Anyone who has been working with Dynamics CRM/Dynamics 365 at some point likely tried the Report Wizard. The Report Wizard was introduced in Dynamics CRM v4.0 as a way to quickly create ad-hoc reports.
A video version of this blog post can be found on the 365.Training YouTube channel.
Reports created using the Report Wizard are not necessary pretty, but can be quite functional and are a good way to extract data from Dataverse quickly. You do not need any of the Dynamics 365 apps deployed, the report wizard will work just fine on a “vanilla” Dataverse instance.
If you are an old-school Dynamics CRM person who knows how to build a report using the wizard, you can skip to the bottom of this post where I show how to launch Report wizard reports directly from a canvas Power App.
Creating a Report using the Report Wizard
You are obviously following proper ALM practices and create assets within solutions, right? To create a report, in your solution, from the menu, simply choose a new Report.
This will launch the new Report screen. This is also where you can upload an SSRS report that you may have written using Visual Studio.
For now we are going to create a new report by clicking the Report Wizard button and starting a new report.
You can choose up to two Dataverse tables for your report. The second table must have a many to one relationship with the primary table.
On the next screen you can use existing views as well as add filtering for the data that will be used for the report. Note that the security role of the user running the report will be applied so the users will not have access to data that they are not supposed to have access to.
You can add various groupings and columns to the report, you can make some width adjustments but it won’t be at the full pixel level nor can you change fonts, colours or add any kind of images (like logos). The report is meant to be like a truck. Simple, functional, and not necessarily pretty.
A benefit is the ability to add calculations of the number-based columns. In this example, the sum will appear after each grouping and at the end of the report.
The wizard also provides for some very simple charts. Power BI would blow these out of the water, but these charts are helpful if you need something quick and simple.
The wizard provides bar, line and pie charts.
You can make some simple modifications to the chart on the report, such as the labels and what data to base the chart on.
You can also specify which table forms and views you can launch the report form in a model-driven app.
Saving and running the report, you can see the results, both the chart and the tabular data.
From the report viewer, you have options to export to a variety of different formats.
The report can also be launched from a model-driven Power App by default if the logged user has privileges’ to run reports.
If you not into building model-driven apps, you can still utilize this reporting functionality in canvas Power Apps. Here is a simple example of a “Report launcher” canvas app.
In the OnSelect of the arrow icon for the gallery item, update the code with the following;
Launch("https://<<orgname>>.crm.dynamics.com/crmreports/viewer/viewer.aspx?id=%7b“ & Gallery1.Selected.'Report (reportid)’ & "%7d&helpID="& Gallery1.Selected.'File Name' &"&action=run")
You need replace <<orgname>> with your Dataverse orgname (found in Power Platform Admin center). The URL basically grabs the report GUID and the report file name (optional) and launches the report via the action=run command.
You can clean up the canvas app and when you run it, it will be enabled to run reports from Dataverse. Some additional work is required if the report is expecting parameters (another topic for another day).
There are a lot of features from Dynamics CRM/365 that many folks new to the Power Platform, Dataverse and Power Apps may be unaware of that could be helpful when building new business solutions.
Nick Doelman is a Microsoft Business Applications MVP and a Microsoft Certified Trainer. Nick delivers Power Platform training and creates learning and training content. Follow Nick on twitter at @readyxrm and be sure to check out some amazing self-paced training at 365.Training