Metadata Reporting

It’s been a while now that I've been having conversations with a couple of team members about a side topic…the need for easier metadata reporting (e.g. get list of all the attributes and their display names for X entity to include that in documentation or in a report). Some argue that we should provide a SQL filtered view in future versions, others, including myself think that we should focus on enriching our Metadata APIs and making them easier to use... or, even better provide that functionality from the Web App itself (e.g. a simple export to excel on the entity editor).

Those that argue in favor of a SQL filtered view say that most CRM admins lack .net skills and find the use of web services cumbersome and, most of the time prohibitive. I disagree and believe that using web services is becoming increasingly easier and there are plenty of tools out there (that don’t have to be .net) to consume them. Besides, as an ex-admin I would be quite reluctant to give anybody SQL access when there are APIs that they could use.

As mentioned before, if I were to push for an easier to use solution here I think webapp support would be the way to go.. that would work for on-premise and live.

But… what do you think?