The Basic Report Conversion Process
First, we might as well be up-front: the basic process of converting Dynamics NAV classic reports to RDLC layouts is clunky, time-consuming, and somewhat error-prone. This is caused in large part because you have to repeatedly work back and forth between the NAV classic report designer and the Visual Studio report designer (if you don’t understand why, see Converting Dynamics NAV Classic Reports To RDLC – Part 1).
The best way to demonstrate this is with a walk-through of the simplest possible report: a two-column (Code and Name) list of salespeople that looks like this in the classic Print Preview:
The report has no true header or footer, no global variables or C/AL code, no hidden fields – no complications whatsoever. It also has no RDLC layout, meaning it can only be run in the NAV classic client.
To create an RDLC layout, you have to first open the report in the classic report designer. NAV then provides us with two menu options:
Tools->Create Layout Suggestion.
If you choose View->Layout, NAV will either open the report’s existing RDLC layout, if one exists, or create a new blank RDLC layout.
If you choose Tools->Create Layout Suggestion, NAV will attempt to create a new RDLC layout based on the report’s classic layout, overwriting the existing RDLC layout, if any (though it will first request your permission to do so).
In either case, NAV will launch the Visual Studio Report Designer and load the RDCL layout in effect. For now, choose option # 2, the Create Layout Suggestion, which should result in the following Visual Studio Report Designer screen:
Naturally, the first thing you’ll want to check is how the report looks with its new RDLC layout, but here you run into your first challenge: there’s no way to preview the report from this environment. What you have to do instead is:
Click File->Save Report.rdlc in the Visual Studio Report Designer.
Switch back to the data items form of the classic report designer.
Click the data items form, giving it focus (that’s the trigger for the next step in the process).
NAV will then respond with the following form:
Click “Yes” to this question.
What are you answering “yes” to? You’re loading the RDLC layout saved in the Visual Studio Report Designer into the classic report object.
Loading is not the same as saving and compiling, however, so if you want to properly complete the process, you will have to click File->Save in the NAV classic report designer and make sure the “Compiled” box is checked.
Where’s your RDLC report preview? Still not there yet. To this point, all we’ve done is ensure that the RDLC layout we saved in Visual Studio is the same as the one we’ve saved in the NAV report object, i.e. we’ve put them in sync.
With your report properly saved, you have to type the following at the Windows command prompt: “DynamicsNAV:////runreport?report=XXXXX”, where you replace “XXXXX” with your report ID. Note, this form of the command is dependent on the availability of a local service tier. If you’re missing said tier, you’ll have to run a more specific form of the command, as follows: DynamicsNAV://server/service/company