Written by: Marty Hlay
Power BI has been the mainstay of reporting now for some time. It allows multiple data sources and ease of use when building dashboards and charts. But there is still a need for paginated reports which are difficult to do in a normal Power BI report.
Power BI now offers Paginated Reports through Power BI Report Builder. You can connect directly to various data sources and can create a report that is easy to print and share (this will be an upcoming blog topic). One downfall is that you need licensing in order to Publish and share with users through the Power BI service.
Other options? Yes, there are. The option to create reports in Visual Studio and upload them to a Power Platform environment is still available. This was the mainstay years back. It got a little difficult with D365 Online because these reports had to be created using FetchXML for the Data Source query. SQL Queries and functions were not available. But still a great option and no additional licensing to upload and use within the environment.
It took a long time for Microsoft to put out a 2019 Visual Studio compatible version for v9, but it is available for download. Of course, there are few tricks needed to install and use.
Let’s download the installer and go through the process.
Once you have the download “CRM9.0-Bids-ENU-i386.exe”, time to check the requirements.
There are various versions of Visual Studio that can run the extension. However, there a few things needed before attempting to install. Read through the web page but here are some tips:
Make sure SQL Server Data Tools is installed. This can be done through the Visual Studio Installer.
Open the installer and click Modify.
Look on the right to see the Installation Details. Is it there?
If not, you can install the Data Storage and Processing toolset. This will include SQL Server Data Tools
Or go to Individual Components and install it from there.
According to the Requirements, you should be ready to go. Not so fast. There are a few other items you will need to install in Visual Studio. However, these are Visual Studio Extensions.
Open Visual Studio and “Continue without code”.
Select Manage Extensions from the Extensions Menu
While in Visual Studio Marketplace, select the following to install:
- Microsoft Reporting Services Projects
- Microsoft Analysis Services Projects
Close and open VS to start the installations.
Once complete, close Visual Studio and double click your earlier download “CRM9.0-Bids-ENU-i386.exe” to run it.
The only other issue that seems to be prevalent with this install is the Restart Error. So, how do we fix this
First option: RESTART your PC or Laptop.
If this does not work, there is a Regedit fix. Please be careful when doing this.
Find the following key and delete the entry “Application Restart #2” (could be a different number)
Try the installer again.
Once installed, you can open Visual Studio and create a new Report Server Project.
Search your templates. Select the Report Server Project (or Wizard).
Name it and click Create. You can also choose where to save it.
Once you Project is open, create a new Data Source using the Embedded Connection of “Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fetch”. Your Connection String is your D365 URL.
Add your username and password under Credentials
Now add a new Dataset.
Name your new Dataset and choose the following options. Click the Query Designer to add your FetchXML.
Your Dataset Query will be a FetchXML query which you can download from Advanced Find or the new search functionality in D365.
Test your Query by clicking the “!”. You will now see your columns and data.
Click OK and OK and you Dataset is in the left panel. Start creating your report.
Restart Error Fix