Introduction and Facts about Microsoft Dynamics CRM Dashboards and Charts

Microsoft Dynamics has the new powerful feature of Dashboards. Below are some facts that you can use as an introduction and starting point to learn about Microsoft Dynamics CRM Dashboards:

* There are two types of Dynamics CRM Dashboards: System Dashboards and User Dashboards. System Dashboards are available for all CRM users while User dashboards are only available to the user who creates them and to those s/he shares them with.

* Dynamics CRM User dashboards are created from the Dashboards area of the workplace section while System Dashboards are created in a CRM solution (Default or otherwise) from the Settings –> Customisation section.

* A dashboard can contain a Chart (system or user chart), Lists (based on views), IFrames and webresource (silverlight, images, etc).

* There are two types of charts in Dynamics CRM: System charts and User charts. User charts are created by going to the entity you want to create a chart for (for example accounts) and then from the entity screen click on the tab “Charts” at the top to create a new chart for the accounts entity. System Charts on the other hand are created in the entities customisation section. If you open Settings –> customisations and customise the default solution or any other solution, then navigate to the entity customisation section in the CRM solution package. You should find the charts node there on the left in which you can create a new chart.

* Dashboards and charts can be exported, edited in any XML Editor (or Microsoft Visual Studio) and imported back to CRM.

* CRM System Dashboards and Charts are exported and imported as part of Dynamics CRM Solution packages.

* CRM User Dashbaords and Charts are exported and imported individually from the same location you can view them on. i.e. you export/import user charts from where they are created in their corresponding entities views and you export/import user dashboards from the Dashboards area in the Workplace section.

* Microsoft Dynamics CRM Dashboards are based on the Microsoft Chart control in Microsoft .NET 3.5 framework. You can refer to Microsoft MSDN help for .NET 3.5 framework for full properties of MS Chart Control.

* On editing exported dashboards and charts, you can add features such as adding new tabs to a dashboard, renaming different sections and for charts you can add 3D effects, different colouring themes (called Chart Palletes). You can also change Pallette custom colors for charts while editing charts in any XML editor. For full details of these properties, please refer to Microsoft Chart Control MSDN help as mentioned in the previous point. Here is a link to it: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd456632.aspx

Hope these quick points can help. Any questions, please write it down in a comment below.