RDLC Report Converter
Since creating a report layout in Document Creator is not very time consuming, why a RDLC Report Converter is provided? The answer is quite simple: because of users requests, and because with the Report Convertor it is possible to save even more time in a Dynamics Nav upgrade process.
The new RDLC report converter of NAV2015+
When converting NAV2009 Classic reports to NAV2015 and up reports we to take into consideration a huge change in the reporting mechanism. With the classic report engine data gathering and output rendering are interspersed executed at the same time. Therefore in NAV2009 the report output rendering process can be, and actually is, intertwined with the data gathering process. In a NAV2009 report data gathering and output rendering are accordingly defined intertwined in a single report object.
In NAV2015 reporting data gathering and report output rendering are separated from each other. As a first step data gathering is executed, whereupon the collected data is handed over to the output rendering process. The data gathering process is defined in the report object (the report dataset), while the output rendering is defined in a report layout design (further referred to as the report layout). In NAV2015 standard the report layout is built in RDLC report converter. Although in standard Nav 2015, a RDLC report layout can be stored inside the report object, the layout actually is a separate object. The downside of storing the layout in the report object is that every small modification in the report layout result in a modified report object. From the repeatability point of view, this is undesirable.
Split between dataset and layout
Document Creator respects the modern paradigm of separating the Business Logics (dataset) & Presentation (layout) as stated in figure 1. The dataset is the NAV report object that collects the data for your report, keeping all the existing business logics and security context in mind. In the classic report there are Pre- and Post-section triggers IN the layout which can modify data during the rendering process. With Document Creator the layout is separated from the dataset. Therefore, endusers or consultants can edit the layout without harming the data set business logics. Furthermore, the layout does not connect directly to the database, but gets the data from the dataset (i.e. the report object output). One can now modify layouts without modifying NAV objects, because the layout has become data. This is great news because in a managed environment, object modifications require administration and therefore raise costs.