Designing NAV 2013 R2 (and newer) Reports: No Visual Studio? No problem!

If you want to design reports in NAV 2013 R2, you are probably aware that you’ll need the Professional edition of Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 or 2012 which costs $499 from the Microsoft Store. If you don’t have Visual Studio, the good news is that you have an alternate option, and that’s the Microsoft SQL Report Builder – and it’s free.

By default, when you attempt to view a report layout when designing a report, NAV will look for Visual Studio 2012 or 2013 Professional and give you an error message if it can’t be found.

SQL Report Builder

To configure NAV to use the SQL Report Builder instead, go to Tools > Options in the NAV Development Environment and you will see an option called “Use Report Builder” and the default value for this option is set to <No>. Simply replace that value with Yes (do not use the < or > characters) and press OK to save the change.

The next time you design a report and attempt to view its layout, NAV will automatically open it using the free Report Builder.

The Report Builder tool is not as powerful as Visual Studio but I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s always to good to have options.

You can watch the complete walkthrough below or directly on our YouTube channel (

Note: The SQL Report Builder option is only available in NAV 2013 R2. If you’re using NAV 2013, which requires Visual Studio 2010 Professional, Claus Lundstrom has a blog post on Mibuso walking through how you can use Visual Studio Express to design reports:

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