9 Top Tools frequently used by Dynamics 365 CRM Developers

Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM developers use various software tools to make the day-to-day productivity more and more. Also these are the ways by which developers can customize the complex CM platform.

Below is a list of tools which are being used by dynamics CRM developers in day-to-day project works. These are listed below. Bonus Tool : Dynamics 365 Developer Toolkit & Plugin Profiler

  1. Software Development ToolKit (SDK)
  2. Plugin Registration Tool
  3. XRM Toolbox
  4. Ribbon Workbench
  5. Sitemap Editor
  6. Metadata Browser
  7. OData Query Designer
  8. Fetch XML Builder
  9. CRMSVCUtil
  1. Software Development ToolKit (SDK)

Microsoft offers a software development toolkit for Dynamics 365 CRM which can be downloaded from the official site Here freely. This SDK contains very useful resources and they are listed below.

  • Sample Codes
  • SDK Binaries (.DLLs)
  • Templates
  • Helper (.chm) help file
  • Schemas
  • Walkthroughs
  • Solutions

SDK provides most useful resources which makes the developers life easier. Codes for writing plugins, custom workflows, custom websites etc are readily available which developers can re-use with minor changes as per the business need.

So Dynamics 365 SDK is ranked as first tool that every developers use in day-to-day development process while customizing to extend the application logic.

  1. Plugin Registration Tool

This is an important tool used for registering Plugins & custom workflows in Dynamics 365 CRM platform. Using this tool the Dynamics 365 developers can achieve the folowing tasks.

  • Register new Plugin
  • Register new custom workflow activity (CWA)
  • Update/De-Register exisitng Assemblies (Plugin/CWA)
  • Add SDK Processing Step forPlugins
  • Add Entity Images (Post/Pre) to the SDK Processing Steps
  • Define the Order of Execution for Plugins
  • Declare the Primary Entity against which the Plugin is intended to Run
  • Specify the Execution as Syn/Async
  • Choose the Pipeline Execution Stage (Pre-Operation/Post-Operation)

This tool is a Microsoft recommended tool which comes with the SDK in Tools directory. After downloading the SDK in first point you can get this tool.

  1. XRM Toolbox

Another highly used tool used by developers is XRM ToolBox. This tool is a collection of different useful tools available under one roof. XrmToolBox is a Windows application that connects to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, providing tools to ease customization, configuration and operation tasks. It is shipped with more than 30 plugins to make administration, customization or configuration tasks easier and less time consuming. Tools available in ToolBox are given below.

  • Attribute Bulk Updater
  • Early Bound generator
  • Fetch XML Builder
  • Metadata Browser
  • Access Checker

SO this tool is very worthy to have while working with Dynamics 365 customization and configuration. You can download the tool Free Here.

  1. Ribbon Workbench

This is again another tool mostly used by developers to customize the command/ribbon bar buttons. This tool provides an excellent UI to edit the command bar buttons. Using this tool we can do the below jobs.

  • Add New Command Button
  • Hide/Show Command Buttons
  • Delete Exisitng buttons
  • Add Scripts to Buttons
  • Enable/Disable buttons
  • Add/Remove groups

This tool is a widely used tool for all develpers for command button customization. Download the Ribbon workbench Here.

  1. Sitemap Editor

Sitemap editor is used to edit the fly-in, fly-out sitemap of the dynamics 365 CRM. Previously developers were used to use a third party tool for sitemap editing but in Dynamics 365 build Microsoft introduced a native sitemap designer which can be run very simple way.

Just go to solution and in client extensions select the Sitemap line item and double click to open the sitemap designer to edit the sitemap areas. Using sitemap designer we can do the following tasks.

  • Create new Sitemap Area
  • Add new sitemap sub-area inside existing/new area.
  • Attach the trigger function for the sitemap option links

This is very much appreciated that Microsoft introduced Native sitemap designer so that developers are not needed to use third party tools.

  1. Metadata Browser

Developers use the Entity Metadata Browser to view entities and their properties in Microsoft Dynamics 365. The Entity Metadata Browser is a managed solution you can download using the links below. Download the solution here. We can do the following using this tool.

  • Checking the properties fields of specific entities
  • Verify the correct datatype is configured for fields
  • Checking if auditing is enabled for attributes
  • Checking if searchable property enables etc.
  1. Odata Query Designer

This tool is used to build ReST Odata queries without manual writing the syntax and generates the Odata query automaticcaly by minimum input from developer so that the query can be directly used in script web resource.

This is a part of XRM Toolbox so developers can use this tool in the XRM Toolbox.

  1. Fetch XML Builder

This tool is used to build ready-made fetch XML which can be used in code directly.You can download the tool here.

  1. CRMSVCutil

This tool is used to create early bound proxy class generation. Refer this URL to find out how to use this tool and where to find it. This tool is already present in the SDK.