One of the documented limitations of custom reporting capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011 is the restriction within the fetch XML that prevents it from including outer joins. For example, if I need to create a custom report that includes Accounts and their Membership, the account won’t appear on the report if there is no record in the related Membership sub-entity.
This limitation was an issue for one of our clients that runs a custom Account summary report that includes membership info, activities, opportunities, etc. However, whether or not these sub entities exist varies based on the Account and the client needed all Accounts included in their report – not just those with all sub entities populated.
We researched this issue and discussed it with Microsoft. The answer we kept getting was that it was a “limitation” with no suggestions for work-arounds or plan to correct this issue. Since that answer wasn’t acceptable to us or our client, we got to work trying to figure out how to get around this restriction. By directly modifying the fetch XML syntax to include the necessary outer joins, we were able to make the custom report useful to our client.
If you are running into a similar issue with your custom reports in Dynamics CRM Online, contact us today for help removing the limitations and gathering the data you need to do business.