Reporting in the Cloud

Making the choice of what CRM offering to go with is similar to buying a car. You want both to last, you want them each to help you with your daily activities, and ultimately you may tend to pull the trigger a little too quickly when purchasing. After all, both will end up being the “shiny new toy” you can’t wait to test drive.

Recently I’ve been asked by numerous clients regarding the differences in reporting between CRM online and on premise. Once I give my response to this question many jaws have dropped. Not because the information was poorly received, but rather because this knowledge isn’t as easily found online as one would expect.

Here are two major distinctions between reporting in CRM Online vs CRM On-Premise:

  • Custom SSRS reports which are based on “TSQL and filtered views” data sets are not supported. Dynamics CRM 2011 online only supports Fetch XML based custom reports.
  • Report snapshots are not supported and/or access to create report subscriptions through the SQL Server Reporting Services Manager is not available.

In short, TSQL gives you much more flexibility compared to Fetch XML. That being said, you can use the Advanced Find feature inside CRM to generate large portions of Fetch XML code for you. This helps save time and required skills to deliver a custom report.

Secondly, CRM online does not allow users to schedule reports. There are several 3rd party ISV’s that allow for scheduled delivery of CRM views, but custom or standard reports themselves cannot be delivered. A third option, is to look at an analytic tool like Power BI to create custom dashboards and lists to represent data. These components can be viewed real time by anyone with the proper access.

For some these differences may be of little concern, but if you have highly customized and complex existing reports that require scheduled delivery you will definitely want to chat with our team to make sure you make the right choice concerning your favorite new toy, CRM.

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