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!

4 thoughts on “RDLC? That’s easy. Everyone can do it…

  1. Pingback: RDLC? That’s easy. Everyone can do it… - Mark Brummel - Author of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 Application Design

  2. clausl

    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


  3. Peter Taylor

    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……


    1. Mark Brummel Post author

      Peter, no offense, did you read the blog?

      The document I display here is extremely complex, it is a freight document completely done in RDLC. This document would not even be possible in the classic client. And this was done by a non developer. It was his first RDLC report!

      Any normal document would take as much time as it would in classic client or less.

      You can copy RDLC layouts accross NAV now. If you made one you can copy it around.

      20 document reports is NOT 40 days.

      As for upgrades. I work together with a company in India that does an amazing job for a really good price. Just drop me a message and I will set you up.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.