Best Practices

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[Applies to: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0]

Find the latest SDK documentation: CRM 2015 SDK

The following best practices help you produce reports that are easier to write, comply with established standards, and execute with improved efficiency.

Copy and Modify an Existing Report

Check whether there is an existing report in Microsoft Dynamics CRM that is close to the design that you are looking for. Copy an existing report and then modify the copy of the report instead of creating a new one. By doing this, you will save development time and reduce report writing errors.

Writing Stored Procedures

Adding custom stored procedures to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM database is not supported. However, you can create a separate database and write stored procedures to that database.

Use Microsoft Dynamics CRM Formats for Currency, Number, Date and Time, Calendar

The FilteredUserSettings view contains information about currency format, date and time format, number format, negative number, starting day of the week, calendars, and other formats. Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides the fn_GetFormatStrings database function to obtain the date, time, number, currency and calendar formats from the FilteredUserSettings view.

Use these resources to correctly format data values in your reports.

Use Embedded Images in a Report

The easiest way to use images with Reporting Services is to put the images into a database. If the images are not in a database, you can use embedded images in .png, .gif, or .jpg formats in a report. The image files that are used by Microsoft Dynamics CRM image files are located in the C:/Inetpub/wwwroot/_imgs/ico folder on a default Microsoft Dynamics CRM installation.

Set the Page Size

Reporting Services does not provide explicit page orientation, such as portrait and landscape modes, or preset page sizes. Standard Microsoft Dynamics CRM reports were designed for 8.25 x 11 (portrait) or 11 x 8.25 (landscape) page sizes that work for both US letter and A4 paper.

Limit Text Length and Number of Items In Charts

Microsoft Dynamics CRM reports use only some of the possible chart types from Reporting Services.

For any chart type, limiting label length and number of items is recommended for the chart contents to be displayed correctly. When Reporting Services displays a chart with long labels, the chart itself becomes too small to be usable.

Define Truncation if Needed

Text wrapping is the default behavior for a text box report item in Reporting Services. This means that, unless indicated otherwise, all text will wrap at the defined width of any text area and then grow vertically. If truncation is specified, a text box will truncate text at the width of the text box within the specified padding (default is 2pt left and right.) Any maximum length truncation beyond this will require custom coding.

The default Microsoft Dynamics CRM reports are set up with tool tips to show static text or values from data fields when the user hovers the mouse pointer over the report item. If you use truncation, consider setting the ToolTip property to the field value so that the full text will appear when the user hovers over the truncated text.

Back up Your Reports

Make backup copies of your reports and store them on a computer other than the reporting server.

See Also

Other Resources

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