Going Beyond Advanced Find, Views, and the XRMToolbox: Using FetchXML and Left Outer Joins

by | Updated June 21, 2018 | Dynamics CRM

Some days a request comes along for a view that goes beyond what the advanced find can generate.  Some examples are Aggregates, Left Outer Joins, or you simply might be joining entities in a way to display data that the Advanced Find doesn’t allow.  (Example:  Opportunity Line à Opportunity à Account.  We cannot display a column from the account entity.)  A great example of a Left Outer Join came across my desk recently for a client that wanted a view of “All Opportunities Without an Open Activity”.  Left outer joins are required when you are doing a “not in” query.

I took this opportunity to utilize a few items in the XRMToolbox to help me with this task.  I was already aware of the “FetchXML Tester” and after years away from it, it still worked like a charm.  I started by getting as far as I could with an Advanced Find Query and then downloading the FetchXML.

Beyond Advanced Find

I loaded the results into the FetchXML Tester and updated it to include the left outer join logic.  (NOTE:  If you are uncomfortable working with FetchXML by just typing it in, you might want to use the FetchXML Builder that I referenced in Part 2.)  To learn more about FetchXML and the left outer join, click here to see a Microsoft example.  Microsoft’s example is a little simpler and might be easier to follow.

FetchXML Tester

Beyond Advanced Find

There isn’t much to explain with this tool other than you can type FetchXML against your CRM Org and click the execute button to see the results in the next “Response” tab.  In the example above, I am excluding any task (entity name “activitypointer”) that is not open and displaying the task’s statecode.  (A task’s open state code = ‘0’.)

The last highlighted filter references the entity alias of “ab” and looks at the task’s statecode returned.  Any Opportunity that has a task of open will return a ‘0’.  All other Opportunites return a task statecode of null.  I only wanted the opportunities without an open task so I made sure this was null.

I click Execute and the Response tab shows my results.  The simplicity of the “FetchXML Tester” is what I like the most.  Connect to your org, type in your FetchXML, click Execute, and see your results.


Beyond Advanced Find

At this point, I had tested my XML and it was returning the data I wanted.  I now had to get my new query into the view in CRM.  Previously when I had to do this I had to:

  1. Add the View that I wanted to update to a new unmanaged solution
  2. Export the solution.
  3. Unzip the solution and open the customizations.xml file.
  4. Parse through the solutions XML and find the view with the FetchXML that I want to update.
  5. Manually modify the view with my new FetchXML.
  6. Save the customizations.xml file.
  7. Zip up the solution and re-import.
  8. Test and hope I did not make a typo.

There had to be a better way.  Good news is there was!  Next, on to Part 2 where we discuss the XRMToolbox “View Designer” and “FetchXML Builder.”

Related Posts


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Upcoming Events


01jul11:00 am12:00 pmConfab Live with Stoneridge – Dataverse Virtual Entities

14jul12:00 pm12:30 pmBeyond Reporting - What Business Intelligence Can Do For Your Agribusiness

15jul10:00 am11:00 amMastering the Production Floor

21jul10:00 am10:30 amThe Modern Manufacturer: Manufacturing Software in the Real World

21jul12:00 pm1:00 pmIs it Worth it to Upgrade to Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management? - Everything AX Users Need to Consider

28jul10:00 am10:30 amLot Management for Batch Manufacturers in Life Sciences, Chemical and Food

28jul2:00 pm2:30 pmConsiderations for Successful Testing Plans for Major Releases of Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management

29jul11:00 am12:00 pmConfab Live with Stoneridge – Integration Strategies for End User Success


04aug2:00 pm2:30 pmSimplifying Payroll and HR Management with ADP Workforce Now

10aug(aug 10)8:00 am11(aug 11)11:00 amPower BI for Dynamics 365 - Online Workshop

11aug10:00 am10:30 amThe Modern Manufacturer - Enterprise Asset Management

11aug12:00 pm12:30 pmBusiness Intelligence with Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management – Game Changing Insights and Analytics

11aug2:00 pm2:30 pmUsing Technology to Manage Complex Sales Pricing, Commission, and Rebate Programs

18aug10:00 am11:00 amTop Five Reasons Why NOW is the Right Time to Move from Salesforce to Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement

18aug10:00 am12:00 pmIntro to Power BI for Dynamics 365 Business Central – Online Workshop

18aug12:00 pm1:00 pmSolving the Biggest Challenges in Agribusiness Through Innovation and Technology

About Stoneridge
Stoneridge Software is a unique Microsoft Gold Partner, with emphasis on partner. With specialties in Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, we focus on attracting the most knowledgeable experts in the field to our team, and prioritize delivering stellar solutions with maximum impact for your business. At Stoneridge, we are deeply committed to your results. Each engagement is met with a dedicated team, ready to provide thorough, tailored, and expert service. Based in Minnesota, we intentionally “step into your shoes,” wherever you are. We focus on what you care about, and develop trusting, long-term relationships with our clients.

Subscribe To Our Blog

Sign up to get periodic updates on the latest posts.

Thank you for subscribing!