Take Control of Your CRM 2011 Dashboard With the Report Control

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The more I see and work with the CRM 2011 Dashboards, the more I like them.  One thing that I was curious about with the first release was how to embed an SSRS report into a Dashboard, and of course our good friends on the Microsoft CRM Team had an answer for that here.    I’ve always been a big fan of the integration with SSRS reports and used it extensively in version 3 to extend the application in a seamless way for users.   The dashboarding capabilities in 2011 have been lauded by 2011  customers, developers, and consultants (or in our case “all of the above”) for good reason, and Microsoft having made the process of adding a report to a dashboard extremely easy is a nice touch.  I have a customer dashboard now which uses embedded SSRS reports, out of the box charts, and also custom charts (more on that in a separate post).

With all this said, the dashboarding and charting capabilities within CRM highlight the need to ask the question of when or whether  to use a report in the first place more than ever.  Given all the tools in 2011, reports should be a last resort.  SSRS is powerful, but the out of the box charting capabilities powered by Advanced Find make it overkill in many situations.  The rule of thumb is if you can put together the data in Advanced Find, use the out of the box charting tools over SSRS. 

Post by: James Diamond, Customer Effective

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