#CRMVisualSchema – part 4: Some steady progress

It has been a couple of weeks since I wrote the last update on the XRMToolbox plug-in I’m developing: The Entity Relation Diagram Creator.
This is going to be a tool in which you can generate nice visual representations of the entity schema in CRM solutions.

Erd-teaser2
Things have been pretty hectic last weeks and development is consuming a large part of my spare time. But –  and I’m proud to say it –  the project is coming along quite nicely.

Erd-teaser

What I’ve achieved till sofar is that I’m able to generate every entity schema imaginable within Dynamics CRM. The default schema is rendered within a couple of minutes, resulting in a big pile of entities and relations… *yike*.

The schemas that are rendered can be used for multiple audiences, e.g.

  • For Business Analysts
    A high level schema displaying friendly entity names.
  • For Consultants
    Schemas containing friendly entity names and attribute names. Displaying customized fields only.
  • For Developers
    Hardcore technical schemas that display logical names, field types, and relationship names.

And all kinds of combinations not mentioned .

Entities can be displayed collapsed or in its full glory. Relationships can be highlighted. Entities and relationships can be removed from the schema. Schemas can be saved under different names.
This allows you to build a repository of entity schemas that you can use for documentation purposes within your projects. Once the entities are dragged into the correct position, you can take a picture of it for your documentation.

Erd-teaser3

Right now I’m working towards the release of version 1.0.0.0, I just want to do some cosmetic stuff and add some more cool features. To name a few:

  • the ability to remove relationships without affecting related entities.
  • prevent relationships from being drawn on top of an entity.
  • the possibility to drag relationships to be displayed better.

In the next article I’ll inform you about some pitfalls I ran into during development and I will describe publishing process with regard to XrmToolBox.

For now, stay tuned…

(your patience will be rewarded)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *