the business rule being applied to all forms of a type Main or Quick Create.
  • To change business rule scope, the business rule must be draft status.
  • Actions cannot apply to fields from related entities.
  • Actions can only apply to entities on the entity.
  • Preview mode allows you to test business rules whilst the business rule is in draft mode
  • Conditions are evaluated and all conditions must = TRUE for the business rule action to run.
  • You can have one or multiple conditions in a business rule
  • In CRM 2013 business rule (at time of writing) conditions are AND conditions not OR conditions.
  • You cannot save a record whilst the business rule error icon is displayed
  • When a business rule changes the value of a field it will not trigger the fields OnChange event
  • A field can be set to Not Business required and business required.
  • You cannot set a field to be business recommended
  • Business rules can show or hide a field
  • Business rules cannot show/hide sections or tabs
  • Business rules can lock (read only) or unlock (editable)
  • You cannot delete an active business rule.
  • You can only delete business rules in draft status (e.g. business rules which have been deactivated)
  • Business rules run only when the form loads and when field values change. They do not run when a record is saved.
  • Whole Number fields that use the formats for TimeZone, Duration, or Language will not appear in the rule editor for conditions or actions, so they cannot be used with business rules.
  • Business rules can be added to solutions
  • Business rules will only execute on the form, so don’t work with bulk updates, plugin changes
  • You cannot clear a field using business rules
  • Business rules work on all entities, default and custom
  • You can quickly copy a business rule by using Save As
  • Business rules are run in order of activation e.g. Oldest to Newest
  • Running order – System Javascript, Custom Javascript and then Business rules
  • Business rules only run for specific entity (similar to workflows), you cannot have multiple entity business rules.
  • You cannot delete a field used in a business rule, until you delete the business rule
  • Business rules run on all clients, Web Client (all browsers), Outlook client (offline and online) and CRM for Tablets (surface and iPad)
  • Javascript OnChange event handlers are not triggered if a field value is changed by a business rule.
  • You cannot call a Javascript method from a business rule
  • You cannot delete a field if it’s used in a business rule

9 thoughts on “CRM 2013 – Business rule workings, limitations and Exam Notes

  1. Aron October 29, 2014 / 12:26 pm

    Thanks Hosk! Appreciate how you consolidated all this info in one place!


    • Hosk October 29, 2014 / 12:37 pm

      I’m glad you are finding it useful


  2. viktor.j February 16, 2015 / 10:43 am

    “Fields referenced in a business rule condition or action MUST be displayed on the form or the business rule will not run.” – yepp, after hours of troubleshooting I can confirm that! Wish I have found your post a bit earlier🙂


  3. Shivaram May 26, 2015 / 2:10 pm

    Hi,,I created total 5 business rules for one field because if else condition is not supported in CRM 2013..But at a time only one business rule is working..If i deactivate 1st B.Rule then only 2nd one is working…Is there any chance to work all B.Rules at a time???

    Please suggest me..

    Thanks in advance


  4. Avik October 8, 2015 / 10:36 am

    Thanks for the compilation, they are meticulously picked.

    I failed to understand a particular line,”Actions can only apply to entities on the entity.”
    Did you mean fields instead of entities?

    BTW,the following limitations has been now addressed by Microsoft in CRM 2015, thank GOD!

    >Business rules run only when the form loads and when field values change. They do not run when a record is saved.

    They now run on both, client as well as server. Huge improvement.

    >You cannot clear a field using business rules.

    I am still waiting for the next rollup for CRM 2015 on- premise, so that I can clear fields using business rules.


    • Hosk October 8, 2015 / 11:11 am

      Yes I mean actions can only apply to fields on the entity (and not fields on related entities)

      It’s annoying on premise have to wait so long for new releases of CRM


  5. Royden Tan May 31, 2016 / 7:49 am

    Why is there no business rule option for the ‘Articles’ entity.


  6. Royden Tan May 31, 2016 / 7:51 am

    Why is there no business rules for the Article entity?


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