Define different types of Input and Output arguments for custom workflow activity

As a MS Dynamics CRM Developer there are certain situations where you need to pass some of the entity field values as Input arguments to a Custom Workflow activity and some cases you may require to get some of the code execution results as Output arguments from a custom workflow activity.

In order to accomplish this you definitely need to have an idea on the Syntax of the Input and Output arguments for different types of fields.

Here i considered an entity called Patient which is having different types of fields and those are given below
1. Patient Name : String
2. Date Of Birth : Date and Time
3. Hospital : Lookup (to an entity called Hospital)
4. Patient Status : Option Set
5. Hospitalization Required : Two Option Set
6. Patient Age : Whole Number
7. Consultation Fee : Decimal Number
8. Estimated Amount : Floating Point Number
9. Treatment Cost : Currency
10. Patient Id : String

Types of arguments

  1. Input : Entity field value can be passed to Custom workflow activity
  2. Output : Execution result (if any) can be passed as output from Custom workflow activity
  3. Input/Output : It can be used as both Input and Output

The following Custom Workflow Activity code will explains how to declare Input and Output arguments.

using System;
using Microsoft.Xrm.Sdk;
using Microsoft.Xrm.Sdk.Workflow;
using System.Activities;

namespace InputOutputParameters
    public class InputOutputParameters : CodeActivity
        //Data Type : String 
        public InArgument<string> PatientName { get; set; }

        //Data Type : Date and Time
        public InArgument DateOfBirth { get; set; }

        //Data Type : Lookup
        public InArgument Hospital { get; set; }

        //Data Type : Option Set
        [AttributeTarget("new_patient", "statuscode")]
        public InArgument PatientStatus { get; set; }

        //Data Type : Two Option Set
        public InArgument<bool> HospitalizationRequired { get; set; }

        //Data Type : Whole Number
        public InArgument<int> PatientAge { get; set; }

        //Data Type : Decimal Number
        public InArgument<decimal> ConsultationFee { get; set; }

        //Data Type : Floating Point Number
        public InArgument<decimal> EstimatedAmount { get; set; }

        //Data Type : Currency
        public InArgument TreatmentCost { get; set; }

        //Data Type : String
        public OutArgument<string> ShowPatientDetails { get; set; }

        //Data Type : String (Can be used as Input/Output)
        public InOutArgument<string> PatientInOut { get; set; }

        protected override void Execute(CodeActivityContext context)
                IWorkflowContext workflowContext = context.GetExtension();
                IOrganizationServiceFactory serviceFactory = context.GetExtension();
                IOrganizationService service = serviceFactory.CreateOrganizationService(workflowContext.UserId);
                ITracingService tracingService = context.GetExtension();

                tracingService.Trace("Patient Details using input and output parameters Workflow Started.");
                var patientName = PatientName.Get(context);
                var dateOfBirth = DateOfBirth.Get(context);
                var hospital = Hospital.Get(context)?.Name;
                var patientStatus = PatientStatus.Get(context).Value;
                var hospitalizationRequired = HospitalizationRequired.Get(context);
                var patientAge = PatientAge.Get(context);
                var consultationFee = ConsultationFee.Get(context);
                var estimatedAmount = EstimatedAmount.Get(context);
                var treatmentCost = TreatmentCost.Get(context).Value;
                var patientId = PatientInOut.Get(context);
                tracingService.Trace($"Patient Name : {patientName}, Date Of Birth : {dateOfBirth}, Hospital : {hospital}, Patient Status : {patientStatus}, Hospitalization Required: {hospitalizationRequired}, Patient Age: {patientAge}, Consultation Fee : {consultationFee}, Estimated Amount : {estimatedAmount}, Treatment Cost : {treatmentCost}, Patient ID : {patientId}");
                var patientDetails = $"Patient Name : {patientName}, Date Of Birth : {dateOfBirth}, Hospital : {hospital}, Patient Status : {patientStatus}, Hospitalization Required: {hospitalizationRequired}, Patient Age: {patientAge}, Consultation Fee : {consultationFee}, Estimated Amount : {estimatedAmount}, Treatment Cost : {treatmentCost}, Patient ID : {patientId}";
                PatientInOut.Set(context, PatientInOut.ToString());
                ShowPatientDetails.Set(context, patientDetails);
                tracingService.Trace("Patient Details using input and output parameters Workflow Ended.");
            catch(Exception ex)
                throw new InvalidPluginExecutionException(ex.Message);


The below screen shot will show you the representation of the Input arguments once after you successfully build and deploy the above custom workflow code activity.