Book Image

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011: Dashboards Cookbook

Book Image

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011: Dashboards Cookbook

Overview of this book

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 offers you access to exciting new interactive and flexible Dashboards that contain any combination of Charts, Lists, iFrames and Silverlight components. These can be used to easily visualize your CRM data and provide you with a light BI interface, all of which this practical cookbook will enable you to utilize. At first glance, Dashboards and their myriad information can be overwhelming to users that are new to the Dynamics CRM 2011 interface. This book guides you through navigating and interacting with Dashboards in a simple and easy to follow manner, and builds on that experience to walk you through creating and sharing your own User Dashboards. "Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011: Dashboards Cookbook"ù offers a range of practical recipes for mastering dashboard navigation, interaction, and building custom Dashboards in Dynamics CRM. You will immediately get to grips with essential tasks like changing Dashboard settings and sharing Dashboards with other members in the CRM team, as well as adding custom components like iFrames and Lists. Along the way you will also follow the creation of a simple HTML WebResouce that can be added to your Dashboard. By the end of "Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011: Dashboards Cookbook"ù, you will be fully equipped to take advantage of the exciting new Dashboards features of Dynamics CRM 2011.
Table of Contents (17 chapters)
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011: Dashboards Cookbook
About the Author
About the Reviewers


This cookbook is full of practical and easily applicable recipes that will teach the user how to understand and unleash the full capabilities of the new dashboard features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. Starting with basic tasks to build user confidence and general knowledge, the chapters provide insight with helpful tips and related content. The book moves on to more advanced topics around charting and extending with components to help the user visually transform their business data using colors, drill-downs, and dynamic content.

What this book covers

Chapter 1, Viewing Dashboards, introduces the concept of a dashboard in Dynamics CRM 2011. The reader will learn how to locate dashboards, set default dashboards, and review the standard dashboards that come with Dynamics CRM 2011.

Chapter 2, Interacting with Dashboards, covers the types of interactions available using charts and lists that are being displayed on a dashboard. Features including drill-downs, tooltips, and filtering and searching records are also covered.

Chapter 3, Creating a Dashboard, includes recipes that cover every step needed to create and modify a new dashboard. Adding and editing chart and list components are also included.

Chapter 4, Sharing and Assigning Dashboards, profiles dashboard security. User dashboards can be shared or assigned to other users, and this chapter goes into greater details of user dashboards.

Chapter 5, Editing and Deleting Dashboards, covers editing a user or system dashboard, along with instructions on how to publish the changes. Deleting user and system dashboards, including the effects on existing system users, is also covered.

Chapter 6, Adding IFrames and WebResources to Dashboards, covers IFrames and WebResource components that can be part of a dashboard, along with charts and lists, and provides descriptions and best practice hints.

Chapter 7, Advanced Dashboards, is focused on the dashboard itself, not the components. This chapter reviews the underlying markup language and how to modify it in order to stretch the limits of what is possible with dashboards in Dynamics CRM 2011. The Dashboard Reporting control from Microsoft is also covered in this chapter.

Chapter 8, Creating a Chart, reviews the latest version of Dynamics CRM 2011 and teaches the user how to create their own charts, including some real-world examples because charts are a big part of the dashboard experience.

Chapter 9, Advanced Chart XML, shows how to export, modify, and import a chart for Dynamics CRM 2011. Special undocumented features are covered, teaching the user to create compelling charts and use FetchXML to control the data.

Appendix, Dashboard Examples, provides a few examples of dashboards targeted towards sales, service, and marketing groups. The charts and components shown on the dashboards use the techniques described earlier in the earlier chapters.

What you need for this book

In order to complete the recipes provided in this book, the reader will need a Windows PC that is running Microsoft Internet Explorer (latest version) with full access to the Internet. The reader will not need a deep technical background for the majority of the chapters, but some of the later chapters assume the reader is experienced with XML and the concepts of FetchXML. For the later advanced chapters, the user will need an XML editor such as Microsoft Visual Studio in order to complete the recipes.

Who this book is for

If you are a developer who is excited about creating, customizing, and designing dashboards in Dynamics CRM 2011, this book is for you. You should be comfortable with general Dynamics CRM functionality for this or a previous release. This book may also be valuable to end users and power users interested in the new dashboard features of this release.


In this book, you will find a number of styles of text that distinguish between different kinds of information. Here are some examples of these styles, and an explanation of their meaning.

Code words in text are shown as follows: "We can include other contexts through the use of the include directive."

A block of code is set as follows:

          <td>Enter Area Code:</td>
          <td><input name="txtAreaCode"></td>
          <td><input onclick="doSearch()" value="Search" 

When we wish to draw your attention to a particular part of a code block, the relevant lines or items are set in bold:

<category alias="_CRMAutoGen_groupby_column_Num_0">
    <measure alias="_CRMAutoGen_aggregate_column_Num_0" />
    <measure alias="aggregate_column2" />

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Tips and tricks appear like this.

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