CRM 2011 – Creating Custom Reports with Bids

I have been dipping my toe into the world of custom reports and trying out the new Bids extension which allows you to create reports using FetchXML.

This is a great because you can do an advanced find in CRM 2011 and then download the fetchXML from this and use is as your datasets

For a great run through in creating your first Custom Report you should use this step by step walkthrough

I also found this article which is very good

Getting start with Fetch xml reports in CRM 2011

I will admit to having difficulties in setting up the Datasource, I didn’t understand what I was meant to put in and if you are just trying to do it without the walk through above it’s baffling because it doesn’t really prompt you or indicate what you should put in

  1. Select Microsoft Dynamics CRM Fetch for type and fill in the connection string in the following format: ServerURL;OrganizationName;HomeRealmURL
    1. only ServerURL is required, this would be the url to your CRM server like:
    1. The optional OrganizationName should also be included if you have multiple CRM environments, it will use the first organization otherwise – you will find this value within the Developer Resources area in the CRM client located within Settings > Customizations (refer to the red mark).
    2. The HomeRealmURL, also optional, it will be a registry value from HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MSCRMBidsExtensions\HomeRealmUrl
I don’t know why you would need to put in the HomeRealmUrl?
This is what I had to put in
the first part is my CRM url and the second part is the organisation Name.  you can find this in the developer resources which are held in
and then under Organisation Unique Name
This all seemed like a lot of effort, why could we just paste in the server url with the organisation in it.
Using FetchXML involves a lot of downloading and opening files and then pasting the contents into reports.  It’s a pity that CRM doesn’t offer you the option to save the fetchXml to the clipboard so you could then just paste it into report designer.
I still haven’t got the custom reports working, it’s giving me some kind of permissions error perhaps.  My first experience with the Bids reporting is it’s a good work around from Microsoft and I will give them some credit for that but it does feel like a workaround.  Things are not quite as smooth as they should, the process of doing an advanced find, then downloading it, opening it, changing the alias information and then copying it into SSRS.
Making a report in SSRS is slow process and I think this is an area Microsoft need to spend some time improving.

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