HSD’s Dynamics 365 Technical Consultant – Wasi Salman talks about using Power Platform tools from XRMToolBox
XRMToolBox is an open-source framework which allows sharing of tools and has a collection of useful tools which are build by CRM community to help developers complete their tasks more effectively.
Tools are available in a windows application that connects with Microsoft Dynamics CRM or 365 and provide a User Interface to ease customisation, configuration and task operation.
Fetch XML Builder
This is one of my favourite tools available in this framework. It allows user to build queries from Microsoft Dataverse and Power Platform. It allows user to create and execute queries against Microsoft Dataverse/ Power Apps / D365.
This tool can assist in three main areas.
- Constructing queries – features like aggregates, outer joins, update existing views with altered queries.
- Querying Dataverse for information not easily available in UI – system / internal entities, hidden attributes, join on other fields and relationships.
- Assist developers – generating code for C# Query Expression, WebAPI query string, SQL query, Power Automate list Records and much more.
This tool is capable of reading data from Microsoft Dataverse and D 365/CRM to assist in selecting entities, attributes
The power of Fetch XML lies quickly visualising data from one or more tables, with capability of filtering it and auto generating XML for future use.
Bulk Data Updater
Allows user to update data in bulk, used heavily when a new field is created, allows developer to update field value for existing records before data can be used in environment.
XRMToolBox allows user to link tools together, so user can perform operations on data using multiple tools.
Fetch XML Builder is available in Bulk Data Updater allows user to capture required dataset and bring in Bulk Data Updater to update selected records.
This tool can also be used to assign, delete and set state of a record. Workflows and Plugins can be triggered from this tool.
Attribute Manager allows user to rename, delete, update the type of an attribute. This functionality is not available in Power Platform tools.
We all have been their when change in requirement happens and we want to update type of attribute. Instead of deleting entire field from table, we can use Attribute Manager to update type of field. Developers can use this tool to Migrate Data, Convert Attribute type in a given schema.
In order to perform such operations, Attribute Manager generate Steps automatically. User has ability to manipulate these steps in order to get required output.
For troubleshooting bugs in Production environment sometime developer need to replicate data in lower environment.
Data Transporter tool can be used to transfer entity records between different environment. There are other ways which can be used to move data such as importing and exporting data using Excel, but this can be very difficult with substantive data.
With Data Transporter user simply needs to provide source and target environments, entity and select fields for which data needs to be transported. In case fields are not available in destination environment they are being created.
This tool can also be used to visualise difference in entities between different environments.
Metadata Document Generator
Having documentation of any newly developed system is very crucial for success of a project. During knowledge transfer, handover and Business as Usual (enhancements, bug fixing) documentation plays an important role. Metadata document generator allows you to document everything about a Table(entity). Information available for document include – Fields information, Audit information, Field level security information, Attribute locations in Form and Requirement level information. User has option to generate Excel workbook or Word format document.
By adopting these tools individual user can perform complex tasks in less time, deliver quality and produce consistent output in all, one can become more efficient and productive in day to day job. By adopting these tools, organisation can reduce overall time by mitigating cost of poor quality and bad process.