How to Customize Report Layouts in Business Central

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Who doesn’t want more – or better – reports? The good news is that Microsoft keeps improving the reporting abilities in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.
 
One of the options is to create Account schedules. These are like your typical P&L or balance sheets with accounts as your rows and time periods as your columns. You can also open a list in Excel (sort of static listing of any view that you have) and then manipulate it as you would like. Or, you can use OData reports, which is similar to using Excel but now you have a real-time refreshable list. Then there are forms like invoice reports or sales order acknowledgement, purchase order, etc. In this blog post I’ll cover the concept of customizing your Word form or your report layouts.
 
You can have multiple form/report layouts, and you can assign one of them as the default form. Whenever you print in Business Central, it will point to this default form. If you search for Custom Report Layouts, you will see a listing of all the custom reports in Business Central. These are built-in reports and have not been customized yet. You can select the built-in report that you want to customize and use that as a starting point to create your own custom report layout. Usually, there are 2 types of reports, Word-based and RDLC. If it is a word-based report, then generally a non-technical person can make some basic changes to this report. For RDLC, you will need a developer to edit.
 
Customize Report Layouts_ Tensoft
 
For example, if you want to customize your sales invoice report, select the built-in invoice report that you want to customize. Click on Layout > Export Layout. It will open the sales invoice in Word. After you download the report, enable the Developer Tab in Word. It is hidden by default. Go to File > Options > Customize Ribbon> Check Developer > OK. Click on XML Mapping Pane. You will see the built-in dataset for the invoice. There are a lot of fields available at the Header level, Line level and Subtotal level. If you are familiar with Word, it’s straightforward, using tables and dragging and dropping. You can move the fields around, put a different logo or enter a different text box.
 
Once you customize the form, save it. And then go to the same place from where you exported the layout previously and then click on ‘Import Layout’. The next time you print an invoice, it will use your updated format. You can learn about the layout that is currently used on your report by searching for Report Layout Selection and then clicking on the Selected Layout.
 
If you would like to know about Tensoft and how it can help you, visit our website or contact us.
 
- By Jason Ochipa, Tensoft, a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Partner

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