Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Team Blog

November, 2008

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV Team Blog

    Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 Ships!


    A week ago, the Microsoft Dynamics NAV team celebrated the launch of version 2009, a product that involved over three years of work.  We had a party on the MDCC campus (which subsequently ended up in an Irish bar somewhere in Copenhagen) and spent some time talking about our accomplishments.  The energy in the room was infectious.  We signed the ship poster, a tradition at Microsoft, previewed the Microsoft Dynamics NAV demo for Kirill's keynote at Convergence EMEA, and announced that we'd take a team day off – these all helped people savor the moment.  Though we hit many bumps along the way during those three years, we finished with what it is nothing short of a landmark release.  So, if you're an NAV fan and it's Friday night for you, toast to this release, because it's an event to remember!

    In this blog post, I'd like to tell the story of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009.  Instead of resorting to sanitized marketing sound bites, this will be a more personal account.  It's my own particular point of view exploring this product and how it relates to our customers and partners.

    There are a number of things that I simply love about this release, but I have to start with the UX (or user design).  When I installed NAV 2009 when I first joined the team back in February, I knew the user experience was special.   Then, in my last blog post, I admitted that I had a crush on it.  Now, I must say that it's brilliant.  To understand why, I have to make a brief detour.

    At the heart of a good business solution is the resulting productivity of its users.  How much time does the system save?  How much higher is the quality of their work?  Because we are engineers, we at MBS needed a business productivity framework to understand how to improve it with our products.  Together with a research firm, we concluded that end user productivity had to take into consideration familiarity, ease-of-use, business insight, collaboration, and flexibility in addition to transactional efficiency (what we typically think about when we think about productivity).  As I started to learn more and more about the Dynamics NAV 2009's user experience, I realized just how well it captured all these characteristics.  It is familiar – Role Centers make users feel at home with the data and work they see upon entering the product; it is easy to use - Activities and the Action Pane make it very apparent how things are done and what needs to be done; it provides insight through integrated reports and data that are showcased in the context of actions to be taken; it makes collaboration easy through notifications and by working well with Office; it is flexible - personalizations permeate the experience and are very simple to make; and, finally, it is efficient - keyboard shortcuts and data positioned well with actions make performing tasks fast. 

    But this isn't brilliant.  This isn't a work of art.  This is just good engineering.  What makes the user experience brilliant is that users fall in love with it.  I recall an email thread I had with Jakob Nielsen, our Director of UX, sometime this past summer.  In a larger forum, he was talking about getting our customers to have an emotional connection to our user experiences.  I thought, "What's he talking about?"  I joked, "What's he smoking?"  But over time, it sunk in.  And then last week, I saw a video from a customer that had just recently gone live with Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 as a part of our early technical adoption program (TAP).  In the footage, a warehouse manager showed off his Role Center and asked the Director of Operations for the company, "Can I keep it?"  Here was a person who was emotionally attached.

    People who love the tools they work with end up loving their work more.  People who love their work more end up being more successful.  They make fewer mistakes, they treat each other better, and they get to work on time.  If we build a Microsoft Dynamics NAV user experience that users love, it's a win-win-win situation.  The customer wins.  The customer's employee wins.  And we at Microsoft win.  That's why this user experience is brilliant.

    Of course, Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 has a lot more to it under the hoods.  If you're an engineer, you can sense when a software product is getting "brittle."  Just like a bridge that has had too much stress over time and suffers metal fatigue, so too does software age if it isn't refactored over time.  Entropy creeps in as code is added that doesn't adhere to the original design principles or doesn't meet the original quality bar (assuming this existed).  For 2009 we've made a conscious effort to modernize the core architecture.  For instance, in addition to giving the user experience a new look and feel, we've also built it from scratch on .NET.  It has a modern, modular architecture that will help us introduce new innovations in the future quickly and without compromising quality, innovations such as a new "channel" like Sharepoint or new visualization controls that are based on the dynamic capabilities of Silverlight or WPF.  We've also made the architecture 3-tier from a 2-tier fat client.  In addition to improving security, such as running the business logic from one, trusted place, this change gives partners the ability to do application-to-application integration much more easily with web services.  With a click of a button in C/SIDE, a new web service is exposed for consumption.

    On the server tier, we've taken advantage of .NET once again.  C/AL business logic written in C/SIDE now compiles down to MSIL via a C# transformation.  Consequently, we leverage the innovations that the .NET runtime team has worked on for the past eight years.  This frees our team up to focus on problems more closely related to ERP.  As I've already mentioned for the client and the server, we've taken advantage of Microsoft's world class platform stack, particularly with .NET.  But we've also done this with SQL reporting services, which are now our tool of choice for charts and table reports that can be viewed in context in the user experience.  In summary, these architectural investments have a tremendous impact on this release and future releases.  Good, modern architecture gets the best technology in your hands over time and maintains high quality.
    It's true that this release has largely been about technology.  That was intentional.  We made a commitment to modernize the product, and from our perspective, we're probably two-thirds done. We’ve finished the hard parts and the ones that impact partners and customers the most: the user experience, reporting, and the tiered architecture.  We recognize that a fine balance must be made between innovation on the one hand and maintaining partners' and customers' investments on the other hand.  There is no perfect formula here.  Sometimes there are innovations that break changes that our customers and partners have made.  In these cases, you have a couple of strategies to minimize the pain - you make the innovations "opt-in" and you create tools and provide support for completing the transformation.  In Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009, we've done both.

    We allow our customers to run the "Classic" client and the RoleTailored client concurrently.  This gives customers flexibility to move their users to the RTC over time.  In addition, we've made sure that "Classic" reports, the most common customization that customers create, run in the RoleTailored client, so they do not have to be converted to SQL RS reports if the customer doesn't care to take advantage of RS's capabilities.  As I mentioned before, the business logic in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 is converted from C/AL to MSIL via C#.  Though the runtime has changed, the actual code itself has not.  This means that business logic changed or added by partners and customers is protected and migrates to the new version as-is.  Finally, for partners, we've maintained the C/SIDE development environment, extended it with a page designer, and provided tools for converting "Classic" forms and reports to pages and RS reports, respectively.

    Perhaps the thing I'm most proud about in this release is that we’ve substantially improved its quality.  We're upping the bar considerably in a number of ways.  The clearest indication is with the TAP and the Beta Access Program (BAP).  As a result of these programs, we have 9 customers already running Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 in production, and over 80 different partners, including ISVs and implementers, trained and familiar with the new version.  My favorite statistics are these - we have over 1 year of server uptime without a crash reported and over 135 user-months on the RoleTailored user experience.  These should give you an indication of the stability and the attention to quality that we've paid on the release.  There are a number of other quality initiatives and investments that we've made, including improving our stress test environment, improving our code coverage and automation, and testing on 100 configurations of the operating system, database, and other system elements.  We think you're getting the highest quality NAV product yet.

    As you can see, for me the story of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 is one of tremendous success.  The value proposition of end user productivity is core to our vision and very compelling to our customers.  The investments in modernization of the architecture set the stage for innovation and product improvements in the future.  The attention to partner and customer investments has made this release the best in terms of readiness.  And the quality achievements have set the bar higher than they've ever been.  While this is not a perfect release - it will require partners to learn new concepts like RoleTailored computing and new tools like the Reporting Services designer, it is one that I believe takes Microsoft Dynamics NAV, our partners, and our customers into a new, modern era of ERP!  I hope that you're checking it out!

    - Dan

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV Team Blog

    Using variables and C/AL code in a report in NAV 2009


    This previous blog "NAV 2009 - The structure of reports in VS report designer" describes how to get data from your data items into the layout of a report in Visual Studio (VS) report designer. This time we look at how to control the iterations of a report with code, and showing variables rather than fields on a report. So, for when you manually want to control what to print.

    The tricky part is really to get the structure of the report right. Once this is done, adding additional information from variables / controlling data items from code, is not much work - mainly for these reasons:

    • The data flow in the report is still done from data items, which means the old way.
    • To show variables on a report, you just add it to sections, and it automatically becomes available from the VS report designer.  

    This example shows how to:

    • Use code to control the number of iterations on a data item
    • Show variables on the report
    • Add options to the request page, so user can tick “show Details”


    Control data flow from code

    This is really the same as it has always been. Just use C/AL code on data item triggers to decide how many iterations / whether to print a record or not. For this example, we will just print integer numbers. So to begin with, make a new report with the following two data items:

    Integer -  DataItemTableView = SORTING(Number) WHERE(Number=FILTER(1..3))
      Integer (name it Int2), and indent it under the first one. Don’t specify further properties for this data item – we will control this from code. The report should look like this:


    As I am sure you realise, without filtering on the Integer table the report becomes very long! So, to restrict the second data item to print just 5 numbers, just do it as you would normally from C/AL code:

    Int2 - OnPreDataItem()

    This is really all you have to do to manually control what data is printed. As mentioned already, this is not different to how it has always been.
    So now we just need to complete the report to print these numbers. This is where it can get more tricky if you are new to tables in VS report designer. For further details about the next steps, refer to this post.

    First, to make data available in VS report designer, add it to the sections:
    Go to View -> Sections, and add Number for each of the data items (Integer.Number and Int2.Number) from the Field Menu. It doesn’t matter where on the sections you add it.
    Then, finally open VS report designer (View -> Layout) to put the numbers on the report. In VS report designer, add a table. Insert a group by right clicking on the icon for the Header:


    Set the group to have Expression = “=Fields!Integer_Number.Value”, and untick “Include group footer”. Then put Integer_NumberCaption into the header, Integer_Number.Value into the Group Header and Int2_Number.Value into the Group Details, like this:


    The report should now print 3 times the numbers 1 – 5:



    Adding variables to the report

    Now, instead of printing records from the two data items, create a variable and assign it values dynamically. Create a new global variable called TextVar, type Text, then assign it some value, for example like this:

    Int2 - OnAfterGetRecord()
    TextVar := 'Num ' + FORMAT(Number);

    Again, just like you are used to. All you have to do from here, is to add it somewhere to sections to make it available in VS report designer.

    In many cases, a report is designed to be run from either the classic client or the Role Tailored Client (RTC), and you need to add something to sections just to get access to it from VS report designer, but you don’t want it to show when the classic report runs the report. In this case, just set Visible=False, and the classic report won’t show it. In places in the standard application where this is done, the property ForeColor has also been set to 65535 (Yellow), just to mark that this field is only there so that it can be used in the VS report designer. For example, look at sections for report 116 – Statement.

    Adding options to a request page

    In the classic report designer you have request forms. In reports for RTC, you have request pages. To add something to a request page, go to View -> Request Page, and you are in a normal page designer. For this report, add a variable called HideDetails (Boolean) to the request page like this:


    Note that Type is “Field”, whether SourceExpr is an actual field, or as in this case a global variable. Again, to make it available in VS report designer, you must add the variable to the sections. Then go into the layout in VS report designer.
    To hide a section from the table, use the Visibility-tab for the section. Right click on the Details section in the table, then Edit Group, and on the Visibility tab set Visibility to Expression, and the expressions to =Fields!HideDetails.Value:



    The end result is, that now when printing the report from RTC, you have the option to Hide Details.




    Lars Lohndorf-Larsen

    Microsoft Dynamics UK

    Microsoft Customer Service and Support (CSS) EMEA

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV Team Blog

    Dynamics NAV and export to Excel: Export dates as true excel dates


    When running Send-to Excel functionality and exporting data to MS Excel using style sheets, all data exported form NAV is formatted as either numbers or strings.

    That also includes dates, that are exported as strings and not formatted as true dates in excel. As of update 1 for NAV 5.0 SP1, data.xml generated when running export to excel contains data type attribute for each row with data printed. Using 'Date' attribute, one can add a fromatting rule in the style sheet, to specify formatting of data of type Date.

    Following example illustrates this. Please note, the style sheet below is created and tested on W1 NAV using US regional settings. Though tests have been run on few other combinations of regional settings and date format, you might need to adjust the rule to local date format.

    To represent strings as dates in excel, .xml file generated must contain dates in XML datetime format. XML format is defined as:


    The scenario also assumes years in Dynamics NAV are represented with 2 digits,  and years in range 00..29 are in fact 2000..2029, while years in range  30.. will be formatted as 1930... Dynamcis NAV date format in this example is mm/dd/yy.

    In the coded below, substring(@value,1,2)=mm, substring(@value,4,2)=dd and substring(@value,7,2)=yy

    Modify the code in example below according to date format in local NAV client. 

    To modify the style sheet, open the default style sheet for export to Excel using notepad. The default style sheet is NavisionExportToExcel.xslt, and is placed in Stylesheet folder of the Client folder.

    Go to line 61 of the default style sheet, or locate the section below using Search/find, and add the lines marked in the code below.



    Style ss:ID="CheckBox">   

    <Alignment ss:Horizontal="Left" ss:Vertical="Bottom"/>

    <Font ss:FontName="Verdana" x:Family="Swiss"/>


    <Style ss:ID="rowheading">

    <Font x:Family="Swiss" ss:Bold="1"/>

    <Interior ss:Color="#C0C0C0" ss:Pattern="Solid"/>



    Style ss:ID="Dateformat">    <!-- THIS LINE IS ADDED !-->

    <!-- this is where we define the style for date type fields!-->


    NumberFormat ss:Format="Short Date"/>    <!-- THIS LINE IS ADDED !-->


    Style>   <!-- THIS LINE IS ADDED !-->



    Go to line 235 of default style sheet, or locate the section below using Search/find, and add the lines marked in the code below.



    xsl:template match="Control[@type='TextBox']">


    Cell xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:spreadsheet">


    <xsl:when test="(@datatype = 'Date')">      <!-- THIS LINE IS ADDED !--><!--  Dateformat style is to be used for data type Date !-->

    <xsl:attribute name="ss:StyleID">Dateformat</xsl:attribute>    <!-- THIS LINE IS ADDED !-->

    </xsl:when>   <!-- THIS LINE IS ADDED !-->

    <xsl:when test="(@datatype != 'Integer')and(@datatype != 'Decimal')and(@datatype != 'BigInteger')">

    <xsl:attribute name="ss:StyleID">TextBox</xsl:attribute>







    <!-- The actual date formatting, make sure data sent from navision are formatted according to XML datetime format  yyyy-mm-ddT00.00.000 and passed as dateTime type of variable. This makes sure Excel will consider this as date type value. Excel will from here take input data and format the output in the format selected in regional settings (or excel settings) !-->

    <xsl:when test="(@datatype = 'Date')and (substring(@value,7,2) &gt; 29)">  <!-- THIS LINE IS ADDED !-->

    <xsl:attribute name="ss:Type">DateTime</xsl:attribute>    <!-- THIS LINE IS ADDED !-->

    <xsl:value-of select="19"/><xsl:value-of select="substring(@value,7,2)"/>-<xsl:value-of select="substring(@value,1,2)"/>-<xsl:value-of select="substring(@value,4,2)"/>T00:00:00.000</xsl:when>  <!-- THIS LINE IS ADDED !-->

    <xsl:when test="(@datatype = 'Date')and (substring(@value,7,2) &lt;= 29)">  <!-- THIS LINE IS ADDED !-->

    <xsl:attribute name="ss:Type">DateTime</xsl:attribute>  <!-- THIS LINE IS ADDED !-->

    <xsl:value-of select="20"/><xsl:value-of select="substring(@value,7,2)"/>-<xsl:value-of select="substring(@value,1,2)"/>-<xsl:value-of select="substring(@value,4,2)"/>T00:00:00.000</xsl:when<!-- THIS LINE IS ADDED !-->

    <xsl:when test="(@datatype = 'Integer')or(@datatype = 'Decimal')or(@datatype = 'BigInteger')"

    <xsl:attribute name="ss:Type">Number</xsl:attribute>

    <xsl:value-of select="@value"/>



    <xsl:attribute name="ss:Type">String</xsl:attribute>

    <xsl:value-of select="@value"/>




    These postings are provided "AS IS" with no warranties and confer no rights. You assume all risk for your use.

    All feedback providing scenarios where this change wouldn't work, or scenarios that would require any other formatting of date type fileds, is most welcome.


    Jasminka Vukovic (jvukovic)

    Microsoft Dynamics NO

    Microsoft Customer Service and Support (CSS) EMEA

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV Team Blog

    NAV 2009 - The structure of reports in VS report designer


    One thing is to make a report look pretty. But before you can do that, you have to make it work first. This post is about how to get the data structure right when designing reports in VS report designer for the new client in NAV 2009.

    If you are completely new to the new environment, then take a look at this post first:

    NAV 2009 - Report Designer - Introduction to the new environment

    This post also assumes that you are already familiar with designing reports in the classic report designer.

    Start with a classic report

    The new environment in Visual Studio (VS) report designer relies completely on the data structure you define in the classic report designer. So you must first design data-items and link them in the right way. You must also use the classic report designer to decide what to display on the report – but not where to display it. Only data that you add to sections in the classic report designer is available in VS report designer. You can add fields and other data wherever you like in sections – as long as the data is there. Then you use VS report designer to place the data where you want it. 

    Sections in VS report designer - 1 Header, 1 Body and 1 Footer

    A report in Visual Studio always has exactly 1 Body section.  You cannot add more than 1. Optionally it may have 1 Header and 1 Footer. You cannot add further headers or footers.
    Enable Header and Footer sections by right clicking in a blank area, then enable / disable header and Footer section:


    Warning: If you disable the Header Footer  the section with all its content will be deleted.
    When the report runs, it will run the Header section once, then the Body section once, and then the Footer section once. It will not – like in the NAV report designer – run the Body section for each iteration / record. Looping through records is done by creating a table in the body section. So understanding tables is really important to getting the right data in your report.

    This is there we loop through the data in a report. To create a table, insert it from the toolbox. As default it will have a Header, Detail and Footer section.
    To enter something in a cell, either right click it, select Properties, and specify Value. Or drag and drop items from your Data set. Remember that your data set (“Website Data Sources”) consists of what you have added to the sections in the classic report designer.

    Table Sections:
    This is a typical place to put captions. If you drag an item containing text from your data set into a header, the environment automatically adds “First” to it. “First” means that it will show the first value in the data set, as opposed to looping through each record in the data set.
    This is where you have the iteration of the data in the report.
    This is a typical place to put totals. If you drag an item containing a numerical value from your data set into a footer, the environment automatically adds “Sum” to it, and the report will print the total from the report.

    Example / exercise – simple report with one data item

    The following example shows how to use the basic sections in a table in a report with 1 data item.

    1)     Create a new report with one data item Customer. On Sections, add Customer No. Name and Balance (LCY):


    Unless you plan to run this report from the classic client it doesn’t matter where or how you add fields to the sections, or if you add header / footer  or any other types of sections. You only add fields to the section because then they will then become part of the data source in VS report designer.

    2)     Click on View -> Layout to open VS report designer. Add a table from the toolbox. Look at “Website Data Sources” to see the fields available in the data set. This is the fields that you put on the sections. So if you want to add fields here, then go back to the sections, add them there, and next time you open the layout those fields will be there.

    3)     Drag and drop Caption fields into the Header, Normal fields into the Detail, and Balance_LCY_ into one of the Footer-cells:


    That’s all you have to do to create a simple report. So now let’s add some more structure to the report.

    Multiple data items:
    This is where it can easily go wrong if you forget a step or two. First, we need to go back to the “old” environment and see how this affects your data structure.
    The data structure and links are decided by the data items on the report and the fields you put on the sections (View -> Sections). About adding fields to sections, there are two things to be aware of:
    1)    To include something in the data set, it must be on the sections
    2)    If you add sections for another data item, then this affects the data set and the way the report runs
    If you created the report from Example 1 above, then add the following:
    Add a new data item “Cust. Ledger Entry”. Indent and link it to the Customer data item as you would normally. If you now run the report, it will run just as before. Then go to sections and add one or more fields from “Cust. Ledger Entry”. Run the report again, and this time you will see a difference. When you added fields to the sections, you also expanded the data set. The table in the layout will now print a row for each record, and because you have added data to the data set, it will print one row for each. You need to group this data in order for it to make sense. This is where it can get a bit tricky.


    The table in VS report designer will just print all the data in the data set. Unless you group the data correctly, the result will not make any sense. To insert a group, highlight a row in your table, right click it, then “Insert Group”:



    For a group you must specify the Expression, which tells the table what to group by. When creating a group it’s for the indented table – in this case “Cust. Ledger Entry”. So we want to group it by Customer No. From the Customer table. So select that as the expression:



    Also, just to simplify the report, un-tick “include group footer”.
    This completes the structure of the table. But the report will print one group header and group fields, so leaving these empty will mean a lot of blank lines. To complete this report, drag fields into both the new group header and into details.

    This is where the report can easily get wrong if you miss a small detail, and where it may be necessary to try a few times before the report looks the way it should. The result of the report is a combination of data items, sections, and the table you created in VS report designer. So if something is not right, the problem may be any where in those areas. One tip: If the report prints a lot of blank lines, then check if you have any blank rows in the table. Here is a simple table layout that prints customer s and Cust. Ledger Entries:




    Table elements

    As described in the previous sections, you have to use the right table elements in the right places. This is what the icons of the table elements mean, and how and where to use them:

    TableHeader   Table header
    Will print once at the top of the table.

    GroupHeader   Group header
    This is for when you have an indented data item. The header will show data from the top-level data item, for example Customer No.

    TableDetail   Table Detail
    This corresponds to a body-section, either from a main table or from an indented table.

    GroupFooter    Group Footer
    This is also for indented data items. How this will print, depends on how you have set up the group in the table.

    TableFooter   Table Footer
    Will print once, at the end of the table



    Lars Lohndorf-Larsen (Lohndorf)

    Microsoft Dynamics UK

    Microsoft Customer Service and Support (CSS) EMEA

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV Team Blog

    NAV 2009 - Report Designer - Introduction to the new environment


    Microsoft Dynamics NAV has always had its own report designer. In NAV 2009 it still does, but in addition to this you can also use the Visual Studio (VS) report designer.

    NAV 2009 – both the classic and the new client – will still run reports designed in NAV’s report designer. So in way nothing has changed. You can still use the existing report designer. VS report designer offers a lot of new options and features. The idea of this post is to describe what features out of 100s that you actually need. When it comes to a simple report, only a very few features are needed to get started. This post tells you which ones they are.


    Old versus New

    The classic client can still only run reports designed in the classic report designer. The new client (Role Tailored client – RTC) can run reports designed with either the classic or with VS report designer. When RTC launches a report, it checks if a layout has been defined in VS Report designer. If it has, then it will run that. If no layout has been defined, it will launch the report engine from the classic client and run the report exactly like it would have been run from a classic client. This does require that a classic client has been installed as well, even if the user will never have to run this client.
    I this way you can use the classic report designer for some reports, and VS Report designer for others.
    Report design is still done from Object Designer in the classic client.

    VS report designer is a different environment. It has features that are not available in the classic report designer, but also limitations compared to the classic report designer. For example, it does not support Trans-Headers and Footers. But as described above, the VS report designer is a choice you have – you can still use the classic report designer if there are things you can't achieve with the VS report designer.

    The new environment

    Sections is where you make your report layout in the classic report designer. This will run in the classic client as well as in RTC. For RTC you can create a report layout, which is done in VS report designer. So “Sections” refer to the classic report layout while “Layout” refers to the layout done in VS.

    The classic report designer introduces four new options:

    Tools -> Create Layout Suggestion:

    This makes a “best effort” to transform your classic report design and create a suggested layout in VS report designer. This can do a lot of the hard work for you so you don’t have to start from scratch, or design sections first in the classic report designer, and then create the layout in VS report designer. The tool can’t guarantee to transform every report, but it will always at least give you a good start, and for many reports it will do all the work needed.

    Tools -> Delete Layout:

    This deletes the report layout

    View -> Layout:

    This opens VS report designer and is where you will go to design your report for the RTC.

    View -> Request Page:

    The classic client runs forms while the new client runs pages. The same goes for request forms on a report. So if you want to add options to the report for the new client, then do that in the request page.


    VS Report Designer

    Going to View -> Layout opens VS Report Designer which looks like this:


    The parts of this environment you need, are:


    Normally you can switch between the Toolbox and “Website Data Source” (fields) as shown in the red circle in the picture above. But if for some reason the toolbox is not visible, then go to View -> Toolbox. If you use the “Create Layout Suggestion”, then this will add the necessary elements to the report, and you won’t need the toolbox. If you create a layout from scratch, then all you need from the toolbox – at least for simple reports , is a table:



    Website Data Source:

    This is where you select the fields to print on the report. It will automatically show you anything that you have added to sections in the classic report designer. So to add / remove fields from here, go to sections and add / remove them from there.
    To add the fields from the WebsiteData Source, just drag and drop them into a table or to where you want them displayed.

    VS report designer has 100s more options, features and elements, but the ones mentioned here are the only ones you need to get started.

    Workflow – designing reports

    So having explained which features you need - at least to create a simple report - this is how to use them:

    When you have done your layout in VS report designer, close and save it which will bring you back to the classic report designer. Moving one line up or down will prompt you if you want to load the report layout. When you do that, the VS report layout is saved in the report object itself.
    So exporting a report from Object Designer will export all of it, including the layout you have designed in VS report designer, whether you export the object as .txt, .xml or .fob. If you export the report as .txt or .xml, you can see the VS report layout added at the bottom of the report, in a section called RDLDATA.

    Finally, to run the report, either run it directly from Start -> Run, like this to run report 99800:
    or of course you can add the report to a page to run it from the new client.


    Lars Lohndorf-Larsen (Lohndorf )

    Microsoft Dynamics UK

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV Team Blog

    TAP Customers and Partners Deploy Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009


    Most Microsoft product teams involve their top customers and partners the development process via Technology Adoption Programs (TAP).  These high touch engagements result in much better product quality and features as well as early (pre-RTM) deployments of new versions. 

    The Dynamics NAV 2009 TAP has succeeded with 10 live customers in Germany, Denmark, Canada and the US already deployed and using NAV 2009 CTP4!  Six of these are using upgraded ISV solutions for distribution, manufacturing, furniture and project management.  We also have previous Epicor and Infor customers who have made the switch to NAV 2009 as part of the TAP.  All deployments are using the new Role-tailored Client and several are running multiple NAV servers.

    The TAP has also made significant quality improvements to NAV 2009 with over 100 fixed bugs and several major design changes.  These great accomplishments are the result of over a year’s hard work between the TAP partners, NAV core teams and the TAP PM Team (including my European counterpart, Kipper York).  We are already receiving excellent feedback from the Go-Live customers, especially concerning the new client.

    For those of you attending Convergence 2008 in Copenhagen on November 18-20, we encourage you to attend the “Meet the Early Adopters” Sessions:
    •    TAP Partners: 11/19/2008 1:30PM-2:30PM, room B4.2
    •    TAP Customers: 11/20/2008 9:00AM-10:00AM, room B4.3

    We'll have lots of other NAV 2009 content at Convergence.  Hope to see you there and to share the excitement!

    - Brett Johnson

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV Team Blog

    Dynamics NAV 5.0 SP1 and export to Excel


    A number of issues previously reported when running with Dynamics NAV 5.0 and using send-to Excel functionality, are now corrected.  These issues include (among others): decimals exported as text, Item/Customer numbers exported as decimals, dates exported as decimals.

    To implement correction, update with 5.0 SP1, update 1 (KB 956161, build 27191), use default style sheets included in SP1, and make the following change to default style sheet NavisionExportToExcel.xslt:

    Open the style sheet file in notepad, default file is NavisionFormToExcel, placed in Stylesheet folder of the Client folder.

    Browse to the following line :   


    xsl:when test="@subtype != 'number'">

    and replace the line with


    xsl:when test="@datatype != 'Decimal'">


    Then locate the following line :   


    xsl:when test="@subtype = 'number'">

    and replace the line with


    xsl:when test="@datatype = 'Decimal'">


    Jasminka Vukovic (jvukovic)

    Microsoft Dynamics NO

    Microsoft Customer Service and Support (CSS) EMEA

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV Team Blog

    Basic SQL - Restoring a SQL Server backup


    This post is part of "Overview of NAV-specific SQL features for application consultants".

    You can back up your Microsoft Dynamics NAV database either from a NAV client or from SQL Server Management Studio. To restore a backup made from SQL Server, follow these steps:

    1)     Open SQL Server Management Studio
    2)    You don’t need to create a database first, like you do from NAV. Just right click on Databases, then select “Restore Database...”.
    3)    In the box that opens, type in a name for your new database. You can name it anything. Then change the source from “From database” to “From device”. Device, in this case, just means file.
    4)    Click the Assist Edit button next to “From Device”, which opens a new dialogue box. Click Add, and then select the SQL backup you are restoring, and click OK.
    5)    SQL Server will list a few details about the backup you selected. Tick the “Restore” box, and then click OK:


    The new database should now appear in SQL Server management studio, and you can access it from a NAV client.


    Lars Lohndorf-Larsen (Lohndorf)

    Microsoft Dynamics UK

    Microsoft Customer Service and Support (CSS) EMEA

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV Team Blog

    Basic SQL - Creating users in NAV on SQL


    This post is part of "Overview of NAV-specific SQL features for application consultants".

    Before you can set up a user in Microsoft Dynamics NAV on SQL Server, you must create the user on SQL Server first. If you try to create a user which does not exist on SQL Server, you will get this error message:

    The Microsoft Dynamics NAV Classic and SQL Server security systems have not been successfully synchronized.  The SQL Server login MYUSER does not exist on the LARS-PC server.



    To create this user on SQL Server follow these steps:
    1)     Open SQL Server Management Studio and expand the group Security -> Logins.
    2)    Right click on “Logins” and select “New Login”. Type in the name of the user.
    3)    Change from “Windows Authentication” to “SQL Server authentication”, and then type in (and remember) a password.
    4)    If you leave the checkmark “Enforce Password Policy” enabled, then the password you select must be complex enough to live up to the policy. If you disable this checkmark you can choose any password you like, or even leave it blank.
    5)    Un-tick “User must change password at next login”. Otherwise the user will not be able to log into NAV at all.
    6)    Under “Default Database”, select the NAV database that you want the user to access.


    7)     If you want this user to access more than one database, then click on “User Mapping”, and select the databases that you want to give the user access to. Otherwise just click on OK, and the user is ready to be used.


    8)     You don’t need to assign any permissions on the SQL Server. As long as the user exists on SQL, then you can use it, and assign permissions from a NAV client.
    9)    So open the database in NAV, and go to “Database Logins” (Tools -> Security -> Database Logins), and then enter the User ID for the user you created, and then assign the appropriate roles.

    Synchronize permissions
    One more step is needed if you run NAV on SQL Server compared to Native. Depending on the security model in the database, you may need to also synchronize permissions. You can see and change the security model from NAV under File -> Database -> Alter:


    The security model defaults to Enhanced, but for a test system it is simpler to change it to Standard. To change it, you must also (temporarily) select “Single User” from the “Options”-tab. Changing the security model will automatically rebuild all the permissions. After this is done, don’t forget to go back and un-tick “Single User” again.

    If your database is set to use Enhanced security model, then every time you change or create users, roles or permissions, then you must also synchronize this by going to Tools -> Security -> “Synchronize all logins” before the changes take effect.



    Lars Lohndorf-Larsen (Lohndorf)

    Microsoft Dynamics UK

    Microsoft Customer Service and Support (CSS) EMEA

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV Team Blog

    Basic SQL - How to attach a database to SQL Server


    This post is part of "Overview of NAV-specific SQL features for application consultants".

    If you receive a SQL Server database file (.MDF), then you must attach this to your SQL Server before you can access it. This is how to do that:

    1)     Copy the Database file (.MDF), for example “Demo Database NAV (6-0)_Data.MDF” into the folder where SQL Server keeps the database files. On SQL Server 2008 this defaults to “C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA”:


    2)     Open SQL Server Management Studio. Note: On Windows Vista / Windows 2008, you must open it as Administrator to have the right permissions. Otherwise the next steps might fail, and maybe without giving you any error messages:


    3)     In SQL Server Management Studio right click on Databases, select Attach... click Add, then select the file you copied in step 1, then click OK:


    4)     The database file may be pointing to a transaction log which you don’t have and don’t need. So, before clicking OK again, check if there is a reference to the transaction log under “Database Details”. Remove it if there is, and then click OK:


    5)     If you receive any warnings about adding catalogues, then ignore those. As long as you now see the new database in SQL Server Management Studio:


    You should now be able to open the database with a NAV client. Note, the SQL backup will contain any user IDs and permissions that were created in the database, so you would need to know what login to use. In the case of Windows logins, of course if the database came from another system / another domain, then any Windows logins will not be valid on your domain.



    Lars Lohndorf-Larsen (Lohndorf )

    Microsoft Dynamics UK

    Microsoft Customer Service and Support (CSS) EMEA

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV Team Blog

    Building a Role Center in 1 hour


    First I want to say thanks to people who attended Michael Rosenørn and My session, about building a Role Center in 1 hour, at Convergence 2008 last week in Denmark. Our evaluation score for this session was second highest out of all sessions at Convergence, so we must have done something right :-) Thanks guys!!!

    Still I a have a feeling that there are so much more I would like to share with you on how we build up the Role Center, so I have decided to share our demo script for this session.

    To the readers which did not attend the session. Michael acted as the Customer and I as the Partner and Live implementer at stage.

    The story: Michael (The customers) is requesting Me(The Partner) to implement a Role Center for his Election Manager user profile. The Election Manager is responsible for following up on sponsor for the upcoming election. We are imaging that there is a big election coming up even though we all know this just finished in the US.
    So the Election Manager need to keep track of the sponsors in his portfolio. Which sponsor has delivered what they have promised? And which sponsor have not delivered? Election manager will need to get a fast overview of which Sponsor he need to follow up on.
    Also the Election Manager needs to setup events and would like to see who is responsible for each of these events. So with this background we start building the Role Center.
    Credit goes to Andy Blehm, our Developer Lead on the Client team, for coming up with this story. Thanks Andy.

    You can find the demo script attached to this post. In this zip file you will find the following files:

    1. Election - Demo Script.docx(This is the actual Demo Script, no proofreading so if there is any spelling mistake please just blame me)
    2. Election Demo Data.txt(Demo Data to import before demo)
    3. Election Objects START.fob(Prepared Objects. These are prepared to keep the demo in 1 hour, many of the prepared demo objects are explained during the demo)
    4. Election Objects START.txt(and in txt format as well if you prefer this)
    5. Election Objects END.fob(All objects included the objects build during the demo. If you just want to see what we build and don't care about the demo script, this is your file )
    6. Election Objects END.txt (and in txt format as well if you prefer this)

    Claus Lundstrøm

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV Team Blog

    Tip 3: Using Exchange Public Folders and Outlook synchronization in Dynamics NAV 5.0, 5.0 SP1 and 2009


    Many people ask if it is possible to use Public Folders for data storage in regards to the redesigned Outlook Synchronization in releases after Dynamics NAV 4.0 taking into account that there are no conditions or filters set for the contacts entities. The answer is simple: yes, you can! There is one big pitfall. In scenarios where there are thousands of contacts to be synchronized, Exchange Server tend to think that this is not OK. There are some KB published on that topic:

    There are some more KB articles in regards to event ID 9646, but the two KB articles are more then enough in regards to the blog posting.

    The question I usually ask partners and customer is why they want all the Dynamic related contacts to be synchronized to each and every salesperson? Can you imagine how large these mailbox will become and what that means for the underlying network in Cached Exchange Mode and in non Cached Exchange mode. The answer is in most cases, we did not assign our contacts to a specific salesperson. If those partners or customers try to synchronize the whole Dynamics NAV contacts database to Outlook, then nothing synchronizes! Sometimes partners and customers answers that table 13 is filled with regional codes in stead of real salespersoncodes, like EU1 (Northern European Countries), EU2 (Southern European Countries), etc.  

    In this scenario, one may want to create three Public Folders for the three Contact entities without any condition and configure the Outlook Addin with the three Public Folders. In this scenario, one would still need a dedicated user account plus mailbox so that the Outlook Addin can be configured. Very easy, just create a mailbox enabled user on the Active Directory computer, configure that user in the Login table of Dynamics NAV with the necessary Roles, then configure the new user with at least the two Contact entities (Company contacts and Person contacts), registry that in the change log and you are done.

    In the scenario of separating Scandinavian contacts from Italian contacts and so on, one could create two mailbox enabled users and one could configure those two users with the two contacts entities with a condition defined for each part of Europe. To summarize, this scenario would end up with two user account that are only being used for the Outlook Synchronization and at least four Public Folders.

    Always remember that Tasks and Appointment must be somehow linked to a "salesperson". This is quite logical, because there must be a meeting Organizer and an Owner of the Tasks.

    -- mmels

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV Team Blog

    Basic SQL - How to create a new NAV database for restoring a NAV backup


    This post is part of "Overview of NAV-specific SQL features for application consultants". 


    This post describes the steps needed to create a new NAV database from a NAV backup (.fbk) file. All the steps are done from a NAV client:

    1)     Start a NAV client (finsql.exe), then go to File -> Database -> New. In Server Name, enter (local)  - assuming you have SQL Server on the same machine. Then click OK.

    2)    You only have to enter a database name, and click OK. But if the database is used for test purposes, I would also recommend you change “Recovery Model” from Full to Simple (Options tab), and change “Security Model” from Enhanced to Standard (Advanced tab). Then click OK.

    3)    Now you have a blank NAV database. All you have to do, is to restore your NAV backup (.fbk) file: Tools -> Restore.

    4)    If you want to change the NAV license, then go to Tools -> License Information, and click Upload, and select the NAV license. This uploads the license to the SQL Server, and it will be stored there for the next time you start NAV.



    Lars Lohndorf-Larsen (Lohndorf)

    Microsoft Dynamics UK

    Microsoft Customer Service and Support (CSS) EMEA

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV Team Blog

    Basic SQL - Enable trace flag 4616 on SQL Server


    This post is part of "Overview of NAV-specific SQL features for application consultants".


    The newest versions of Microsoft Dynamics NAV require trace flag 4616 to be enabled on SQL Server. If not, then you will get this error message when you try to connect:

    The trace flag 4616 is not set on the server (local). You must set this flag and restart the server before you can connect using Microsoft Dynamics NAV.



    How to set trace flag 4616:

    Start SQL Server Configuration Manager:
    Start -> All Programs -> Microsoft SQL Server 2005/8 -> Configuration Tools -> SQL Server Configuration Manager
    On the left side, select “SQL Server Services”, then Locate” SQL Server (MSSQLSERVER)” on the right side. Right click it and select Properties. Then select the Advanced tab:


    Then add the startup parameter at the end of the existing ones (separating the existing ones with a semi-colon):

    Then click OK.
    You must restart the SQL Server service before this setting takes effect: Right click on “SQL Server (MSSQLSERVER)” again, and this time select Restart.



    Lars Lohndorf-Larsen (Lohndorf)

    Microsoft Dynamics UK

    Microsoft Customer Service and Support (CSS) EMEA

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV Team Blog

    Basic SQL - Creating Extended Stored Procedure / xp_ndo.dll


    This post is part of "Overview of NAV-specific SQL features for application consultants". 


    Microsoft Dynamics NAV requires two extended stored procedures from xp_ndo.dll to exist on SQL Server if Windows logins are used. If these extended stored procedures do not exist, you will get this error when trying to log on using Windows Authentication:

    The extended stored procedure xp_ndo_enumusersids in the library file xp_ndo.dll, is not available on the LOHNDORF1 server.  Until this procedure and library have been added, it will not be possible to connect to this server from Microsoft Dynamics NAV with Windows Authentication, but you will still be able to connect with Database Server Authentication.  You can read more about adding this extended stored procedure in the help pages on the product CD. Follow the hyperlink to the readme.txt file on the Servers page under the Documentation section of SQL Server.



    When this happens you have two options: Use Database Authentication instead, or create the extended stored procedures on the SQL Server. a normal installation of a NAV client will create these procedures automatically, which is why in most cases you don’t need to do it. But if for some reason it was not created, then this is how to do it manually:

    1)    From the product DVD, open the folder sql_esp, and run the file xp_ndo.exe to extract the file xp_ndo.dll somewhere you your disk. Then copy it into this folder on your SQL Server (on SQL 2008): C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Binn\. Remember, copying files into the “Program Files”-folder requires administrative privileges on Vista and Windows2008, which is why you should extract the file to a different folder first, and then copy it into this location.

    2)     Open SQL Server Management Studio. Extend Databases -> System Databases -> master -> Programmability. Right click on “Extended stored procedures”, and select “New extended stored procedure”.

    3)    Name it xp_ndo_enumusersids, and in the DLL field, select the full file and path for xp_ndo.dll (on SQL Server 2008 C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Binn\xp_ndo.dll):


    4)     Assign permissions to the public role: In the Extended Stored Procedures properties, click on “Permissions”, then “Search”. Type in “Public”, and click OK. Then assign Execute permissions to Public:


    5)     Finally, repeat the previous steps and make another extended stored procedure which is exactly identical, except this one must be called xp_ndo_enumusergroups instead of xp_ndo_enumusersids.

    You should now have two extended stored procedures, and should be able to use Windows login from NAV.



    Lars Lohndorf-Larsen (Lohndorf)

    Microsoft Dynamics UK

    Microsoft Customer Service and Support (CSS) EMEA

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