UPDATE: Access to the Reports area has now been updated within the Unified Interface. You can add the “Reports” entity to the Site Map and the reports will now display similar to the classic interface.
The Reports area of Dynamics 365 has been a mainstay for quite some time. Many people and companies still rely on this tool to create reports for day-to-day use. However, when the new Unified User Interface (Model-Driven App) was introduced for Dynamics 365, the ability to access the reports was removed. Now, I understand that the future of analytics will more than likely go down the Power BI path, but some “traditional” reports are still needed and valid for many scenarios.
Then what do I do?
This is a great question! Right now, there isn’t a way to add the Reports entity to the Unified User Interface (Model-Driven Apps). Even if you add the Reports entity to the Site Map, it will not render in the menu. So, this presents quite a conundrum. Well, I will walk through an alternative option to show the reports list within the new UI.
What do I need?
Before we get started, here are some things you will need:
- System Admin access
- An basic understanding of HTML
- Notepad for simple HTML editing
- Be on Dynamics 365 version 9.0 or above
- Reports entity URL
Let’s Get Started…
Log in as System Admin
First, you will need to log into Dynamics 365 as a System Admin. This will allow to make all the necessary configurations.
Once you are logged in, be sure you are in the “classic” version/layout of Dynamics 365. You will know by seeing a menu similar to this:
Get the Reports Entity URL
Next, you will need to get the URL for the Reports entity. To do this, expand the Sales area and locate “Reports”. Right-click on Reports and select “Open link in new tab”.
This will launch a new tab in your browser with the list of Reports showing. At the top you will notice that the Reports URL is displayed in the address bar.
The next part is a little tricky, but I will try to explain how to accomplish this. With the new tab open, tap the F12 key on your keyboard. This will open developer panel and will display all the code for the current web page. I am using Chrome for this example, but should work with other browsers.
With the developer panel open, click on the element selector arrow:
Now that the arrow is selected, it will allow you to highlight and then click on elements within the current web page. Move your cursor over to the left side until the the section is highlighted like below, this click your left mouse button.
The purpose of doing this is locate and grab the core URL (SRC) to use for the Web Resource we will create below.
From within the Elements pane on the right-hand side, you should see a code snippet something like the below.
The next step is to right-click on the “DIV” container like below, and select “Edit as HTML”. This will allow you to highlight the SRC line to copy it.
Highlight the SRC line, copy it and paste into Notepad. We will use this in just a moment.
Now, within a new note in Notepad, type of the below HTML code. Copy the URL from your prior Notepad note and paste it in place, between the double quotes, after “src=”.Reports IFrame https://contoso.crm.dynamics.com/_root/homepage.aspx?etc=9100&pagemode=iframe&sitemappath=SFA%7cTools%7cnav_reports
Essentially, we are creating a simple web page with an iframe that references the Reports entity. Be sure to save this Notepad in case you accidentally close. You will need this HTML code shortly.
Create a New Web Resource
Our next step is to create a new Web Resource within Dynamics 365.
Within Dynamics 365, navigate to Settings / Customizations / Customize the System. In the solution, locate “Web Resources” on the left-hand side and select it. Once selected, click on the “New” button to open the “Web Resources” editor window. Fill in the fields like the below screen shot.
- Name = Reports_List
- Display Name = Reports List
- Type = Webpage (HTML)
- Language = English
- IMPORTANT!! > Be sure to click the “Enable for mobile” option at the bottom of the screen.
After you have filled in the fields, click on the “Text Editor” button next to the Type – Webpage (HTML) field. This will open the “Edit Web Resource Content” window. Then click on the “Source” tab.
Now, you will need to open your Notepad file from earlier and copy/paste the HTML code into the Source window.
Again, as a reminder, the SRC line will need to contain the URL from your Dynamics 365 system based on the prior steps above.
Once the HTML code is pasted in the Source window, click “OK”. This will close the window and take you back to the prior screen. From this screen, but sure to click “SAVE” and then click “PUBLISH”. You can then click the Web Resource window.
Create a New Dashboard or Menu Subarea
Option 1: Create a Menu Subarea
With the Web Resource published, you can create a new Menu component using the web resource. To do this, navigate to Settings / Customizations / Customize the System. Now that the solution is open, locate the Model-Driven Apps on the left-hand side, and open the appropriate app. This will open the App Designer.
Inside the App Designer, click on the pencil icon next to Site Map. This will open the Sitemap Designer. In the Sitemap Designer, add a new Group from the right-hand side and label it “Analytics”. Under the Group add a new Subarea item.
Now that the Subarea is added, the options need to be updated. Here are the options I updated:
- Type = Web Resource
- URL = Reports List (this will be the Web Resource you created earlier)
- Title = Reports
- Icon = Use Default Image
After updating everything, click on “Save” and then “Publish” at the top.
Now, navigate to the Model-Driven app URL. If you already had this open, you will need to refresh the page (F5).
Open the menu on the left-hand side and you should see the “Reports” option listed.
Once you select “Reports”, the reports list should load the page something like this:
Option 2: Create a Dashboard
Now that we have the new Web Resource published and available for use, we will create a Dashboard to display this Web Resource.
While your solution window is still open, select “Dashboards” from the left-hand navigation, click on New/Dashboard, select the 2-Column Regular Dashboard, and then click “Create”.
Once the dashboard editor window opens, we will start customizing the layout. First, select 3 of the components, one at a time, and hit your Delete button to remove the component. You should be left with just 1 component in the layout.
Now, increase the width of the component until it reaches from side-to-side. It should look something like the below image.
With the component selected, click on Web Resource at the top. This will open the “Add Web Resource” edit window. Fill in the fields as shown below.
- Web resource = Select the web resource you created earlier
- Name = Reports_List
- Label = Reports List
- IMPORTANT!! > Be sure to check the “Enable for mobile” checkbox!
- Uncheck the “Restrict cross-frame scripting, where supported” checkbox
After updating the fields, click “OK”. This will take you back to the Dashboard editor window. From here, click on “SAVE” and then “CLOSE”.
To be sure this dashboard is accessible by the appropriate users, select the new dashboard and click on “Enable Security Roles”. This will open a list of your current Security Roles. By default, the “Display to everyone” is selected. If this is OK, then keep it as-is, otherwise, choose the appropriate Security Roles and click “OK”.
Next, click on “Publish” to publish the new dashboard.
Update Model-Driven App
Now that we have the pieces all ready to go, we need to bring it together in the new UI. The new UI utilizes model-driven apps to render the Dynamics 365 data, navigation, objects, etc.
With your solution file still open, click on “Model-Driven Apps” on the left-hand navigation. For this example, I will be updating the “Sales Hub” app. However, you will need choose your appropriate app. If you are using more than one app, you will need to update each one.
From the list of apps, double-click the app to open the App Designer. Click on “Dashboards” and select “Reports List” from the right-hand side.
After you have selected “Reports List”, click on “Save, and then click on “Publish” in the top-right corner. Close the App Designer window.
Once you back in the solution window, click on “Publish All Customizations” at the top. This will publish everything we just created.
Accessing the New Dashboard
Now that you have published everything, navigate to the app URL, which in our case is the “Sales Hub”. If you already had this open, you will need to refresh the page (F5).
Once refreshed, click the dashboard selector menu and locate the “Reports List” dashboard. The dashboard should look something like this:
Keep in mind that this is just a work-around. Microsoft may release an option to display the Reports properly from the menu. So, you may need to remove or update this in the future.
Until next post…