Developers guide to reports for Microsoft Dynamics 365


Updated: November 29, 2016

Applies To: Dynamics 365 (online), Dynamics 365 (on-premises), Dynamics CRM 2016, Dynamics CRM Online

Microsoft Dynamics 365 includes reports that provide useful business information to the user. These reports are based on Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services, and provide the same set of features that are available for the Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services reports. More information: SQL Server Reporting Services

For information about writing reports, see TechNet: Report writing with CRM 2016 for online and on-premises. The topics in this section are for developer scenarios.

The report definition (data and layout) of Microsoft Dynamics 365 reports are contained in an .rdl file, and the contents of the .rdl file conform to the Microsoft SQL Server Report Definition Language Specification. More information: Report Definition Language Reference

Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides many out-of-box reports for viewing your business data. You can create custom reports using one of these reports as templates or can create a custom report from scratch.

There are two types of reports in Microsoft Dynamics 365:


These reports use SQL queries to securely retrieve data for reports from filtered views defined by the system. These are the same reports that have been available for previous versions of Microsoft Dynamics 365. The default reports that are shipped with Microsoft Dynamics 365 are SQL-based reports.

For security reasons, you cannot deploy custom SQL-based reports to Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online).


These reports are introduced in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and use FetchXML queries to retrieve data for reports. You can deploy custom fetch-based reports to Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) and to Dynamics 365 (on-premises). All reports that are created using the Report Wizard in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 are Fetch-based reports.


FetchXml reports do not execute the RetrieveMultiple method or message to obtain business data for the report. Plug-ins registered for RetrieveMultiple are not called for FetchXml reports.

Reports in Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) run in sandbox mode, and this is done by enabling RDL sandboxing in Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services. As a result, certain features might not be available in Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online). For example, custom code in your report definition will not work. More information: Enable and Disable RDL Sandboxing

In addition to the reporting capabilities within Microsoft Dynamics 365, with Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) the Power BI for Office 365 cloud service works together with Microsoft Office Excel to provide a self-service analytics solution. More information: TechNet: Use Power BI with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online

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