Chapter 23. Using the Built-in Reporting Tools

IN THIS CHAPTER

  • The Advanced Find tool

  • Using the reports that come with Dynamics CRM

  • The Report Wizard

  • Reporting with Excel

Business intelligence (BI) is an increasingly important facet of any business application, and Dynamics CRM is no exception. BI is a general term that describes reporting and analyzing business data in a way that enables the organization to make smart decisions. Of course, in order for BI efforts to be successful, the data going into the business application needs to be accurate and relevant, a subject we discuss in other chapters dealing with data management and using the Dynamics CRM application.

Microsoft has built several tools right into Dynamics CRM to simplify reporting and analysis:

  • Views

  • Visualizations

  • Dashboards

  • Report Wizard

  • Export to Excel

In addition to tools built into the application, there are a variety of external BI tools that can be used to develop and deliver compelling intelligence to users of Dynamics CRM. Chief among these tools is the Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS), which uses the Visual Studio interface and SQL Server Reporting Services to enable developers to create rich custom reports.

For a more user-friendly, Office-like experience, Microsoft offers a free report application called SQL Server Reporting Services Report Builder 2.0 (Report Builder). Report Builder is a happy medium between the advanced toolset available in BIDS and the built-in Report Wizard. Microsoft SharePoint ...

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