Friday, November 09, 2012

MS CRM 2011: T-SQL Union operation and FetchXml based reports

I believe every person who developed complex reports for CRM used T-SQL Union operation to display different types of records at the same table.

In T-SQL I used following T-SQL Query to get results:
    AccountId RecordId
    ,Name RecordName
    ,'account' RecordTypeName
From FilteredAccount
    ContactId RecordId
    ,FullName RecordName
    ,'contact' RecordTypeName
From FilteredContact

And results were:

When CRM 2011 was released we got possibility to create reports for CRM Online but it is limited to usage of FetchXml reports that doesn’t have Union operation. Following article describes workaround.

Create custom entity as it shown at following screenshots:

Add custom text field to created entity:

Publish created entity.

Create and build assembly that will contain following class:

using System;
using System.ServiceModel;
using Microsoft.Xrm.Sdk;
using Microsoft.Xrm.Sdk.Query;
using System.Linq;

namespace XrmReportUnionHelper.Plugins
    public class Handler: IPlugin
        public void Execute(IServiceProvider serviceProvider)
            IPluginExecutionContext context = 
            IOrganizationServiceFactory factory = 
            IOrganizationService service = factory.CreateOrganizationService(null);

            if (context.MessageName == "Create")
                Entity target = context.InputParameters["Target"] as Entity;

                Entity proxy = new Entity("xrm_proxy");
                proxy["xrm_id"] = target.Id.ToString();
                proxy["xrm_entitytypename"] = target.LogicalName;

            else if (context.MessageName == "Delete")
                EntityReference target = context.InputParameters["Target"] as EntityReference;

                QueryByAttribute query = new QueryByAttribute("xrm_proxy")
                    ColumnSet = new ColumnSet(false)
                query.AddAttributeValue("xrm_id", target.Id.ToString());
                query.AddAttributeValue("xrm_entitytypename", target.LogicalName);

                Entity proxy = service.RetrieveMultiple(query).Entities.FirstOrDefault();

                if (proxy != null)
                    service.Delete(proxy.LogicalName, proxy.Id);

Register assembly and for every entity you want to use in report register 2 steps shown at following screenshots:

During the design of report use following FetchXml query:

<fetch mapping='logical'>
  <entity name='xrm_proxy'>
    <attribute name='xrm_id'/>
    <attribute name='xrm_entitytypename'/>
    <link-entity name='account' from='accountid'
       to='xrm_id' link-type='outer' alias='account'>
      <attribute name='name' alias='accountname'/>
    <link-entity name='contact' from='contactid'
       to='xrm_id' link-type='outer' alias='contact'>
      <attribute name='fullname' alias='contactname'/>

Next point is to show correct information depends on the type of record in row. This was done using Reporting Services expressions. In my case name of account is shown in case current record is account and full name shown in case record is contact:

=iif(Fields!xrm_entitytypename.Value.Equals("account"), Fields!accountname.Value, Fields!contactname.Value)

I have created 2 records - 1 contact and 1 account and ran created report:


  1. Thanks for writing this, it seems like a novel way of simulating a UNION. But is it possible to specify a second JOIN within the link-entity? For example:
    AccountId RecordId
    ,Name RecordName
    ,'account' RecordTypeName
    From FilteredAccount INNER JOIN Account_Master ON AccountId = Account_Master.actID
    ContactId RecordId
    ,FullName RecordName
    ,'contact' RecordTypeName
    From FilteredContact INNER JOIN Account_Master ON ContactId = Account_Master.actID


    1. Hello Bill,

      In case you will have those middle entity with id inside you can do join from that entity on your account_master entity whatever it is.

      Kind regards,