Report changes in NAV 7 | Some preparations

Most changes in Dynamics NAV 7 are under NDA so we (mvp's) cannot blog about them, but fortunately we can do some sneak peaks of what is ahead and how you can prepare.

This post has a disclaimer and all contents is "as is", no promisses and everything is subject to change.

I already posted some of these back in May this year, but this post contains some more hands on tips to use today.

Report look and feel

The reports in NAV7 should have the look and feel as described in the general Dynamics Reporting guidelines. My advice is to start using these guidelines if you create new reports in NAV6. You should be able to easily upgrade them to NAV7 when it comes out.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg853322.aspx

RDLC2008

Although RDL and RDLC are closely releated they have differences. Not only is RDLC a subset ot RDL, also both syntaxes are released and maintained by different product teams. The SQL Server team is responsible for releasing and updating RDL. Then the Visual Studio team picks it up and in its next release would create the RDLC version of the latest RDL.

Currently we are on RDL2010 and RDLC2008. This does not mean NAV7 wil ship with RDLC2008, maybe we can get RDLC2010 if VS2011 ships soon enough and the NAV people can implement this. (Hope you read this Claus. Stick out tongue

What we can do is start learning the RDLC2008 possibilities and look as VS2010.

So what are the changes... They are difficult to find on the internet since most blogposts are about RDL rather than RDLC which clutters the information that we can use and not.

One of them is the new Tablix control, that allows multiple dataitmes to be iterated, for example Inventory Qty. and Value per period. This should allow us to do things with reports that we could not do with classic matrix forms.

Others are gauges and chart coloring that allow us to create nicer looking charts and KPI's.

Headers and Footers

THE single biggest and most important improvement for reports in RDLC2008 is that it allows dataitmes in headers and footers. That enables us to discontinue the workaround we had to do in RDLC2005 to create Document reports.

Productivity features

Something else that I noticed using RDLC2008 are the productivity features. Just tons of small things that make live easier like auto allignment.

START TODAY!!!

NAV7 will not support classic reports! It is very important to get up to speed on RDLC. Even though RDLC2008 makes our lives much easier I do NOT recommend waiting for this release. It is much easier to understand RDLC2008 if you are already on RDLC2005 and RDLC2005 reports will automagically upgrade to 2008.

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