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Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 comes with many charts out-of-box to help you visualize your data. Also, just as you can create custom system and personal views, it’s also possible to create your own custom charts. You can take the visualization a step further by modifying chart XML in CRM 2013, resulting in seemingly endless possibilities.

customizing

Let’s start with the basics. What can you modify in a chart?

  • Colors
  • Labels
  • Show/Hide/Format Values
  • X and Y Axis

Now we’ll walk through some examples of working with a chart’s XML. (The examples below will show the opportunity entity.)

How to Export a Chart’s XML

  1. Navigate to Opportunities and expand the Charts pane on the right-hand side.
  2. Select the chart you want to modify and click the Command Bar dropdown.
  3. Click Export Chart. Note that this will be for modifying personal charts.

    Modifying Chart XML in CRM 2013

  4. Save the file.
  5. Open the file in a program to edit the XML. You can use Visual Studio, but you can also use Notepad. Do not open in Excel.

For System Charts

  1. Create a new solution with the entities and charts you want to modify.
  2. Export the solution.
  3. Open the customizations.xml file to access the chart XML.

How to Import modified Chart XML

  1. Navigate to Opportunities and expand the Charts pane on the right-hand side.
  2. In the Command Bar dropdown, click Import Chart.
  3. Upload your saved .xml file. Note that this will create a new personal chart.

For System Charts

  1. Save the changes made in the customizations.xml file
  2. Import the solution with the modified xml file

Overview of the Main Parts of the XML

Between the <datadescription> and </datadescription> tags, the main elements are:

  • <fetchcollection> — This holds the FetchXML query to retrieve data for the chart. This is also where the grouping and ordering is designated. Data filters can be applied here in addition to filters defined in the view.
  • <categorycollection> — Each series in the chart will have a <measurecollection>. Each measurecollection maps to a designated <series> (vertical or Y-axis)

Also note that each attribute has an ‘alias’ that is referenced throughout the XML.

The next important part of the XML is between the <chart> and </chart> tags. The main elements are:

  • <Series> — If it is a single-series chart, only one <Series> will be defined. Here we can modify the colors, labels, border.
  • <AxisY> — Defines the labeling for the Y-Axis.
  • <AxisX> — Defines the labeling for the X-Axis.
  • <Title> — Here you can modify the labeling for the title of the chart.

XML Modifications

Color

You can change colors for just about any line, label, or bar in a chart. Notice that the colors by default use numbers to define the color to use. Rather than using those numbers, it may be easier to use text. A library of all the possible colors can be found here.

For example, let’s change the line color on the Actual Revenue by Month chart. I’ll change the color of the <Series> to YellowGreen, as well as the y-axis title, and line color to Red (XML below).

Here is what it looks like once changes imported:

We also have separate blog on customizing colors in Dynamics CRM charts that you can reference.

Labels

Not only can we change the color for labels, we can change the font, size, and even hide a label. A library of title properties can be found here.

The format required for fonts is Font=”font name, font size”. In the example blow, I’ll change the font for Y-Axis to TitleFont =”Tacoma, 35 px”.

Here’s what it looks like once the changes are imported:

Hiding Labels and Values

The IsValueShownAsLabel property displays or hides values on a chart. (True displays the values, False hides the values.) To hide labels on the axes, or anywhere else, use the Color property and set it to Transparent.

In this example, we will hide the values by using IsValueShownAsLabel=”False”. To hide the X and Y axis titles, use TitleForeColor=”Transparent”.

Once imported, it looks like this:

This covers many of the basics to personalize your charts in Dynamics CRM. If you are looking for more general information on charts, you can reference our CRM How-to Portal.

Happy CRM’ing!

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JoeCRM

Joe CRM is a CRM superhero who runs on pure Microsoft Dynamics CRM adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe CRM’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics CRM and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.