As we’re working with our clients on their CRM implementations, we frequently need to generate schema documentation about the various entities and data fields in their system. Of course it’s just good project management to provide this type of documentation, but it also helps in other client scenarios such as prepping for a data migration or planning for a third-party system integration.
Back in the Microsoft CRM 4.0 days, you could use tools such as the Microsoft CRM 4.0 Form Reporter or the CRM 4 Document Generator to generate this type of entity schema information. Unfortunately neither of these tools work with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.
We recently spent a little time to create our own Microsoft CRM schema documentation generator that we call Metablast (and yes it works with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011!). The concept is pretty simple really, you specify a few parameters including:
- Microsoft CRM website URL
- Organization name
- Entities that you want to generate documentation for
- Output file name
Metablast then runs through the CRM API to automatically generate a CSV file with all of the data fields for the entities that you specified. For option set data fields, it also outputs all of the picklist values for the field as well. Very handy!
The user interface isn’t sexy (it’s a command line tool as shown below), but we promise it will save you HOURS of time.
If you want to check out Metablast, you can download it (for free) from our website. Please keep in mind that we can only provide Metablast support to our customers, but we think you’ll like it just the same!