By Filip Gudelj, Microsoft Business Solution Manager, Recro-Net
Microsoft Dynamics NAV useres commonly ask for
the ability to start classic reports from the Microsoft Dynamics NAV
role-tailored client (RTC). But the design of the RTC client itself does not
provide an easy way of calling these reports via GUI integration with specific
business processes of end user. So to deliver
on this customer request you have to do a little customization to expose these
reports. In this article I'll show two little tricks for calling classic
reports without need of further thinking what data you're actually trying to
The idea behind the
"Dummy Game" is a simple trick of setting one dummy data set as the
first record set of a report. Basically this dummy data set will act as the data
provider bookmark from the RTC client - or it will copy data from an RTC client
row into the report field as parameter.
In this example I'll
use my custom report "Vendor balance"which will be called directly from the
Vendor Card Page. We developed it as a NAV classic report and put it on the vendor
card. The problem with this report was that it was still behaving like a
classic NAV report despite advanced functionality of calling it directly from a
vendor record. And the user needed to enter vendor data from the vendor card
from where it was called - a double job. So here's the dummy secret.
In first data set of the
report we've placed the Dummy Data item.
The role of this dummy
filter was to filter data of page that it was called from and set the filter
for the report Record Set data. All of C/AL code is inserted into OnPreReport()
And that did the
But while using this
Dummy Game trick we noticed one additional misleading error which could be
misleading for the end user: the UI directs the user to enter data into report request
form even though it is not needed. The data transferred from RTC on to the
classic report with this Dummy Game is not shown in report fields. In this
example we transferred Vendor VAT No. And it was not shown on the request form
of the report, but it was there because when we you start the report it really
shows the record set of the bookmarked vendor. So the best approach is to
remove this field from the request form.
Also there is another
catch to this. Classic reports are designed (in true Dynamics NAV spirit) to
accept as many as parameters or values in the request form fields as possible. In
this case, when using the Dummy Game, you can call reports for only one record,
or better said, for the bookmarked record.
So my recommendation
is to really think if you want to use the Dummy Game or not. In the end it
depends on the client's business processes and business requirements.
Page Record Filtering
Another way of calling
reports from RTC is with record filtering, or setting a bookmark on the page
itself. Unlike the Dummy Game where all the "trick" code is
customized on report itself, here we are setting filters directly on the page.
The trick in this
classic report call is to set a filter on an action, which is calling the report. But no report customization is needed. A
specific action is used for calling the report C/AL code that has been inserted
into the OnAction() trigger.
This code runs through
all of the records visible on the page and remembers the one that you've bookmarked.
This trick may be better than the Dummy Game approach in the sense that it cannot
mislead end users and it shows all bookmark data in request form fields.
The only drawback of
this method is that the user can see how RTC is running code on page and highlighting
every row as it passes through. In this method the user can also edit values in
request forms and insert values as he pleases.
And in conclusion,
before using any of these methods, it is best to consider all pros and cons of
using filtering. I share these methods based on my perspective of upgrading classic
NAV to RTC, where the user already has the experience, knowledge and routine of
using classic reports. And when implementing classic reports for a new NAV RTC user
I would always go for one of these methods to avoid exposing the new user to
the obligatory parameter entry of classic reports that is inconsistent with RTC.
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