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Almost 2 years ago I announced the Metadata Browser for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. I created this managed solution HTML web resource metadata browser and included it in the tools folder of the downloadable Microsoft Dynamics 2011 Software Development Kit (SDK).
The metadata browser is a valuable resource for developers and customizers to get information about entities, attributes, entity relationships and privilege information for entities. The information comes from your organization database so it reflects the current state of customizations applied to your organization. For more information, see Browse the Metadata for Your Organization.
For Update Rollup 12 and the December 2012 Service release, I updated the metadata browser to include the following top 10 improvements and changes:
The metadata browser was tested using Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. It requires Internet Explorer to be version 9 or version 10. Internet Explorer versions 7 & 8 are not supported by this version of the metadata browser. With other browsers your experience may vary.
Do you need to find out which entities are valid in Advanced Find? Or which entities are Business-Owned entities? Or perhaps which Business-Owned entities are valid in Advanced Find? You can filter by almost any property or combination of properties.
For text based properties like names, numbers or MetadataId GUID values, use the Text Search box. What entity is represented by object type code 9600? With the Text Search for entities you would be able to quickly discover it is the Goal entity. If you have already memorized all of these - maybe you should step away from the keyboard from time to time!
Sometimes you are only interested in the values for a few properties. For example maybe you are only interested in the CanCreateForms and the ObjectTypeCode property values. You can choose to filter out other properties so you don’t need to scroll through a long list to identify just those properties as you select different entities, attributes, or relationships.
I got feedback that the context menu options in the old metadata browser were not discoverable. Lesson learned. This time I’m keeping it simple.
All columns containing simple text values can be sorted. Some property value columns that contain complex nested data such as Labels or OptionSet options cannot be sorted.
If you filter out the items in a list you can the number of filtered items and the total number of items. It will display something like ‘Showing 23 of 52 properties’.
Developers said that they didn’t like the fact that installing the solution updated the SiteMap and that they needed to uninstall the solution each time they wanted to export their own solution that included changes to the SiteMap. Now, after you install the solution you can launch the metadata browser from buttons provided on the solution configuration page.
Tip: After you open the metadata browser, save the page to your favorites (or bookmarks) using the method appropriate for your browser. For most browsers the keyboard shortcut is CTRL+D. This way you don’t need to come back to the solution each time you want to open the metadata browser.
The metadata browser has two UI pages: Metadata Browser and Entity Metadata Browser. The Metadata Browser shows a list of all the entities and from that page you can filter entities and browse their properties. But to view entity details, such as the attributes, you need to press the View Entity Details button and to view them in the Entity Metadata Browser page. Now, the Entity Metadata Browser has a drop-down list that lets you switch to a different entity without going back and opening it from the Metadata Browser page.
I hope that you enjoy using this new metadata browser!