Free Visual Studio Designer for editing Reports in Dynamics NAV 2013 and other options

Update 04. Sept. 2013: Please read this post get the files for this little trick:

http://localhost/wordpress/2013/09/04/free-visual-studio-designer-for-editing-reports-in-dynamics-nav-2013-part-2/

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Today I learned that we will have a free Visual Studio Designer for editing reports in Dynamics NAV. If you have been in the TAP program for Dynamics NAV 2013, you know that it has been a big concerns, for all of us, that it would be required to buy a Visual Studio 2010 Professional license to design Reports in NAV 2013. Well now this issue has been resolved and here is what you do:

Install the free version of Visual Web Developer 2010 Express found here:
http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/en-us/products/2010-editions/visual-web-developer-express. Note: It will require several restarts of the computer, so if you are doing this on the customers setup, you might want to plan this.

Now you might think that you can designing reports in NAV 2013, but you see still see this messages if you try to select “View / Layout” on a report in Object Designer:

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

But here is trick, after you have installed the free version of Visual Web Developer 2010 Express, install the free version of “Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Shell (Integrated) Redistributable Package” found here:http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=115

Now you can select “View / Layout” and Visual Studio 2010 will open and you can design you report.

Other options to design reports in NAV 2013 are of course still Visual Studio 2010 Professional or higher version. Note: if you choose to install a custom version of the Visual Studio Professional remember to check mark “Visual Web Developer”. If you do not install the “Visual Web Developer” component. Visual Studio will still open when you select “View / Layout”, but will open the XML editor of the report. If you are really smart you can of course design the report in this XML editor, but I have to admit that I prefer to have the Report Designer installed as well Winking smile

Designers not supported in NAV 2013:

Visual Studio 2008, all version as have described here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/nav/archive/2009/01/13/what-are-the-visual-studio-options-for-developing-rdlc-reports-for-dynamics-nav-2009.aspx
Visual Studio 2008 does not support RDLC 2008 which is the version of the layout supported in NAV 2013. In NAV 2009 we used the RDLC 2005 version.

Visual Studio 11. When Visual Studio 11 is released we will not be able to use this to design reports in NAV 2013, as a new version of RDLC is included in this version and will require an upgrade of the RDLC plus the new version of Report Viewer 2012 installed. As this will result in different version of the Report Objects in NAV 2013, Visual Studio 11 will be disabled for editing reports, and if only have this installed you will still get this message when you try to design a report:

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

Good thing is that Visual Studio 2010 and Visual Studio 11 can be installed side by side on your machine, and when Visual Studio 2010 is installed this will be detected by NAV 2013 and used for designing reports. So we pretty much have the same issue as we had with NAV 2009 and Visual Studio 2010 as I described here:
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/nav/archive/2010/04/29/visual-studio-2010-and-ssrs-rdlc-reports-in-nav-2009.aspx

/Thanks, Claus Lundstrøm, MVP Microsoft Dynamics NAV