Dynamics CRM forums to the rescue! (in Chinese even)

I was making what should have been a pretty cut and dry custom report today with the built-in report designer in Dynamics CRM, it was around recent activities per user.  Easy peasy, right?  Um, no.

To access this client’s CRM I have to use a rarely used laptop (with a teeny tiny screen) and a virtual on that machine that then connects to their vpn.  If I had planned to be on long, I would have plugged in to a second monitor to make it a bit less painful.  But to make a “simple” report, I’d be in and out in under 5 minutes.  Yea, notsomuch.

I do the regular report set up, name it, grab the target entity, define some criteria, set up the columns and groupings.  Again, VERY STANDARD stuff.    Like any good report builder, first thing I do after save is run the report, make sure it looks like what the client needs.  I push go, I get this:


Ok then.  Yes, the report was around activities, but I didn’t use created by as a field for anything, filtering, displaying, nada.  So, I try to build the report again, from scratch, cause it is possible I did something wrong, no?  Well, in this case, actually I did nothing wrong.  :)

This is a pretty detailed error message, so I head over to my favorite search engine and paste in the guts of the error (query execution failed for dataset) in hopes of learning from someone else’s trial and error.  I get loads and loads of returns, but the 3rd one down is for the Dynamics forums.  Ahhhhh, just what I wanted.  So I click thru.  when I get there, it only takes me a second to notice some Chinese characters hanging around.  I am now on the Chinese language CRM forum.  Yes, most of it was in English, phew.

Reading thru the thread I see that yes, it is the same problem.  There’s a link to a KB article about it.  Apparently with the UR that this client is on (7) there is a known issue with some reports.  You’ll get that error when you use a system view as your starting point for the report.  The work-around is to not use the system views in your report building, make your own.  Not too awful.

I go in, make the report again, totally from scratch, including the views, and tadah it works.  I am happy, client is happy.

Now this is going to sound hypocritical, being that this is on my BLOG and all, but when I am looking for an answer for something like this, I will go to the forums first.  Yes, blogs are great resources and I do frequent several as good sources.  But for me personally the forums will often provide me a quicker answer because you will hear more details of the problem, instead of just the parts related to the solution.  You never know what little detail will trigger the solution for someone, so I like more of those little details.

Query execution failed for dataset 'DSMain'.

Are you just dying to get your hands on Dynamics CRM “5”?

I know you are!  Here’s your chance, maybe.

Sanjay has been running these great (did I say GREAT?) events that jumpstart ideas into products using the xRM framework.  These events generate the obvious buzz, but it is not superficial buzz, it is well earned.

You send a team (event is free, travel is on your dime) and by the end of the week you have a prototype of your product AND a dev team trained in CRM development.  Pretty sweet deal, no?

Here’s the icing… this next one will be using CRM ”5”.  Yup.

Click now, read Sanjay’s post, and apply.  Then come back and tell me how it went, what you learned, etc.

Evangelism for Microsoft ISVs, BizSpark Startups & Network Partners : 2nd xRM Acceleration Lab in Redmond, WA during week of 24th May’10

Dynamics CRM vs. SalesForce.com, a show-down?

I live a sheltered life, I know.  Well, a CRM sheltered life.  I have an awareness of several CRM products with an obvious product of choice, Dynamics CRM.  The fact that there are many competitors in this space tells me that for better or worse Dynamics CRM is not the only one that has value and success.  Here comes the CRM shelter, by the time a client comes to me, they already have made the choice of which CRM product suits their needs, Dynamics CRM.  I don’t do sales.  I probably COULD but don’t really need to sell Dynamics CRM, it’s already sold before I ever meet the customer.  I’m lucky, eh?  I know.

However, not everyone has that luxury, many have to sell it, they come into a competitive environment, with a few products going head to head to see which one meets the need at hand.  From what I hear, it often comes down to Dynamics CRM vs. SalesForce.com.  Wouldn’t it be cool to have a side by side comparison?  From someone with experience in both?  As part of a series of events, you can attend such a comparison, for free :)  .  The half-day event covers much more than that, but that’s the session that got my attention.

The event details are at the site linked below.  The tour is no where near Colorado, so I won’t be able to attend.  If anyone is going, tell me how it went, so I can decide if I should lobby them to head west.

Having never attended or ever asked the folks running this show their opinion of the products, this is simply speculation, but since their registration is powered by a modified version of the Microsoft Event Solution Accelerator I assume Dynamics CRM came out on top in their comparison.  At least for their needs.


(if you use registration code YACK, you get entered into a drawing for software or services. I get nothing, but you should try)

Microsoft CRM, SharePoint, Salesforce.com, and Avaya

xRMVirtual March 2010 Newsletter

xRM is gaining in popularity and so there’s lots of events coming up! Attend them. Speak at them. Blog about them. Details and links below. We also have several meetings coming up as well, have a look then register for them. Do you have ideas for meetings? Want to speak at one? Send an email to [email protected] .

Did you hear, it was our birthday? What a year it has been for xRMVirtual. When you start something you always have high hopes and lofty goals and the team behind xRMVirtual certainly had their share. This group surpassed every goal we set, and gave us insight into more goals and ideas we missed the first time. We have over 1100 members. Have had more than 20 meetings. Our meetings have averaged more than 140 attendees/views per meeting. A sincere thanks to all our members for making this group what it is today and in the future. Our community is what we make it. Here’s to another great year!

Dynamics CRM MVPs at the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Summit in Bellevue. Almost all of the global MVPs for Dynamics CRM recently met in Washington for a few days of meetings with each other and product teams. Many of those in the group meeting in person for the first time. We had networking events and a chance to hear and be heard by the makers of Dynamics CRM itself. Interested in becoming one of these MVPs? Want to get to know your community’s MVPs? Head over to http://mvp.support.microsoft.com and have a look. Drop a line to [email protected] if you need more details.

Upcoming xRMVirtual meetings. All meetings are at 9 am PST and all meetings are recorded so our global audience can view them when it’s convenient. After each event we host, the meeting link is changed to the recording link, usually within 24 hours.

April 6, More Advanced Plug-ins. Register here http://tinyurl.com/y8bm359
April 22, Managing your business with out of the box Dynamics CRM. Register here http://tinyurl.com/yauuvsp
May 27- Crash course on Intellectual Property. Registration soon. While not a Dynamics CRM or xRM specific topic, this meeting will help you understand more about intellectual property and introduce some best practices for how to manage and protect your intellectual property in your business. A need for anyone creating solutions with Dynamics CRM.

Industry Events

Convergence- Atlanta April 24-27, http://tinyurl.com/ygbfvn9 . Several of our group members and speaker alumni are not only attending, but presenting as well. Our xRMVirtual community will be highlighted in a few different sessions. We have started a thread on our forums for discussing Convergence. Going? Join the discussion there and let’s see if we can meet up! http://tinyurl.com/yd9pptl

Decisions 2010 Virtual Conference, May 19-20. http://tinyurl.com/yjp9g5a . Join this FREE online event from your desktop anywhere around the world. Industry experts, ISVs, exhibitors. All available for learning sessions and interactive Q&A. Put on by the folks from MSDynamicsWorld.com .

eXtReMe 2010 Conference, Las Vegas November 7-11 www.extremecrm.com . Join this inaugural event from TAMDR. This conference is still deep in the planning stage. That means registration is not yet open, BUT that also means there is still time to contribute. You can request sessions/topics. Volunteer as a speaker or organizer. If interested, put together a SHORT description on the topic of your choice and submit it to John Verdon at [email protected].

Happy Birthday to @xrmvirtual

One year ago today we opened the floodgates and started this journey.  What a year it’s been!  Yes, it is time to brag, this group has been awesome and we should all be proud.

We now have 1101 members and are still growing, practically daily we have new signups.  We’ve had 21 meetings with an average attendance/views of 142 per meeting.  Since we are global, not all our members can participate in the live presentations, so those recording views are really important.

We’ve helped get several on-ground xRM groups get started, I even got to visit and attend xRMVirtual/COZA for their inaugural meeting in January.  Both of our group founders have been named as Dynamics CRM MVPs since we started (way to go Shan!).  We’ve been invited to present at Convergence about our community (we said yes of course,see you there).

We’ve had a couple hiccups.  Some technical challenges with our live meetings and sound issues with firewalls.  A couple of last minute cancellations of meetings.  But even with that, our members are loyal and stuck around for better than 20 minutes when our speaker had no audio just a few days ago (that meeting’s been rescheduled, keep reading), 90 of them actually.

With Dynamics CRM5 coming out (hopefully) in calendar year 2010 we should be able to have some pretty good content and sessions for a long time to come.

I updated the site for the new meetings that I just put on the calendar.  I’m not putting direct links to them here, just click the home page below, explore the site a little, see what’s been going on.  You will find the events and registration on the events page.

All meetings are at 9am Pacific and all meetings are recorded and posted.

March 18, Anne Stanton, Customize Without Code

April 6, Caleb Skinner, More with Advanced Plugins

April 29, McKenzie Stern, Manage your business with out of the box Dynamics CRM


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