Reports Overview

You can use reports to print or display information from a Business Central database. Use reports to structure and summarize information to print documents, such as invoices. For example, create a report that lists all customers and orders that have been added by each customer. Also, create a report that is automatically filled with the relevant information for an invoice.

Reports can also be used to process data without printing or displaying content. For example, use a report to automate updating all prices in an item list. It can be easier to create a report to process data instead of a codeunit to do the same processing because you can use:

  • Request page functionality to select options and filters for data items, which are available in a report but are difficult to add to a codeunit. For more information, see Using request pages with reports.

  • Report data items instead of writing code to open tables and retrieve records.

  • Data modeling, which is available when you design reports.

Creating reports

Creating a report involves two primary tasks. First, you create a report object and design the dataset. The dataset determines the data that is extracted or calculated from the Business Central database tables that can be used in the report. After the dataset has been designed, you design the visual layout of the report. There are three types of report layouts that you can create: layouts using report definition language (RDL), Word report layouts, and Excel report layouts. Another option is to extend the functionality of an existing report with a Report Extension Object by adding columns to the existing report dataset, adding new data items, adding to the request page, or adding a new layout.

Getting started

The following table includes links to help you get started with designing the reports.

To See
Learn the overview of the report design process Report Design Overview
Understand the report structure and designing the layout for a report. Report Object
Understand how to extend an existing report. Report Extension Object
Understanding the data model and dataset of a report Defining a Report Dataset
Learn how to create a report using a Word layout Creating a Word Layout Report
Learn how to create a report using an RDL layout report. Creating an RDL Layout Report
Learn about creating a report based on an Excel layout. Creating an Excel Layout Report
Learn how to create a report using a customer defined layout type. Creating a custom Layout Report
Learn how to define multiple report layouts for one report. Defining Multiple Report Layouts

See Also

Report Object
Report Extension Object
Creating a Report
Using request pages with reports
Creating an RDL Layout Report
Creating a Word Layout Report
Creating an Excel Layout Report
Defining Multiple Report Layouts
Utilizing Read Scale-Out for Better Performance