RDLC? That’s easy. Everyone can do it…

I typically don’t post about RDLC. That’s why we have Clausl, our top notch expert on the subject.

But lately I have the feeling I want to get something out. Even five years after the introduction of RDLC to the Dynamics NAV ecosystem, I still hear very experienced developers complain about how complex RDLC is. And I always say I disagree. But here is why.

True, my first RDLC document report took me two days. It was right after the product was released, 2009RTM and there was close to no documentation about GetData, SetData and what have you. Clausl was still working at Microsoft, but just started to blog.

Since then I’ve made dozens of reports and we have a much better set of guidelines on how to build reports. Also the newer versions of Visual Studio have a better design experience. I can make a document report in a few minutes now, as fast or faster than in the classic designer and better looking for sure.

Since last year I also have some end users starting with RDLC. Both guys are no experienced developers and have no experience in the classic reports. I just briefly explained then how Visual Studio worked and helped them with the basic data set. One project is NAV2013 and the other NAV2009R2.

I was amazed to see how quickly they started to be productive and I’ll show you a screenshot of one of the reports that were made. It was amazing.

This was emphasized when my brother, a functional consultant with technical interest, started doing RDLC too. Also not limited with knowledge of the classic designer. He too was very enthusiastic and made the most fantastic enhancements.

Here is one of the reports made, in NAV2009R2 with Visual Studio 2008:


And here is how it looks in combination with the Anveo Portal


This report was created in two days, by a non developer.

RDLC? It’s easy! Its better! You can do it too!


  1. clausl says:

    RDLC Reports are easy to do, totally agree, especially when you know all the bugs in Visual Studio. When you know them it is just a walk in in the park. I will post about a few of the bugs soon, bugs Microsoft has identified but decided not to fix…
    BTW Last week I had guy in my training. He was only 23. In one of the task in my training I check to see how fast people solve it. Usually it takes them around 1 hour sometimes more, but I stop them after 1 hour and show how it is solved. This guy, 23 years, not polluted with classic reports, solved the bloody task in 17 min. He is now my hero and he even works for Luc Van Dyck, so this guy has a bright NAV future, if we old guys are not to slow for him 😉
    /Claus Lundstrøm


  2. Peter Taylor says:

    I hear your good news with where RDLC is going, but from a commercial perspective, taking 2 days to write one document means that in simple terms, for a site using a fair bit of NAV, and will therefore need circa 20 documents, means a time budget of 40 days to create a set of document outputs. This is presenting an issue when pitching project plans to NAV prospects….does anyone agree? and as for upgrades……


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