Microsoft Dynamics CRM: How to Report Against a Sandbox Instance

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Microsoft Dynamics CRM: How to Report Against a Sandbox Instance

As it's said, "With great power, comes great responsibility"


Microsoft produces hundreds of ‘How To’ manuals to help the average Microsoft Dynamics CRM user, but every now and then developers have questions that go beyond the manual. The Turnkey Gets Technical blog series offers insight to our team’s experiences and offers insight to resolutions to help the Dynamics community. Read on for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 technical development tips and tricks from the Turnkey Technologies experts.


Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 introduced the concept of non-production, test, instances. These non-production instances allow developers to make changes to the software code and rigorously test them in an isolated, independent instance before any changes are applied to the production instance. Until recently, the only noticeable difference between a production and non-production instance was the instance type displayed in the edit settings page in the admin center. The options for these types were Production instance, Paid Test instance, or Free Test instance.

Recent changes have been made to Dynamics CRM that give users more clarification about which instance type they are currently working from. Essentially, the Paid Test instance and Free Test instance types have both been renamed “Sandbox instance”. Now, when users sign into a Sandbox instance, Dynamics CRM displays an orange ribbon with a “Sandbox” watermark, rather than the typical blue ribbon. This change indicates to users that they are in the Sandbox instance, assuring them the changes they are making will only be applied to the Sandbox instance they are working from, and not the production instance. Aside from these changes, there are no functional differences between a production instance and a Sandbox instance in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

The Sandbox instance in Dynamics CRM is a great new feature, however, we found a minor issue when trying to develop a report against a Sandbox instance. The issue was that you could not use the Sandbox Organization’s name with the fetchXML code.

From a logical standpoint, the Sandbox Organization’s name should be able to be entered at the end of your fetchXML code and be recognized. Unfortunately, we found that this isn’t the case. After doing some research and plenty of guessing and even more checking, we found that entering your Production Organization name, rather than your Sandbox Organization name, and adding a “0” (zero) at the end of the entire code allows it to be properly recognized.

How to Report Against a Sandbox Instance:

For example, if your Sandbox Organization name is “ContosoEngineeringSandbox”. Logic would have it that your fetchXML code would be:;contosoengineeringsandbox

That does not work. However, if you use your Production Organization name and add a “0” to the end of the entire fetchXML code (after the Production Organization name) the connection string works and you have your solution!

In another example, if your Production Organization name is “ContosoEngineering”. The correct fetchXML code would look like:;contosoengineering0 (notice the “0” at the end).


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By Turnkey Technologies, Inc. – Microsoft Gold Certified Dynamics CRM and Dynamics GP Partner of Missouri, Kentucky and Illinois.

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