Tools to Query CRM

I’ve been writing a tool to extract CRM data for reporting purposes this past week and thought I’d share a couple of tools I’ve found invaluable in my work.

CRM Metadata Viewer

This tool allows you to connect to CRM and view metadata. If you don’t have a quick reference for the database schema this is what you need. On the down side the UI is a little cluttered, but apart from that I have found it very handy. Earlier versions are also available via the same site.

FetchXML Builder

This has to be the best tool I found. It generates fetch XML statements for you based on filter and order parameters created through a simple but useful UI. It also allows you to connect and query your CRM data source, which is extremely useful for debugging existing queries. Additionally, you can paste the existing queries into a query window then tweak and test them manually without the query generator tools. I highly recommend this tool, it saved me hours of work and premature balding.

Linq to CRM

A Linq implementation for querying CRM which could prove to be extremely useful in this space. I chose not to work with it at this stage, as it would have meant a rewrite of a lot of existing work but definitely worth keeping an eye on in my opinion.

Well there’s a quick list of the things that’ve made my life easier over the last week or so. If you’re working with CRM take a look and see what you think. Hopefully they’ll save you some time and stress.

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