CRM Live Dashboards

I’ve been looking at multiple ways to create dashboards for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Live.

There are a couple of options to consider:

1. Build a web site

2. Use a tool like Microsoft Excel

3. Build a smart client

I've tried all 3 and think that a smart client provides the most flexibility when it comes to the user experience. Smart Clients really make the most out of software+services. Every since the explosion of web applications, desktop clients have gotten a bit of a brush off. Mostly due to updates and deployments. With .NET, deployment is pretty simple with xcopy, meaning just copy and run. In the old days, getting your application distributed was a challenge but the web and downloads makes that easy. I won't spend the whole blog debating the models. Choose what works for you. My goal was to demonstrate that it doesn't take a huge effort and you can build something that provides value.

The biggest things to think about are charting tools, authentication, and the CRM Live web services.

Over the weekend, I built a simple smart client application in VS using some charting tools to create a sample dashboard from CRM Live.


Based on the amount of features you need, you could build a simple static dashboard pretty quick. My sample uses fixed queries, fixed number of charts, very dedicated. Something more flexible could get more involved. Keep checking back for more on this.

Hopefully folks will see that CRM Live Dashboards are not out of reach and actually not too hard to build

- cheers

Jon White

Comments (8)

  1. Jim says:

    While I don’t disagree with your choice to use a smart client, I am surprised MS SRS didn’t make your list of options for a dashboard. That would’ve been the first thing I thought of, especially given the integration of SRS with CRM.

  2. LonOrenstein says:


    Good work!  Do you foresee integrating this with the Outlook client for CRM Live?  I just found out today that standard reports can’t be modified in Live which is a bummer — this will take some sting out of that.

    I’ll keep checking back on your progress.

    Take care,


  3. JonWhite says:

    Hi Lon.

    Sorry about the mis-info on the reporting. I must admit that was my bad.

    I don’t see integrating with Outlook with the Smart Client application. It’s a different model to develope for Outlook. The most natural fit would be to have an navigation area or ‘folder’ you could open to display the dashboard but Outlook doesn’t support that ( that I could find ). However, with Outlook, you can have a folder open up a web page that displays dashboards. So, if you have dashboards hosted on a web site, you could integrate with Outlook pretty easy.

    cheers- jon

  4. sailaja says:

    wan tto know the procee to create dashboards. How they will be achieved using SSRS.

  5. sailaja says:

    i would like to know the process to create dashboards in CRM 4.0 using SSRS

  6. Good job for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Live. This version is much more interesting than the previous one.

  7. lavanya says:

    Please help to create dashboards that integrate GP and CRM.

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