Visual Studio 2010 and SSRS (RDLC) reports in NAV 2009

A couple of weeks ago Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 was released. Unfortunately we will not be able to support Visual Studio 2010 in Dynamics NAV 2009 when developing SSRS (RDLC) reports.

When you are designing RDLC reports in NAV 2009 you are creating reports in a format known as the “RDL 2005” format.
Both Visual Studio 2005 and 2008 supports this format, but not Visual Studio 2010. Visual Studio 2010 is able to open the “RDL 2005” format but will immediately convert the report to “RDL 2008” format. This conversion gives us the some challenges:

  1. To view an “RDL 2008” format report you will need to have to have the “Microsoft Report Viewer 2010” installed on all Role Tailored client (RTC) machines, currently the “Microsoft Report Viewer 2008” is installed by the NAV 2009 installation program.
  2. If we opened up for Visual Studio 2010 you will convert the reports you design to “RDL 2008” format, and leave the unopened reports in “RDL 2005” format. So i.e. are developing an add on and share this with other partners you will need to inform these partners that Report Viewer 2010 is a requirement for all RTC machines. And if these partners are to modify any of your reports, Visual Studio 2010 is a requirement as well.
  3. We need change our code to now compile to “RDL 2008” format when importing the RDLC layout back to NAV.

So to avoid this confusion we will not open up for Visual Studio 2010 support before our next major version of Dynamics NAV.

If you for other reasons want to use Visual Studio 2010 you can easily have Visual Studio 2008 and Visual Studio 2010 installed on the same machine. We will just open the Visual Studio 2008 version when you select “View / Layout” in the Object Designer.

If you only have Visual Studio 2010 installed you will see this message:

An error occurred when opening Report Designer. A supported version of Visual Studio could not be found.

This is the same message you get when you have no Visual Studio installed, because we search for the following Visual Studio versions and in prioritized order. So in case you have both Visual Studio 2005 and 2008 installed, we will use the 2008 version:

  1. Microsoft Visual Studio 2008
  2. Microsoft Visual Web Developer 2008 Express edition with SP1.
  3. Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 with SP1
  4. Microsoft Visual Web Developer 2005 Express edition with SP1.

In a previous blog post I outlined the Visual Studio options you have for designing RDLC reports for NAV 2009, and this list is still valid.

Hint: If you are using Windows 7 and want to use “Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express with Advanced Services ” you need to install “Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Express with Advanced Services” to have a successful installation.