As we have seen in this previous article HERE, Rollup Fields are a new addition to Dynamics CRM 2015. The example provided in that article is the basic “Hello World!” of Rollup Fields. But as usual, let’s see when we hit the brick wall.

First of all, one issue we already flagged is that the calculation refreshes hourly. Further more, the initial refresh takes even longer than that. So, we’re left with manual refresh, right? Try explaining that to the user! Good Luck!

Luckily, Codeplex to the rescue! There is a project called “Dynamics CRM 2015 Calculated Rollup Field (Workflow Activity)” HERE which, according to the documentation, will allow you to force a rollup field to recalculate when running a custom workflow that includes this activity. Ok, one problem sort of solved, if your company policy allows you to install foreign solutions. The source is available also :) Thanks to the author.

This makes me think further. I have a good scenario where I think this could help. One of my clients tracks event registrations. It’s all routed through CSRs (I know, a portal would help). I have as part of the event definition the venue details, including the maximum capacity. Clink, this is it. I can roll-up the total number of registered users, now in real time, and when the event is full, disable the registration of new users. This way I could retire a plugin, and simplify the logic.

You would think! But not that fast.

Turns out that the rollup field update event can not trigger another process. It’s only available to be queried. Bummer!

So, just a FYI then, rollup fields are a nice and easy way to show information to users, but don’t plan to use them to trigger business processes. Maybe in a future version/update.