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Introduction to the Power BI Report Builder for Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Business Central users

Introduction

The Power BI Report Builder is a Microsoft tool designed for the creation of paginated reports. These reports are particularly suitable for printing or exporting to formats such as PDF. The Report Builder is part of the Power BI ecosystem and offers close integration with Microsoft Dynamics NAV (Navision) and Business Central.

Technical aspects

Data connection:

  • The Report Builder can directly access data sources such as SQL Server, Analysis Services and, of course, Dynamics NAV and Business Central.
  • It also supports the connection to shared datasets in Power BI, which enables consistent data usage across different reports.

Report preparation:

  • The Power BI Report Builder offers a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) interface that simplifies the design of reports.
  • It supports a wide range of visualizations, tables and graphics as well as advanced functions such as parameters and expressions.

Layout and design:

  • Paginated reports are ideal for creating documents with a fixed layout, such as invoices, statements and detailed analysis reports.
  • The user has full control over the page layout, including headers and footers, page size and orientation.

Advantages

1. Flexibility in reporting:

The Power BI Report Builder offers a high degree of flexibility when designing reports, which is particularly beneficial for companies that use Dynamics NAV or Business Central.

2. Consistent data management:

By integrating with Power BI and Dynamics data sources, companies can ensure that their reports always use up-to-date and consistent data.

3. Detailed report formatting:

The ability to create paginated reports is particularly useful for creating documents that require a specific format or are to be printed.

4. Interactivity and parameter support:

Reports can contain interactive elements such as filters and parameters that enable a dynamic user experience.

Disadvantages

1. Learning curve:

The variety of functions and the flexibility of the tool can be overwhelming at first, especially for new users.

2. Performance with large amounts of data:

Performance can suffer when processing very large amounts of data, especially when complex calculations or large data sets are involved.

3. Limited integration in some data sources:

Although the Report Builder supports a wide range of data sources, there are limitations when integrating with certain non-Microsoft data sources.

4. Design limitations compared to Power BI Desktop:

While the Report Builder offers excellent control over the layout, it has fewer design and visualization options compared to Power BI Desktop.

Conclusion

The Power BI Report Builder is a powerful tool for creating detailed and formatted reports, especially for users of Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Business Central. Its strength lies in its flexibility and ability to create paginated reports. However, it does require some training to use and there are limitations in terms of performance and design options. Overall, the Report Builder is a valuable tool for companies that want to create detailed reports on their Dynamics data.