Workflow: Add rich HTML content in email body

One of the limitations of workflow in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 is the uncapability to add dynamic HTML content. By dynamic, I mean with data from the item that triggered the workflow.

We all know the trick of copy/paste to add static HTML in the mail but to add dynamic content is a different kettle of fish ...

In particular, I think about the following needs:
  • Display a table containing the information related to the current record (eg list of contacts from an account)
  • Show a link to a form without displaying any url but just a clickable word
Note that it is possible to manage these cases with custom workflow activities. In fact, when you insert a workflow output text in an email, the content is not encoded, ie you can pass HTML tags that will be interpreted as such.

For example:

<a href="aLink">Click here</a>

will just display

Click here

In the same way, you can display HTML table with CRM content and insert it in mail body.

[UPDATE] Code example - Url builder. This code create an hypertext html control that will be used in email body. You can set a text for the hypertext control with the input property and you get back the hypertext control in output property

   1: public class EntityUrlHelper : SequenceActivity
   2: {
   3:     public static DependencyProperty linkProperty = DependencyProperty.Register("link", typeof(string), typeof(EntityUrlHelper));
   5:     [CrmOutput("Link")] public string link
   6:     { 
   7:         get 
   8:         { 
   9:             return (string)base.GetValue(linkProperty); 
  10:         } 
  11:         set 
  12:         { 
  13:             base.SetValue(linkProperty, value); 
  14:         }
  15:     }
  16:     public static DependencyProperty textLinkProperty = DependencyProperty.Register("textLink", typeof(string), typeof(EntityUrlHelper));
  18:     [CrmInput("Hypertext link text")]
  19:     public string textLink
  20:     { 
  21:         get 
  22:         { 
  23:             return (string)base.GetValue(textLinkProperty); 
  24:         } 
  25:         set 
  26:         { 
  27:             base.SetValue(textLinkProperty, value); 
  28:         }
  29:     }
  31:     protected override ActivityExecutionStatus Execute(ActivityExecutionContext executionContext)
  32:     { 
  33:         IContextService contextService = (IContextService)executionContext.GetService(typeof(IContextService)); 
  34:         IWorkflowContext context = contextService.Context;
  36:         link = "<a href='http://someUrl/page.aspx?id=" + context.PrimaryEntityId.ToString() + "'>" + textLink + "</a>";
  37:         return ActivityExecutionStatus.Closed;
  38:     }
  39: }


Anonymous said…
Do you have any code samples you could provide to help illustrate your idea
Anonymous said…
Hello. I am trying to insert a table directly into a task. From what I read in your post, this is possiblel; but I am not sure that it is working.

Would you happen to have an example on HT do this?

Thanks in advance,


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