Designing Reports for Microsoft Dynamics NAV RTC

I have spent most of the day designing reports for Microsoft Dynamics NAV RTC. Anyone who has dabbled with them before will know that it’s a bit of a mixed bag…

Some great new features came bundled with the new style of reports. They handle images, colours and other fancy stuff far better than the old classic reports ever did. You can include various charts (see the Customer Top 10 List report as an example), work with matrices and users can export directly to Excel or PDF.image

Fabulous…until you open the Pandora’s box that is the design environment in Visual Studio for RTC reports (cue horrified clip art man). The main confusion lies around the fact that all of the data that is passed to the RTC report comes as a flattened dataset.

Take a sales invoice as an example. Instead of working with various Sales Invoice Header records, beneath which sit various Sales Invoice Line records and being able to work with each table in turn – everything comes to the report in one large dataset with all of the tables and all of the rows from each table in your report.

It can be confusing trying to work out how you need to group and sort said dataset in order to fill the controls on your report correctly. In situations like this, Ctrl+Alt+F1 is your friend. This is the shortcut for the “About this Page/Report” option. When you run this function from a print preview you get a window containing the dataset for the report.

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That can be a big help in seeing what is going on with the data in your report and understanding how you need to split it up.

Ctrl+Alt+F1 is helpful on any page in fact. It replaces the old zoom function in showing the values of all the fields in a record, but also gives you the page ID, page type and page mode.

Enjoy.

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