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Reports Overview

Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform
Let’s have a brief overview of our reporting options for model-driven applications, very specifically the report engine that comes with the application. When we’re talking about our customer and analytics, we want to have that full circle view available to us. We want to be able to see data and analysis whether that customer is being addressed through our marketing department, our sales department, or any other department where we have had a customised application experience. We have a reporting engine available with our platform. And within that, you’ve got a hybrid experience for both the users and the maker. And by that, I mean that the individual user consuming our application can launch those reports from within the unified interface.
The maker can launch the building wizard from that unified interface. However, when they’re consuming the report or consuming the builder, then that will still be from the classic UI. When we get our basic tabular reporting options, we’ll see a couple of examples here in a minute. And then some lightweight charts are available. These charts are not the same charts that are available that we’ve already discussed in this course. We have several built-in reports available that cover sales and customer service as well as maybe some knowledge base management. But if those don’t take care of your needs, you can build your own with the reporting wizard.
Additionally, if those built-in ones and the Custom ones you can build with the reporting wizard aren’t enough for your needs, you can import an RDL file, a Report Definition Language file, and then it would go through that reporting engine. All of this reporting honours the user security access. So if I’m running a report, and I don’t have access to someone else’s records, then my report would respect that access. So I’ve got some alternatives to that report engine if necessary. Advanced Find I believe is the first level of analytics for users. They could build their own personal dashboards and reports and views from that. And I believe that that gives them that first level of details and analysis.
Word and Excel templates are great where we can perhaps build a small report. Perhaps we want to use some of the advanced Excel functions. Those are also options available to us. PowerBI is an option for individual users as well as we can edit on personal dashboards, and then there’s a wide array of third-party reporting tools that are available. So when I want to run a report, I can do it from a few different ways. I can do it from the site map where I navigate to a reporting area. I could do it from the grid view of a collection of records. I can do it from an open record. And I can do it from our associated records view.
So once I’m there, if I want to make a new report, I can do so. You’ll see here on our top screen capture that no records are selected. And these are the choices that I have. For example, if I wanted to make a new report, if I wanted to refresh the list, and so on, I can do so. Once I have a record selected, then I can do things like edit that report definition or run the report directly from here. Once I click New to make a new report, I’m given a quick form to fill out. Like always, inside dynamics, I need to be able to create that record before I can configure additional items with it.
So I have a few things that I need to fill out here before I can get into the details of that report definition. Additionally, we have the second column, which is often overlooked. But this defines who can view this report. And so I think that though it’s often overlooked, it’s one of the most important settings that we have when we’re building that report definition. When I’m creating this report, I can from here be editing an existing report if that’s what I need to do or start from scratch and make a brand new report. I’ll need to name the report. And I’ll need to select at minimum a primary record type. But, additionally, I can report on related records as well.
Then I’ll be applying philtres to the selected items. So this will give me the criteria of I want to make sure that only items that have been modified in the last 30 days are included in my report or perhaps only opportunities that are above a certain threshold for potential value to my company. Then once I have selected the criteria for data to appear in the report, then I need to design how I’m going to consume that report. I can do grouping as well as columns. There are some lightweight math that’s available for averaging and totaling sections that are within a report. Can move the items around, change some sorting and some properties.
Then once all of that is saved and set, then this is how I could view the report. Here, we have a chart available of the number of leads based on the salesperson. I have some filtering criteria. I can group by different items such as a sales person or a territory. When I make these small adjustments, it’s only going to affect the user right this minute as they’re consuming the report. It’s not going to save back to that report definition. You can certainly do that by going through the process we’ve already gone through to get here. But at this point in time, we’re simply going to change the way I’m consuming this report right this minute.
If I wanted to see the records that are used in this all-up view, I can just click down into that and see the records that are detailed by that all-up view. Like on that last screen, we have a couple of options available to us from this view. I can save the report as a PDF or an Excel. I can print the document from here. And as these reports are built only in at the moment that they are executed, so when I click start the report, that’s the data that it’s going to analyse. If I needed to while viewing this report refresh that data because I know some changes may have been made, I can refresh that from here.
When it’s time for me to import an RDF file, I can do it from this report definition screen. So what I’m doing is saving the file, then browsing to the selected RDL file and bringing it in via this, and then it will just show up for users as expected as an available report to run. As a user consuming this, they have no frame of reference of whether or not it is coming from an imported file, if it’s out of the box, or if it’s something custom that was given to them by their administrators.

In the previous week’s lessons, we looked at Other Entity Options & Building Model-Driven Applications.

In this step, we look at a video where Julie Yak discusses reporting options for Model-driven applications, specifically the report engine that comes with the application.

When we’re talking about our customer and analytics, we want to have that full-circle view available to us. We want to be able to see data and analysis, whether that customer’s being addressed through our marketing department, our sales department, or any other department where we have had a customized application experience.

In Dynamic 365, we have a reporting engine available with the platform.

Next up, we’ll be finding out more about Personal Power BI.

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Dynamics 365: Using Power Platform Applications

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