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Amending an Xperido Dataset

   Words by Paul McQuillan

   on 08/02/2018 12:30:00

Image result for Data Set report xperidoXperido is great for building new Templates, and is simple for building a template for a Letter or Quote that uses a basic layout for the Quote Record + Loop of Quote Line Records. (or potentially just the Contact Record for a Letter)

However Xperido is capable of building much more complex Templates and Reports, but this takes some tweaking to control what data we may back from Dynamics and into the Template.

For this we get into Data Sets, and into the Entity Relationship Diagram for our CRM.

Data Sets

1. Xperido - We can edit the Data Sets in Xperido by opening Dynamics and browsing into the Xperido App area.

2. Xperido Management Console - From here we can browse into the Xperido Management Console and then into Data Sets.

3. Data Sets - This lists all the Data Sets in our usage of Xperido with Dynamics and we can drill-down into a Data Set to make modifications to what data is pulled from CRM into the Document for a Template what uses this Data Set.

4. Build Data Set - We can amend the Basic Settings of the Data Set such as the Name and Description, but the detail is in our Build Data Set step.

5. Fields and the ERD – Here, at a simpler level we can modify what Fields are merged from CRM to the Document, but at the relational level we can also modify which Records are brought from CRM into the Document.

We can do this in two ways.

Child Records

When we work with an Invoice, we will typically have a list of Invoice Line Items as the Child Records of that Invoice.

Similarly we might have a Company, and the list of Contacts as the Child Records.

When set the Data Set to bring in these child records on the left hand side of the Editor:

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The challenge here is the potentially *long* list of possible Child Relationships our Entity might have – as we have the option to bring in any list of Child Records into the Data Set, but this can give us a lot of options in a similar vein to the Dynamics Advanced Find.

Once we have picked a Child Entity to bring in – we will then see this added to the List of Fields we can use from that Entity on the Right-hand side of the Editor.

Parent Records

Using a similar example, when working with an Invoice, we may want to bring in the Customer Address for the Customer connected with that Invoice.

Or for a Company, bring in the Parent Group Company details.

Both would be examples of where our Primary Entity has a Parent Entity we want to bring into the Data Set – and so bring Fields into our Template that are being derived from a Parent record.

To do this, we find the relevant Lookup Field in the List of Fields and then expand the Node for this Field – this will then offer us a Checkbox on whether we want to bring in this Parent Record as part of our Data Set.

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Ticking this Checkbox will then include the Record of this Entity in our Data Set, and so allow us to bring in any of the Fields from this Record:

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This allows us to use the Fields in our Template and so merge into any Documents produced by Xperido for that Template.

ERD – Entity Relationship Diagram

The power of Xperido is that this can be done recursively to bring in any combo of Parent or Child Records into the Template – this allows complex Reports to be built as well-formatted Xperido Templates. (and in doing so, allows us to use Xperido as a mini-reporting platform!)

But to do this, it is helpful to visual our Data Sets as an Entity Relationship Diagram or ERD:

This type of diagram helps visualise the relationships in CRM and so helps make this process more simple.

Typically a series of ERDs should be produced as part of the Analysis and Design phase of a new CRM Project, particularly when we are using a series of Custom Entities or additional Relationships between the Core CRM System Entities – as these ERDs then make our lives simpler for future Xperido Data Sets and the general supportability of the system.

Xperido Template Designer

With all that done at the Data Set level – we can then take this into the Xperido Word Designer and put these Records and Fields to use in our Template.

We will need to click Refresh to reload the Data Set definition from Xperido, and usually refresh our Samples so we have sample data to work with – however once done, we should then see our new Fields available in our Xperido sidebar for building the Template.

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This allows us to build complex Data Sets in Xperido and so produce detailed Templates that can meet specific Client Requirements – particularly where we have regular reporting or client update reports.

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