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Understanding Report Redesign

Microsoft Dynamics Nav 2009

In Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009, there are two different layouts for reports:

  • Classic report layouts

  • Client report definition (RDLC) report layouts

The following table shows how you view and design each type of report.

Task Classic report layout RDLC report layout

View from Classic client.

Yes

No

View from RoleTailored client.

Yes

Yes

Design by using only Classic client Report Designer.

Yes

No

Design by using Classic client Report Designer and Visual Studio Report Designer.

No

Yes

To create a new RDLC layout for your existing reports, you must use Report Designer in the Classic client and Visual Studio Report Designer. You use the Create Layout Suggestion function in the Classic client to create an initial RDLC suggestion, and then you can manually modify the layout.

To view the Classic report layout of your existing reports from the RoleTailored client, you must delete the RDLC layout. If you run a report from the RoleTailored client, then the Classic report layout will be shown. For more information, see How to: View Classic Report Layouts from the RoleTailored Client

New Features in Visual Studio Reports

The following features are available in Visual Studio Report Designer but not in Classic reports:

  • Interactive reporting

    • Hide data

    • Toggle details on or off

    • Sort data

    • Filter data

  • Graphical capabilities

    • Multiple options for charts

    • Images

  • Advanced editing, such as the ability to change the font on multiple fields at one time

  • Ability to export to PDF and Microsoft Office Excel files

For more information about how to design an RDLC layout with these features, see Defining a Report Layout (Visual Studio Report Designer). We recommend that you become familiar with the Defining a Report Layout topic and subtopics so that you know the capabilities of RDLC report layouts and can take advantage of them in your Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 reports. All report layout design tasks that are described in the Defining a Report Layout section apply to Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 reports with the following exceptions:

  • You cannot reference a Microsoft Dynamics NAV report in a subreport.

  • If you create drillthrough reports, then you use Jump to URL instead of Jump to Report to link from a report to another report. For more information, see Walkthrough: Creating a Link from a Report to a Report.

Redesigning Classic Report Layouts as RDLC Report Layouts

If you want to redesign your existing reports to take advantage of the features in Visual Studio Report Designer, then you should use the following steps:

  1. Analyze the report to determine what it needs to display, what is supported in the new report, and if you need to make modifications.

  2. Create a layout suggestion.

  3. Manually update the new report.

  4. Transform the request form.

Analyze the Report

Before you manually update the new RDLC report layout, you should understand the purpose of the report. Sometimes you can achieve the same result by using different functionality in the RDLC report layout than in the Classic report layout. If you understand the purpose of the report and the features that are available in Visual Studio Report Designer, then you can determine what manual modifications you need to make to the new RDLC report layout.

In addition to understanding the Visual Studio Report Designer features that you can use in RDLC report layouts, you should also understand how the dataset, which contains the data that is displayed in the report, is generated. For a Classic report layout, the data for each data item is retrieved from the data item and is formatted in the report sequentially. For example, if you run an Order Confirmation report for multiple sales orders and the data for the first order is retrieved and formatted for the Classic report layout, then the data for the second order is retrieved and formatted, and so on. For an RDLC report layout, all data for the report is retrieved from the data item into one dataset, and then the data is placed in the RDLC layout. For example, if you run an Order Confirmation report for multiple orders, then the data from all orders is merged into one dataset. The layout specifies that the data is grouped on pages according to the sales order number.

Create a Layout Suggestion

The function to create a layout suggestion is included on the Tools menu in the Classic client. For more information, see How to: Create a Layout Suggestion.

Manually Update the Layout Suggestion

After you create a layout suggestion, the RDLC report layout may not display what you want, and you must perform some manual updates. For example, you may need to redesign headers and footers, verify that decimal and date fields are formatted correctly, or modify how blank lines are specified.

For more information about these examples and about other manual modifications to make after you create a layout suggestion, see Manual Updates to Redesigned RDLC Report Layouts.

Transform the Request Form

If your report has a request form that contains options, then you must transform that form. This is a separate step from creating a new report layout. You use the form transformation tool to transform request forms. For more information, see How to: Transform the Request Form.

If your report has a request form that does not contain options, the request form will be transformed automatically.

Viewing Classic Reports from the RoleTailored Client

From the RoleTailored client, you can either view the RDLC report layout or the Classic report layout. To view the Classic report layout from the RoleTailored client, you must have the Classic client installed, and you must ensure that an RDLC layout for the report does not exist. If you have already created a layout suggestion for a report, then you must delete that layout suggestion. For more information, see How to: View Classic Report Layouts from the RoleTailored Client.

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