Documenting what your CRM environment looks like and what changes you’ve done to it can be such a drag. Compared to how fast you can perform and publish customization changes in Microsoft CRM, writing it all down and communicating it to the rest of the organization can take a lot more time (the same goes for planning your customization changes before rushing into doing them). Most people will learn the purpose of documentation only the hard way, after running into process errors resulting from a misunderstanding of what data goes where, what scripts affect which fields etc.
After fighting with one such case recently, where I had to perform checks on entity form contents of four supposedly similar CRM instances, I just got fed up with the number of browser windows cluttering my screen and decided to search for a smarter solution. I remembered running into a CRM documentation application some half a year ago, but since it required Excel 2007 which I didn’t yet have at that time, I never had the chance to try it out. Having now upgraded to Office 2007, I promptly surfed to CodePlex and looked up the Microsoft CRM Documentation Generator by Merjin van Mourik.
What a beautiful tool this is! Not only does it produce a neat list of all your entity forms, their scripts and picklist field lists of values, it does this “live” on your screen. Just export the customizations.xml file, load it up in the Excel add-on, then lean back and enjoy as the CRM server magically documents itself, one attribute at a time, for each of your hundred entities. After the show is over, you can copy & paste the information you need and quickly compare CRM instances side by side to track down the differences.
The Documentation Generator tool is made for Microsoft CRM 3.0, so all you hip people already on 4.0 may be better off with Microsoft CRM 4.0 Form Reporter, which allegedly does the same thing in Word 2007 format.