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Use metadata to generate entity diagrams

Applies To: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

Visual representation of metadata can be very useful, especially when you are trying to describe the relationship between entities in the system. You can use the Metadata Diagram sample code provided for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to generate the entity relationship diagrams. You can create a simple diagram that shows a relationship for just one entity, or a complex diagram that includes dozens of related entities, including custom and system entities.

You can download a complete set of the entity relationship diagrams for CRM 2013: CRM 2013 Entity Relationship Diagrams

Relationships in entity diagrams

The following example shows two new custom entities created in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The first entity represents a bank account and the second entity represents a safe deposit box. The following entity diagram was generated by using the Metadata Diagram tool. It shows the relationship between the new_bankaccount entity, the new_safedepositbox entity, and other entities in the system. The names shown are the logical entity names. Note that if there are multiple relationships between the same two entities, only one line is drawn in the diagram for simplicity.

Entity relationship diagram for custom entities

The following table shows the one-to-many relationships where the primary entity is either bank account or safe deposit box.

 

Relationship schema name Referencing entity

new_bankaccount_ActivityPointers

activitypointer

new_bankaccount_Appointments

appointment

new_bankaccount_Emails

email

new_bankaccount_Faxes

fax

new_bankaccount_Letters

letter

new_bankaccount_PhoneCalls

phonecall

new_bankaccount_ServiceAppointments

serviceappointment

new_bankaccount_Tasks

task

new_bankaccount_RecurringAppointmentMasters

recurringappointmentmaster

new_bankaccount_DuplicateMatchingRecord

duplicaterecord

new_bankaccount_DuplicateBaseRecord

duplicaterecord

new_bankaccount_Annotations

annotation

new_bankaccount_AsyncOperations

asyncoperation

new_bankaccount_UserEntityInstanceDatas

userentityinstancedata

new_bankaccount_ProcessSession

processsession

new_bankaccount_BulkDeleteFailures

bulkdeletefailure

new_bankaccount_PrincipalObjectAttributeAccesses

principalobjectattributeaccess

new_new_bankaccount_new_safedepositbox

new_safedepositbox

new_safedepositbox_ActivityPointers

activitypointer

new_safedepositbox_Appointments

appointment

new_safedepositbox_Emails

email

new_safedepositbox_Faxes

fax

new_safedepositbox_Letters

letter

new_safedepositbox_PhoneCalls

phonecall

new_safedepositbox_ServiceAppointments

serviceappointment

new_safedepositbox_Tasks

task

new_safedepositbox_RecurringAppointmentMasters

recurringappointmentmaster

new_safedepositbox_DuplicateMatchingRecord

duplicaterecord

new_safedepositbox_DuplicateBaseRecord

duplicaterecord

new_safedepositbox_Annotations

annotation

new_safedepositbox_AsyncOperations

asyncoperation

new_safedepositbox_UserEntityInstanceDatas

userentityinstancedata

new_safedepositbox_ProcessSession

processsession

new_safedepositbox_BulkDeleteFailures

bulkdeletefailure

new_safedepositbox_PrincipalObjectAttributeAccesses

principalobjectattributeaccess

The following table shows the many-to-one relationships where the primary entity is either bank account or safe deposit box.

 

Relationship schema name Referenced entity

lk_new_bankaccount_createdby

systemuser

lk_new_bankaccount_createdonbehalfby

systemuser

lk_new_bankaccount_modifiedby

systemuser

lk_new_bankaccount_modifiedonbehalfby

systemuser

user_new_bankaccount

systemuser

team_new_bankaccount

team

owner_new_bankaccount

owner

business_unit_new_bankaccount

businessunit

new_account_new_bankaccount

account

lk_new_safedepositbox_createdby

systemuser

lk_new_safedepositbox_createdonbehalfby

systemuser

lk_new_safedepositbox_modifiedby

systemuser

lk_new_safedepositbox_modifiedonbehalfby

systemuser

user_new_safedepositbox

systemuser

team_new_safedepositbox

team

owner_new_safedepositbox

owner

business_unit_new_safedepositbox

businessunit

new_new_bankaccount_new_safedepositbox

new_bankaccount

The account entity that is shown on the diagram represents a bank customer. As a bank customer, you can open several bank accounts, such as checking and savings accounts, and also several safe deposit boxes. This is an example of a many-to-one relationship type between a bank account and a customer, and a safe deposit box and a customer. You can associate multiple activities, such as tasks, emails, and appointments with a bank account. To provide additional information about a bank account or a safe deposit box, you can use notes and attachments.

About the diagrams

You can find the diagrams for many system entities in the SDK documentation, in the topics that describe the entity capabilities. In each box in the diagram, the first line in bold text is the name of the entity. Subsequent lines contain the names of the attributes used to define the relationships for that entity. The tool does not generate lines showing the relationships to the following entities: organization, business unit, and user (systemuser). This is done to simplify the diagram. Color coding is used to indicate the owner relationship for each entity. The following diagram describes the color coding:

Diagram key for CRM entity relationship diagrams

Generate entity diagrams with the metadata diagram tool

To use the sample code that will programmatically generate Microsoft Office Visio metadata diagrams, build and execute the one of these solutions found in the SDK package: SDK\SampleCode\CS\Metadata\Diagram or SDK\SampleCode\VB\Metadata\Diagram. The folder contains a Readme file with instructions for its use. The code sample is a stand-alone console application that creates an entity relationship diagram. The program requiresMicrosoft Office Visio.

You can run the program at the command prompt. Simply list the entities you wish to include in the diagram as command-line arguments. Other entities may be included in your diagram as needed to show all the relationships for each entity you have requested. To generate a diagram that shows the relationships for the new_bankaccount and new_safedepositbox entities, use the following command:

MetadataDiagramConsole.exe new_bankaccount new_safedepositbox

The name of the generated Visio file is new_bankaccount.vsd.

noteNote
The tool uses the name of the first entity on the command line as the name of the Visio file. If you execute the following two commands, the second command overwrites the diagram generated by the first. This is because the Visio files have the same name –”new_bankaccount.vsd”:

MetadataDiagramConsole.exe new_bankaccount

MetadataDiagramConsole.exe new_bankaccount new_safedepositbox

To avoid overwriting a generated diagram file, you have to rename the first file before you run the second command.

See Also

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online
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