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Set Multi-OptionSet values with a custom workflow activity

As the relatively new multi-optionset field type arrived with v.9 of Dynamics 365 the need to set values via workflow is quite a common requirement.
So I searched within the community to find some ideas on how to solve and create such a workflow activity and so I stumbled upon Demian Raschkovan’s Workflow Tools with can be found on his github repository:

It gave me some basic ideas to reach my requirements which are:
  • Should be generic for any type of entity
  • Ability to specify the attribute name of the required multi-optionset for that entity
  • Provide a list of multi-optionset values (comma-separated)
  • Keep existing values (True/Yes => add provided values / False/No => replace all values with the provided values
  • Remove specific value(s) from an existing set of values

My code sample (without other dependencies):

using Microsoft.Xrm.Sdk;
using Microsoft.Xrm.Sdk.Workflow;
using System;
using System.Activities;
using Microsoft.Xrm.Sdk.Query;
using My.CRM.Code.Shared;

namespace My.CRM.Workflows
    public class SetMultiOptionSetValues : WorkFlowActivityBase
        [Input("Record URL")]
        public InArgument<string> RecordUrl { get; set; }

        [Input("Attribute Name")]
        public InArgument<string> AttributeName { get; set; }

        [Input("Multi-OptionSet Values (,-separated)")]
        public InArgument<string> MultiOptionSetValues { get; set; }

        [Input("Keep Existing Values")]
        public InArgument<bool> KeepExistingValues { get; set; }

        [Input("Remove Specific Values")]
        public InArgument<bool> RemoveSpecificValues { get; set; }

        protected override void ExecuteActivity()
            string attributeName = this.AttributeName.Get<string>(this.ExecutionContext);

            OptionSetValueCollection optionSetValues = GetMultiOptionSetValues();

            EntityReference entityReference = GetEntityReference();

            UpdateEntity(entityReference, attributeName, optionSetValues);

        private OptionSetValueCollection GetMultiOptionSetValues()
            var optionSetValues = this.MultiOptionSetValues.Get<string>(this.ExecutionContext);

            string[] optionSetValuesArray = optionSetValues.Split(',');

            if (optionSetValuesArray == null || optionSetValuesArray.Length == 0)
                this.TraceMessage("No optionset values could be found.");
                return null;
                OptionSetValueCollection osvCol = new OptionSetValueCollection();

                foreach (string optionSetValueStr in optionSetValuesArray)
                    int value = 0;
                    if (Int32.TryParse(optionSetValueStr, out value))
                        OptionSetValue optionSetValue = new OptionSetValue(value);
                        throw new InvalidWorkflowException("The provided optionset value is not a valid integer '" + optionSetValueStr + "'.");

                return osvCol;

        private EntityReference GetEntityReference()
            var recordUrl = this.RecordUrl.Get<string>(this.ExecutionContext);

            if (string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(recordUrl))
                throw new ArgumentNullException("Record URL is empty.");

            return new DynamicUrlParser(recordUrl).GetEntityReference(this.OrganizationService);

        private void UpdateEntity(EntityReference entityReference, string attributeName, OptionSetValueCollection newOptionSetValues)
            if (entityReference == null || newOptionSetValues == null || string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(attributeName))

            OptionSetValueCollection existingOptionSetValues = GetExistingOptionSetValues(entityReference, attributeName);

            Entity targetEntity = new Entity(entityReference.LogicalName, entityReference.Id);
            targetEntity.Attributes.Add(attributeName, MergeOptionSetCollections(newOptionSetValues, existingOptionSetValues));

            this.TraceMessage("Updating the entity record...");
            this.TraceMessage("Entity record updated successfully.");

        private OptionSetValueCollection GetExistingOptionSetValues(EntityReference entityReference, string attributeName)
            this.TraceMessage("Retrieving existing values...");

            bool removeValues = this.RemoveSpecificValues.Get<bool>(this.ExecutionContext);
            bool attributeValues = this.KeepExistingValues.Get<bool>(this.ExecutionContext);
            if (!attributeValues && !removeValues)
                return null;

            Entity record = this.OrganizationService.Retrieve(entityReference.LogicalName, entityReference.Id, new ColumnSet(new string[] { attributeName }));

            this.TraceMessage("Existing values have been retrieved correctly");

            if (record != null && record.Contains(attributeName))
                return record[attributeName] as OptionSetValueCollection;
                return null;

        private OptionSetValueCollection MergeOptionSetCollections(OptionSetValueCollection newValues, OptionSetValueCollection existingValues)
            this.TraceMessage("Merging new and exiting multi-select optionset values...");

            if (existingValues == null && newValues == null)
                return new OptionSetValueCollection();

            if (existingValues == null)
                return newValues;

            if (newValues == null)
                return existingValues;

            bool removeValues = this.RemoveSpecificValues.Get<bool>(this.ExecutionContext);

            foreach (OptionSetValue newValue in newValues)
                if (!existingValues.Contains(newValue) && !removeValues)
                else if (existingValues.Contains(newValue) && removeValues)

            this.TraceMessage("New and exiting multi-select optionset values have been merged correctly. Total options: {0} ", existingValues.Count);

            return existingValues;


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