October 27, 2021

New tool: Dataverse REST Builder

Note: new version has been released, read more here or download from GitHub

If you created Web API queries against CRM/Dynamics 365/Dataverse probably you are familiar with CRM REST Builder. The amazing tool created by Jason Lattimer helped me countless times in the past years and is a tool I still use today.

The ability to generate queries (especially with Xrm.WebApi when it was introduced) comes very handy, and CRM REST Builder has several functionalities but the one most used is probably the Retrieve Multiple one.

In the past years the development of CRM REST Builder has stopped and beside some bugs the other important missing thing is the compatibility with Unified Interface.

I decided to create a new tool to replace CRM REST Builder, and Dataverse REST Builder (DRB) is finally public at this repository:


 It comes with a Managed Solution to install inside your instance and it will popup inside the Apps list:

As I like to test my code offline, there is also a demo mode, so you can test the application before installing the solution: https://guidopreite.github.io/DRB/

The demo data is not complete but enough to understand how the application works and the demo table  called "Custom Table" contains the majority of columns available inside a Dataverse instance.

Main differences between CRM REST Builder and Dataverse REST Builder are:

  • DRB does not support the 2011 Endpoint (so if you still need it you can continue to use CRM REST Builder)
  • DRB allows to create, save and load a collection of requests, useful if you need to store somewhere the Web API queries you created
  • Support for new columns like "Choices" (also known as Multi Select Option Sets) and better support for "Image" and "File" columns
  • Ability to create requests to execute Custom API
  • A specific request to execute a classic Workflow
  • For Retrieve Single, Create, Update, Delete, it generates also the code for Xrm.WebApi.online.execute

DRB is not perfect and probably there are some bugs as well, but the main functionalities are available and I prefer to release it and gather some feedback.

Some may ask why I decided to create a new tool and not update the existing one. Is a valid concern and I thought about it too, in the end I decided to start from scratch. Main reason is that I had already a solid base to deal with dropdowns (as in my previous tool DOSM) and I designed the application with a different approach, the fact that you can save a collection of requests divides the tool in 3 main parts: a json data structure to hold the request, a UI to manipulate the json data structure and a code generation part accepting the json data structure to create the code.

As developers we need this tool? Honestly not too much, CRM REST Builder is still a great and working tool, and Dataverse REST Builder would not exist without it, I just felt that sometimes we need to deal with new column types or new requests and it's nice to have now a tool.

Hope you find Dataverse REST Builder useful and if something is not working you can open an issue inside the GitHub repo!