CRM 4.0 Online - Custom Reports RRS feed

  • Question

  • Can some one give me ideas on how to create custom reports involving parent-child entities like Invoice-Invoice Products, Quote-Quote Products etc in CRM 4.0 Online.


    I need to create a Report similar to the built-in "Invoice" and the "Quote"  Report, which displays information from the parent record on top and then detail records at the bottom in a tabular format. I cannot edit built-in reports in CRM 4.0 Online and the Report Wizard is not allowing me to do much with the layout of the Fields. All I need to do is add some extra fields from the parent table into the top part of the built in Report.


    CRM 4.0 Online has so many customization options locked down that I have started hating it now !!! MS claims that most of the functionality that is available on the On-Premise version is also available in CRM 4.0 Online and misleads customers when it comes to customization capabilities. MS should provide all the information about it's Online version which are locked down in the product information. This would help customers choose the licensing right version of the product. 

    Creating customized reports is a very basic requirement any organization using CRM would have, but MS CRM 4.0 Online doesn't allow anything except Report Wizard to create Reports. Report Wizard doesn't have the capability for modifying the Layout of the Report - A very basic thing !!!


    Any ideas/suggestions are appreciated.




    Saturday, September 13, 2008 4:13 AM


All replies

  • Kona,


    You are correct, you cannot create custom SRS reports with CRM online.  This is well documented in the comparison documents.


    The reason is because to do so would require you to have database level access, and this is not possible as it would open potential vulnerabilities to the other users of the cloud.


    The answer really is to use the Word mail merge functionality.  This will allow you to create a document laid out in the way you want.  The biggest hurdle is that a quote with quote products is really multiple records, and automatically getting a mail merge doc with a grid with multiple products on it is not very easy--it requires some Office programming.


    A simple workaround is to use mail merge to create you quote header then go to the quote records products view, export to Excel, and copy and paste the grid into your Word document.


    BTW, there are some features that Online users have or will have that On Premises users do not--the bulk delete wizard for example.


    If you require custom reports or deeper control over advanced customization, you should consider on premises.  If you do not have the resources to handle the servers, etc, consider a Microsoft partner hosted deployment--this option gives you all of the functionality of the on-premises version, without the hassle or expense of managing the servers.


    Saturday, September 13, 2008 11:56 PM
  • Joel,

    I wish I had known before the limitations of CRM Online... This is the first time I used MS CRM and althoguh I like the product as such, but I am not going to recommend any of my customers to go in for CRM 4.0 Online. Reporting is an important feature of any application and reports are always customized. I don't know anyone who would use the out of the box reports as it is. MS should have had some alternate ways of creating reports in Online. I also noticed that you cannot specify any Detail Entity (like quote product, order product, invoice product) in Advanced Find as well, although it allows you to specify a criteria using the details records. Doesn't make much sense to filter by a detail record criteria without the ability to added te fields from the details records in the results.


    I have been doing a lot of customization in CRM Online using JavaScript and SOAPXML. Most of the things that you can do as plugins can be done using JavaScripts in CRM, only thing is that the maintainence of the code is cumbersome because of the small text-only window for Javascripts. So, although CRM 4.0 has a lot of limitations, but there are always some ways of getting around them. I was expecting some sort of workaround for Reports as well.


    Anyway, your suggestion of using Mail Merge would work only for Quotes. Orders and Invoices don't support Mail Merge, hence they cannot be used with Mail Merge.


    Is there any other supported or non-supported way of getting reports from CRM 4.0 Online.

    Monday, September 15, 2008 9:17 PM
  •  konasirohi wrote:


    Is there any other supported or non-supported way of getting reports from CRM 4.0 Online.



    If you have the version of CRM Online with offline access, you can report from the offline database if you install the SQL Express tools which includes Business Intelligence Development Studio


    See http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms365166.aspx


    So you would have one client and set the local data settings to take all quote, order, and invoice records off-line, then when off-line, run your reports.

    Monday, September 15, 2008 10:55 PM
  • Where can I find these comparison documents?  I'm having a tough time tracking these down.  I've even called support, and they just referred me to the CRM Online website, and even admitted that information was limited there.


    I'm trying to do a comparison between On-Premise and Online.  Thanks!


    Tuesday, October 28, 2008 1:46 PM
  • http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc299424.aspx


    This is a pretty good comparison.  For example, it includes the differeces in custom reporting services reports, extensibility, etc



    Tuesday, October 28, 2008 1:53 PM