There are many ways to report on information in Microsoft Dynamics 365 depending on the business requirements of the data consumers. The two main Microsoft tools for custom reporting with Microsoft Dynamics 365 are Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) using FetchXML queries and Power BI.
Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)
Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides many out-of-box reports for viewing your business data. You can create custom reports using one of these reports as templates or can create a custom report from scratch. These out-of-box reports that are available with Microsoft Dynamics 365 are SQL-based reports. For security reasons, you cannot deploy custom SQL-based reports to Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online). Instead, you need to use FetchXML queries to retrieve data for modified or custom reports.
Another option with SSRS is to report off a local SQL database with a copy of the online data set. There are some limitations with FetchXML queries and how complex the data set it can handle, which is why some people will take a copy of the online data and store it locally for reporting. This process of making a local copy of the data can also be automated.
Microsoft Power BI
Power BI is a self-service business intelligence (BI) platform used to discover, analyze, visualize data, and share or collaborate these insights with colleagues.
There are several ways you can use Power BI with Microsoft Dynamics 365:
- Load a Microsoft Dynamics 365 content pack and start using the Power BI service to display Dynamics 365 insights.
- Customize a Microsoft Dynamics 365 content pack.
- Use Power BI Desktop to modify and customize your reports and visualizations.
- Embed a Power BI tile in a Dynamics 365 personal dashboard.
- Use Power BI and Microsoft Office Excel together.