New Report Design Guidelines

[This post has been updated for accuracy since the first publication.]

For NAV RDLC reports, we have drafted Report Design Guidelines.

I see report developers as artists because they start with a blank piece of paper, just like an artist. As artists, only your imagination stops you from what you draw and add to this piece of paper. If you have worked with our new RDLC reports in NAV 2009 you have probably realized the many possibilities and options in Visual Studio. So not to limit the creativity of report developers but to help you, we have decided to leverage new Report Design Guidelines for many of our reports in the standard application in our next version. The intention with these guidelines is not to create extra work for the report developers but actually to help. Also this gives consistency so that when designing several reports, it is very easy for report developers to know how the reports should look and you do not need to spend time inventing a new look and feel for each report. In essence, the Report Design Guidelines should save you time when designing reports.

Although the Report Design Guidelines are not final and published yet, there is nothing stopping you from leveraging the new guidelines for your RDLC reports in NAV 2009.

Attached you will find the draft of the Report Design Guidelines.

At the moment, the draft of the Report Design Guidelines comprises a checklist, which you can go through one by one. For example, it is a good practice to define the Page Width, Page Height, and margins in the Report Properties before starting to design your report. Please note that all checks do not necessarily apply to all report types and that the guidelines are currently in a draft state. We would very much like to hear your feedback about the guidelines!

To help you understand how to use the new Report Design Guidelines in NAV 2009 we have done several “How to videos”. You can find the videos here at YouTube:

In the new Report Design Guidelines you will also find several examples on how reports will look when the guidelines have been followed. Also I have applied the new Report Design Guidelines to couple of attached standard reports. Please find these in attached zip file.

Claus Lundstrøm

Report UX