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Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 : Reporting with Excel (part 2) - Exporting Dynamic Data to Excel Worksheets

5/8/2013 7:23:43 PM
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2. Exporting Dynamic Data to Excel Worksheets

If you are using Microsoft Dynamics CRM as it is intended, your data changes regularly. The number of records in your database on a particular day will probably be different the next day, and the data captured within those records will be updated frequently. Consequently, the static data you exported to Excel in the past will probably be out of date after a day or two. You can easily export the static data again, but you will lose any formatting or additions you made to the Excel file. Fortunately, Microsoft Dynamics CRM lets you export dynamic data to Excel so that you can create your desired output once and refresh your data from within Excel. When you tap the power of dynamic worksheets, you can set up your file one time and simply open it when needed. You don’t need to have Microsoft Dynamics CRM open to benefit from the data within the application.

Additionally, when you place the dynamic file on a shared network drive, other users can benefit from your report by seeing their data in the format you created. For example, in the exercise in this section, you will create a dynamic file from the My Activities view, which shows only those activities assigned to you. When another user opens the file from his or her workstation, only that user’s activities will appear.

In this exercise, you will export data to a dynamic Excel file. You will then update your Microsoft Dynamics CRM application and refresh your data from within Excel to see the power of the dynamic file in action.

Note

SET UP Use your own Microsoft Dynamics CRM installation in place of the site shown in this exercise. Use the Internet Explorer web browser to navigate to your Microsoft Dynamics CRM website, if necessary, before beginning this exercise.

  1. In the Workplace area, click Activities.

    The default activities view, My Activities, appears. If there are no activities in the default activities view, create a new activity for this exercise.

  2. Click the Export to Excel button.

    The Export Data To Excel dialog box appears.

  3. Select Dynamic worksheet. The Edit Columns button becomes active.

    This button allows you to modify the columns in the output of your dynamic worksheet, in case you want to add columns or reorder the fields in the data grid.

  4. Click the Edit Columns button to launch the Edit Columns dialog box.

  5. In the Common Tasks pane, click Add Columns .

    The Add Columns dialog box appears.

  6. Select the check box next to the Last Updated field to add the modified date to your export, and then click OK.

    The Last Updated field is added to the grid preview in the Edit Columns dialog box.

  7. Click OK to save your changes and return to the Export Data to Excel dialog box.

  8. Click Export to export the dynamic data to Excel.

    The File Download dialog box appears.

  9. Click Save and save the file to a familiar location, using the file name Dynamic Activity Export.

    The Download Complete dialog box displays when the file has been saved.

  10. Click the Open button in the Download Complete dialog box to view the Dynamic Activity Export file.

    The file includes the records from the My Activities view.

    Important

    You might get a security alert beneath the ribbon in Excel showing that data connections have been disabled. You can enable the content by clicking the Options button and selecting Enable This Content.

  11. In the Excel file, rename the Activity Type column header to Type.

  12. On the keyboard, press Ctrl+A to select all of the rows in the Excel worksheet. In the Font Type field, select Tahoma.

  13. Save the Excel file, and then close Excel.

  14. Navigate back to the My Activities view within Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

  15. On the Activities tab of the ribbon, click the New button to add a new activity.

    The New Activity menu appears.

    image with no caption
  16. Click the Phone Call button.

    The New Phone Call form appears.

  17. Enter a subject, a Regarding value, and a due date.

  18. Click the Save and Close button.

    The new activity now appears in the My Activities view.

  19. Open the Dynamic Activity Export file from within Excel or Windows Explorer.

    image with no caption

    The new record is now included in your Excel file. Additionally, the formatting changes you made remain intact. Any time you open the file from now on, it will automatically refresh.

    If you want to refresh the file without closing and reopening it, you can simply right-click within the resulting rows and select Refresh.

    image with no caption
 
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