Extracting Data from Dynamics 365/CRM

There are multiple ways to extract data from Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (Dynamics 365 CE) previously and currently known with a popular name of Dynamics CRM.

Here is the list of different methods to extract data from Dynamics 365 CRM.

1. Advanced Find
The basic and advanced feature already present in Dynamics 365 CE is Advanced Find. It gives you great UI so that you can easily build queries for your complex conditions. You can always create and save these queries for future references as Personal Views.

You can also use Advanced Find to prepare data for export to Office Excel so that you analyze, summarize, or aggregate data, or create PivotTables to view your data from different perspectives.

2. Excel Sheet
Export data to a standard Excel file that you can use on any device such as your phone, tablet, or desktop computer. The data is exported in the same format as you see in Customer Engagement.
You can go to any view in Dynamics 3655 CE and export the data to Excel Sheet. There are 2 options for Export to Excel.

a. Static Excel Sheet

By default, an exported worksheet includes the fields that are displayed in the view, using the same field order, sorting, and field widths. To make changes to the columns in an Advanced Find View, select Edit Columns and arrange them in your desired order.

b. Dynamic Excel Sheet
Export data to an Office Excel worksheet so users can have the latest Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement information any time they view the worksheet.

When you export to a dynamic worksheet or PivotTable, a link is maintained between the Excel worksheet and Dynamics 365. Every time a dynamic worksheet or PivotTable is refreshed, you will be authenticated with Dynamics 365 using your credentials.

3. XrmToolbox Plugin — FetchXml Builder
XrmToolbox is a tool with different plugins developed by different contributors across the globe. These plugins are used to manipulate the data as well as metadata. One tools which is specifically designed to help export the data is FetchXml Builder.

The plugin is an advanced version of Advanced Find feature already available in Dynamics 365 CE. However, it gives you more features to query CRM for information not (easily) found in the UI.

4. Custom Applications
Applications in .net can be written to connect to Dynamics 365 CE programmatically and fetch the data. Microsoft has provided set of SDK assemblies and end point in form of Web Service (organization service which is deprecated and will be discontinued any time in future) and WebAPI. RetrieveMultiple() method can be used to retrieved the data by passing either FetchExpression or QueryExpression object. FetchExpression accepts a query in form of Xml which can be retrieved via Advanced Find.

5. SSIS Packages

Similar to custom applications described in above point, one can build SSIS package to extract data from Dynamics 365 CE. There are multiple integration tools which provide different controls/data connectors to directly fetch data from Dynamics 365 CE. KingswaySoft SSIS Integration Toolkit, Cozyroc, Devart SSIS Data Flow Components are different providers developer can work with and extract the data.

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Rikin Shah

Solution Architect — Dynamics 365/CRM and other related technologies