“Support” for the Unified Interface in the Advanced Chart Editor for the XrmToolBox

 

As a lot of people have noticed, chart customizations in the Unified Interface in Model-Driven Power Apps, or Dynamics 365 does not behave the way they used to in the classic interface. This is because the Unified Interface only supports a subset of the chart customization options that were available in the classic interface. 

This page in the Microsoft documents details which properties are supported by the Unified Interface. Understand charts: Underlying data and chart representation (model-driven apps) – Power Apps | Microsoft Docs 

So where we used to have about 140-some properties to customize charts with, we now have about 30. So quite a significant reduction. Arguably, a lot of these properties were not commonly used. 

I mean, when was the last time you created a logarithmic chart or changed the starting angle on a pie chart. Fair enough. However, there are definitely some properties that I am going to miss. 

For example, we can no longer: 

  • Create Gantt charts since the min/max value is not supported on dates 
  • Change the font size!
  • Move labels to the inside of a bar
  • Stack multiple series whichever way we want them in a column 
  • All chart type custom properties except two (for Funnel charts, so very limited Pie chart options now) 
  • Overlay different column types, or bar types, to create advanced combination charts 
  • Annotations to add some extra descriptions or some corporate branding
  • and more… 

I gotta say, I am surprised that changing the font size was an option that disappeared. Update: Changing the font size does appear to work on some chart types like bar and column, but not pie. So while it works, I guess it is officially not supported according to the documentation.

But we can still:

  • Change the number formatting to M and K for millions and thousands
  • Change the custom palette or the color of individual series

Of course, what has been lost here, have of course been gained many times over with the capabilities of Power BI. However, sometimes a little customization on top of the built-in charts is all you need. 

Now to the point of this post. Mohamed Rasheed and I have updated our Advanced Chart Editor tool to only show properties that are supported in the Unified Interface. If your chart already contains a property that is not supported, it will show up in the bottom of the properties in the “Not Supported” section. 

Any property in this section will not have any effect on your chart according to the documentation.

It is worth noting that all the system charts that ship with the apps have unsupported properties in them. For example, all the charts have a font setting, but changing it will not have any impact. This can be a little misleading which is why the properties are included in this manner in the tool so you know what to expect.

If you need an update on how to use the Advanced Chart Editor tool, then check out this page.

Clearly, this was not the Advanced Chart Editor update that I had hoped for. Obviously, it is a lot more fun to be adding features than removing them, but I hope that this update is helpful and can save some time when troubleshooting why certain properties doesn’t seem to be working. 

In case there are any on-prem, classic interface users with advanced chart out there I have made a copy of the original ChartXMLStructure file available here. If you replace this file in your XrmToolBox storage folder (link from the Paths tab in the XrmToolBox Settings, then select the “Settings” folder), then you get all the original and now unsupported properties back. 

Thanks for reading. As always, please sign up for my newsletter and or follow me on Twitter me on Twitter. 

3 thoughts on ““Support” for the Unified Interface in the Advanced Chart Editor for the XrmToolBox

  1. Damn that’s a shame. I’m assuming it’s part of Microsoft’s push to Power BI. With the new TDS endpoint you can technically do similar real time charts using the endpoint and direct query.

    • I agree. However, it does seem like the charts are being put on the backburner too soon. It’s still a lot of work to make Power BI interact with the Dynamics 365/Model Driven app in a manner that is more seamless to the user compared to the built-in charts.

      • I agree, considering the confusing licensing scheme for Power Bi. It still impractical for small to medium organization. I still end up having my team generate a Excel Report instead.

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