CRM SDK Nugget: Metadata Browser

Way back when, like in version 3.0 and 4.0, Dynamics CRM had a hidden page that would display a list of entities and attributes in a concise list.

That went away in version 2011 but the good folks on the CRM SDK team (Jim specifically), created a managed solution that was included in the SDK.

The main purpose of the tool is to show you information about CRM entities that does not show up on the normal CRM user interface through the dialogs associated with solutions.  This information is available, but only available via programmatic access.

My utility SnapShot! for Dynamics CRM uses exactly the same techniques to produce reports showing information not normally seen through the CRM UI.



After you have downloaded and installed the SDK, you can find the Metadata Browser here:


Install the Metadata Browser as you would any other managed solution. When finished, open the solution and go to the Configuration page, where you can launch the different Metadata Browser components.


Metadata Browser

The first tool is the main Metadata Browser itself, which you activate by clicking the Open Metadata Browser button:


The interface looks like this:


As you click on an entity on the left-hand side, it’s properties will be displayed on the right.

At this point you can either view or edit the entity and its details.


Entity Metadata Browser

The second function will display a dialog that will allow you to edit an entity. This is the same dialog that is shown when you click the Edit Entity button on the Metadata Browser.

Here is what that interface looks like:


As you can see, you can edit or view any of the properties of the entity.


In conclusion, this is a simple yet powerful tool and one that is often overlooked but one which is great to have in your toolbox, should you need it.

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