As you are probably aware, Microsoft CRM 3 and 4 uses SQL Reporting Services for creating reports. If you are familiar with this tool from non-MS CRM implementations, there are a few tricks for getting the reports to work correctly. Please read the CRM SDK and the report writers guide for specific details on parameter naming and some other stuff.

The part that is the major deviation from normal SQL RS work, is how to deploy reports. Even though normal deployment might seem to work, the report won’t be recognized by CRM properly.

So, what do you need to do?
1. Create a report that does NOT use a Shared Datasource. Instead create an embedded datasource called CRM that connects to the CRM database server. If you are going to use the Filtered Views, you have to use Windows Authentication. Save and build the new report (DO NOT deploy to the server).

2. Open CRM, Go to “Workplace” and select “Reports”. Click “New” in the list. You will see a form where you can select the rdl-file and also select where in CRM the report will be available. Select the rdl-file that resides in the VS Project folder. Press Save.

If, at this point, you had used a Shared Data Source, you would be getting a very complicated error, as described by Menno here:

If all went well, the report will be uploaded correctly.

When uploading the report, CRM will replace the datasource in the rdl with the standard shared datasource. So, your report will still be movable.

Also, when uploading reports like this, CRM will hide all parameters starting with “CRM_”. There are several parameters that CRM will fill with data for you if they exisit. For instance the parameter “CRM_URL” will be set to “http:///CRMReports/viewer/drillopen.aspx”. This enables the report to create drill-down functionality that loops back into CRM (since there is very good support for URL-addressability in CRM).

Please note that all deployment of reports to CRM should be done in this manner and never directly from Report Designer. This is a bit of a hazzle since it is a bit tedious compared to just deploying from the Report Designer.

In CRM 4 there is a very nice wizard in the application for generating reports, even though it is not nearly as advanced as the report designer.

Gustaf Westerlund
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consultant

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