Modern report designs in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations

 In Blog

We’ve come a long way!  The reports that have looked the same since as far as I can remember have been updated to “Modern report designs”.  They’re not usable for every condition (take a look here for instructions on how to install them and check out the caveats), but they’re a good step up for people with basic form needs.

dynamics 365 for finance and operations modern report design legacy vs modern

Comparison of legacy forms vs. modern forms, courtesy of Microsoft

They look great when they work, but there’s some pieces on them that I thought were kind of annoying so I figured I’d let other people know too.

Branding setup

The logos, color schemes, and notes are setup in “Organization administration”–>”Setup”–>”Document branding”–>”Branding details”.  The first time I was messing around with these, they weren’t working out as I had thought.  I had tried to specify the brand for a specific report name and report design name.  That didn’t work for me, though, so I had to remove the specification of the report name and report design name.

microsoft dynamics 365 for finance and operations modern report branding details form

Branding setup form showing the empty “report name” and “report design name” fields

After I removed the specific reference to the SalesInvoiceModern.Report, the documents printed as expected. After looking at it in detail, my colleague Mike Harshbarger helped me figure out what was going on.  When the system evaluates which record to pick up, it looks at the brand id (we’ll come back to this) and also the report name and report design name.  However, in the case of the customer invoice (which is what I was using), the system was passing in SalesInvoice and not SalesInvoiceModern as it should have been.  When I changed the settings to SalesInvoice and Report, the report printed as I expected.

If it can’t find a record when it look at your list in the branding details form, it’ll revert to a generic looking modern report with grey boxes and information from the DataAreaID table.

Where does all this data come from?

This was another confusing part.  After I finally got the branding details I wanted, I realized there was a bunch of data that was either missing or I wasn’t sure where it was coming from. One thing that really tripped me up was the “make check payable” to section.  There seems to be a bug.  The branding details form automatically creates the initial record and it stamps the legal entity name on the record.  When you create a new record, though, it doesn’t populate the record with the name from the brands form.  Once I figured that out, and just changed the details on the initial record created, I was off to the races.

The fields in the footer section are suppressed if there’s no data, but the fields mostly come from the Organization that’s associated with the branding record.

What else did we find?

Well, there was a little more.  First of all, it seems that the report will only return records that have a brand that matches the DataAreaID that you’re in.  In the demo environment, the customer invoice would NEVER pick another record that didn’t have USMF set as the brand.

Also, the sales invoice would only print if I clicked the “Use print management” settings.  Only the legacy reports would display when I hit either the “Copy preview” or “Original preview” buttons.

Conclusion

The functionality is really half-baked right now, but I think just a few fixes will make it really cool and easy to use.  I’ve created a support ticket with Microsoft listing the 4 main items above, so hopefully it’ll be addressed soon!

If you’d like some help setting these up, reach out to info@dynamicconsulting.com.

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