Plug-in stages

Pre validation

Registered Plug-in run before the form is validated
Useful if you want to implement business logic before the actual validation starts.  i.e., Changes made in plug-in won’t be saved if the validation of the main system plugins complain because the changes are outside the database transaction.
Ex – Some “delete” plug-ins. Deletion cascades happen prior to pre-operation, therefore if you need any information about the child records, the delete plugin must be pre-validation.

Pre -operation

After validation and before the values are saved to the database
Post operation
Plugin will run after the values have been inserted/changed on the database

Example:

If and “update” plug-in should update the same record, it is best practice to use the pre-operation stage and modify the properties. That way the plug-in update is done within same DB transaction without needing additional web service update call.

Database Transactions in Plug-Ins

Plug-ins may or may not execute within the database transaction
You can check if the plug-in is executing in-transaction by reading the ‘IsInTransaction‘ property of IPluginExecutionContext
Stages 20 and 40 are part of the database transaction while stage 10 and 50 may be part of the transaction
If plugin throws an exception, every action done during the transaction will be rollback

Few more Points

Whether a plug-in executes synchronously or asynchronously, there is a 2 minute time limit imposed on the execution of a (message) request.
If the execution of your plug-in logic exceeds the time limit, a Timeout exception is thrown
If a plug-in needs more processing time than the 2 minute time limit, consider using a workflow or other background process
‘Pre-operation’ operations that CRM will do will not be carried out in pre-validation stage.
If you are deleting a record that has many-to-many relationship records with another entity; these relationship records will still be available in pre-validation stage, but not in pre-operation stage.
“Target” entity (i.e., pluginContext.InputParameters[“Target”])
It’s the entity on which plug-in registered
It only contains “dirty” attributes. if you convert to early bound, the value of the unchanged attribute will be null

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