Get Started with FetchXML for Microsoft CRM

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CRM administrators and engineers should become familiar with FetchXML, the proprietary query language for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.    There are many instances where you might use FetchXML, but it is mainly used when writing custom reports.

FetchXML is used like a SQL statement with XML instead of standard T-SQL.

FetchXML eliminates the need to send raw SQL statements over the internet.  With FetchXML, you are sending safe query commands and you can be sure that security is enforced.

Get started with FetchXML by using the Advanced Find feature within MS CRM.  Create a relatively simple query such as active contacts and then click on the Download Fetch XML button.  Open the file in Notepad (or Notepad++) and view the results.  You will notice that the results are fairly straightforward.  The Attribute tags are the same as your field list in a SQL statement.  The Condition element is your WHERE clause.  Now go back to your Advanced Find screen and make your query a bit more complicated and repeat the process.  This is by far the easiest way to get started learning the FetchXML syntax.

Get more information from the Microsoft website,  While FetchXML cannot do everything that SQL can, it provides a secure way to generate custom reports in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

For more information or help with custom reporting in MS CRM, contact us at

About TopLine Results TopLine Results Corporation is a full-service consulting firm specializing in customer relationship management (CRM) solutions using industry-leading CRM software. Our approach ensures success for our clients' CRM initiatives by helping select and formulate the right tool based on their needs. Implementing these solutions help tie together sales, marketing and customer service to provide a 360° view of customer-facing interactions to better manage, maintain and service every customer or prospect.

Founded in 1999, TopLine Results has successfully implemented CRM solutions for hundreds of satisfied clients. Our company is headquartered near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with satellite locations in Chicago and St. Louis.

by TopLine Results

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