Friday, January 5, 2018

FetchXML Builder for Microsoft Dynamics 365/CRM got an extreme makeover

The first release of FetchXML Builder for XrmToolBox in 2018 contains a major face-lift.

New year – new design! After more than three years since first release, the time has come to use all the feedback from issues on GitHub, comments on Twitter, and collected statistics to improve the UI. This article describes some of the major changes introduced with the first release of 2018.


The very first thing you will see is the welcome screen, shown the first time you start a new version of FetchXML Builder. The welcome screen will contain release notes with highlights of what’s new.


The welcome screen can be accessed from the Options window, if you want to go back and read more.



The next thing you notice is the "lighter UI".

No more dull gray panels bringing back memories of 2001.

Extra toolbars for different actions and options can be expanded and collapsed by clicking the small plus / minus sign to the right.

Result View

When you execute a query, you realize the results view is not popped up as a blocking modal dialog, but instead inline, next to the Query Builder panel.



Click and drag the result view header tab, and you discover the possibility to dock the view just the way you like it - or even pop it out as a floating window!



In the View menu you can see all the different windows you can open to represent the query being composed using the Query Builder.

As you can see, some options that were previously available as “Save as…” features, are now presented in separate windows in the docking layout of FetchXML Builder.

All these windows can be docked more or less freely within the tool, to allow you to create your own perfected query building experience.

FetchXML Editor

The editor for FetchXML is now inline with the Query Builder, so you can build your query and simultaneously see the resulting FetchXML evolve in the editor.

This is also the place to go when you get a FetchXML query from some other source: Press Ctrl+E to open the editor, paste the FetchXML, click OK.


If you check the Live Update Query box the Query Builder treeview will be updated from the FetchXML as you type. When it is not checked you can still write your FetchXML manually, and then click OK to apply it to the Query Builder.

For experimental queries that may not be accepted by the validation in the Query Builder you can write your FetchXML and then click Execute from the editor window. This will take the xml as is and try to execute it without validation.

Multiple result views

By using the new setting Always open results in new window it is possible to compare results of different queries without having to copy/paste results to Excel or other tricks to store previous results.


You can even have the different result views in different docking modes!


Layout examples

A couple of examples of window layout in FetchXML Builder.


FXB on Twitter

Remember to follow @FetchXMLBuilder on Twitter for all the latest news!

More information

1 comment:

  1. Really love the capabilities of the new version; great work!