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Microsoft Dynamics CRM includes reports that provide useful business information to the user. The report data and layout are contained in an .rdl file. Although Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides many out-of-box reports for viewing business data, there is always the need to create custom reports either by using existing reports as templates or to create custom reports from scratch.
There are two types of reports that we can create based on the type of data we need to retrieve from Dynamics CRM database:
SQL-Based Reports – We use SQL queries to securely retrieve data for reports from filtered views defined by the CRM system. SQL-Based reports can retrieve data from different SQL database tables and can include code embedded in the report. SQL based reports can only be deployed to Microsoft CRM on premise, where we have total control and visibility over CRM databases.
Fetch XML based Reports – These type of reports are the most popular reports created by CRM users. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online only supports Fetch XML based SSRS reports, as we don't have direct access the SQL Server of the Online CRM. Although most reports we write are Fetch XML based, there can be some limitation using fetch xml in retrieving data from different SQL database tables. Fetch XML reports can be imported to on premise CRM as well as CRM online.