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RDLC Reports Development and Visual Studio 2017

[Just a note to myself as I always need to look up what to download and install on Visual Studio 2017 to allow me to work on RDLC layouts for my reports.]

When opening the layout of a printable report from C/SIDE report designer Visual Studio 2017 will be opened. When you have a new installation of VS 2017, the layout will however be shown in xml format only. In previous versions of Visual Studio the issue was solved by installing SQL Data Tools Trying the same for VS 2017 will not help you.

Thanx to Natalie Karolak and Steven Renders for pointing to the solution. According to the you need to install .

56 = SQUARE(7) + 7 and My Conference Season

For those of you that have been following me for a reasonable number of years: you might have stumbled across my . It clearly marked a threshold in my professional carrier, and in hindsight it was worth all the while taking it. And now I am on the verge of adding another 7 years. Next week Thursday, to be precise, when I will be down south in California, when conference season has just taken off. My conference season and a whole new training season too.
May I invite me to join me in my sessions?

Directions NA - September 30,2018 | San Diego, USA -- 

Yep, I will be there once again. It's three years already that I attended it last time. Way back in 2015, Orlando, Florida. This time, San Diego, I couldn't let it just pass by. With the great memories of the 2014 conference. With the tremendous changes the NAV world is facing. Not in the least the namechanger, Business Central, and the role automated testing finally is going to play in our daily development practice.
Did you have a look at the program already? Nope, go there [url=] and count the number of sessions relating to automated testing. At least five, more than ever before.
Let me seize the change to invite to at least two of them. And yes I'll be the speaker. ;-)

NAV Developer & Support Academy - October 8, 2018 | Ljubljana, Slovenia --

The 3rd this will be run at For both technical and no-technical Dynamics NAV pros. It's always a pleasure getting out there Me and Rob Gabriels are looking forward to conduct this academy ones again.

What's New Dynamics 365 Business Central - October 12, 2018 | Ljubljana, Slovenia --

Being going out to Slovenia for almost 4 years now, a big number of Dynamics NAV pros joined the various courses and workshops I have been performing at Housing in those years. Please be invited to this event. An informal gathering - a reunion ;-) - with good food and good news.

NAVUG Summit - October 15, 2018 | Phoenix, USA --

This is going to be a whole new experience in my professional live. The first time to join this biggest Dynamics end-user event around the world. And it will be in Phoenix. It has been ages ago that this Greyhound bus brought me and my youngest brother out there. Youngsters, criss-crossing the States, off to the Grand Canyon.
The other day someone remarked: this is not your target audience. Hell what, he might be right, but why should I care. It might be, it might be not. I am going to experience it. Going to teach some pre-conference classes . And, o yeah, do one exiting session on the conference itself. If you're working at a Dynamics NAV end-user and haven't registered yet? Go there [url=] and do so. At least have a look at my classes and presentation:

Designing Microsoft Dynamics NAV Automated Tests - October 25 | Vilnius, Lithuania --

A 2days workshop that will cover the same topics as my NAV TechDays workshops. For those that could get a set in Antwerp. And my first time to out to the Baltics. Really looking forward to it.

Directions EMEA - October 29 | The Hague, The Netherlands --

Near home, but unfortunately not. At least no response to my last proposal, so far.

Dynamics NAV Junior Training - October 29, 2018 | Rolduc Abbey, Kerkrade, The Netherlands --

You might have noticed that we have been announcing this a couple of times before. And even though there was a big interest from various partners and end-user companies, our initiative suffered from the tight labor market. Big interest, too low a number of attendees. But finally some things got moving, and now it's really going to take off. A 5 weeks course spread over three month, to get both functional and technical Dynamics NAV newbies up and running.
And yes, it's held in the Netherlands, but it's open to anyone around the world. Kerkrade is almost as south as you can get in this country. Next to Aachen and Maastricht, and just stone's throw away from Luik/Liège.
Still seats available for both the technical and functional track.

NAV TechDays - November 22, 2018 | Antwerp, Belgium --

It might the last one called NAV TechDays, but probably always remain the-best-you-can-get conference on technical matters regarding Dynamics NAV and D365 BC. Long sessions, relevant subjects, and some great speakers. No, no, no, not me, Surely not this year at the conference, but, hack, yeah, automated testing workshops. You need yourself get starting on this:

  •  - still some seats available
  •  - sold out

Why you would want to collapse your FastTabs

Or freely translated from an old Dutch saying (Doe de deur dicht! Je bent toch niet in de kerk geboren?): Close that FastTab! Have you been born in church? ... meaning: keep the door closed, do not spoil the heat inside.

And that's what this small post is about: have a better performance by collapsing the FastTabs on your pages.

After our upgrade to NAV 2018 we experienced a number of performance issues. I blogged about some months ago. Another concerned the the loading time of the Item Card. Simply opening the Item Card could take up to 11 seconds! So I played around removing various parts from the card page. Removing various FlowFields. No real improvement it seemed. Moving sub-pages, added as customization, to actions. Wow, that was much better: 3 seconds loading time. Another second was won by removing FactBoxes. So I was quite pleased with what I achieved and deployed it to our acceptance environment for my customer-colleagues to test.

To my dismay they reported back that they did not experience a real improvement. The loading still took almost the same while as before. Ouch, that was a disappointment. Or even more: a riddle. So we ran some more tests. On my local environment. On our test environment. Our product owner did his tests. Etc. And every time I loaded the Item Card it was significantly faster than in his case. Even on the same environment.

So, what he h*** made the difference? We even joked about my privileges being an MVP. And then we saw a stupefying differences. The number of FastTabs that were collapsed! The more that were collapsed, the faster the loading. Wow, never knew about that. A great feature and a major difference with the olden day forms, were all data was loaded even though that Tabs were not displayed (yet).

But how to help my colleagues to easily close all FastTabs and only open the ones they really need? Would be great to have two buttons on each page with FastTabs that allows you to collapse and elapse all FastTabs in one touch. Being in contact with MS on this issue I immediately applied for it. Let's hope we get it soon.

So ... collapse those FastTabs and don't spoil performance. You're not born in church!

Why we went to NAV 2018 CU 06

Start of this year we upgraded our NAV 2016 installation to NAV 2018 RTM. And February 26 we were live. It was a relative smooth and fast upgrade and we were quite pleased with it. We ran however into a couple of performance issues of which one them exposed itself immediately after go-live. We were pointed to it by one of our sistering team's consuming a number of NAV web services in their application. But unfortunately we couldn't get a hold on what was exactly happening, so it was lingering until a month or so later we were confronted with a seemingly different issue, but with the similar pattern.

Our sistering team reported that, while sending data to NAV through a web service the following exception occurred frequently:

For search engines sake, let me phrase the essential part of this even viewer screen:

The sql connection doesn’t have a database instance attached. This must not happen if the connection comes from the pool.

We had no idea whatsoever on where to find the cause (and solution!) and we let it be for the time being. It was not a showstopper in the operation as the major part of the web service calls were successful. Until some 6 weeks later, when a new project had started with an external partner connecting to a new web service, experiencing a same kind of issue. Roughly every 10th call connecting to NAV failed resulting in a 1000 longer waiting time and timeout:

Apr    25     07:33:01     Update box:   Time:  273    ms
Apr    25     07:34:02     Update box:   Time:  278    ms
Apr    25     07:35:01     Update box:   Time:  285    ms
Apr    25     07:36:01     Update box:   Time:  274    ms
Apr    25     07:37:02     Update box:   Time:  282    ms
Apr    25     07:38:01     Update box:   Time:  279    ms
Apr    25     07:39:01     Update box:   Time:  288    ms
Apr    25     07:40:02     Update box:   Time:  355    ms
Apr    25     07:41:01     Update box:   Time:  272    ms
Apr    25     07:42:02     Update box:   Time:  272    ms
Apr    25     07:43:01     Update box:   Time:  266    ms
Apr    25     07:44:22     Update box:   Time:  21.40 sec
Apr    25     07:45:02     Update box:   Time:  291    ms
Apr    25     07:46:01     Update box:   Time:  280    ms
Apr    25     07:47:02     Update box:   Time:  285    ms
Apr    25     07:48:01     Update box:   Time:  274    ms
Apr    25     07:49:01     Update box:   Time:  268    ms
Apr    25     07:50:02     Update box:   Time:  290    ms
Apr    25     07:51:01     Update box:   Time:  291    ms
Apr    25     07:52:01     Update box:   Time:  272    ms
Apr    25     07:53:02     Update box:   Time:  288    ms
Apr    25     07:54:01     Update box:   Time:  283    ms
Apr    25     07:55:01     Update box:   Time:  284    ms
Apr    25     07:56:02     Update box:   Time:  276    ms
Apr    25     07:57:01     Update box:   Time:  282    ms
Apr    25     07:58:02     Update box:   Time:  270    ms
Apr    25     07:59:23     Update box:   Time:  22.29 sec

Our request for help on this issue towards MS was answered very fast resulting:

Our team investigated the exception

The sql connection doesn’t have a database instance attached. This must not happen if the connection comes from the pool.

and discovered that we have fixed a bug for Dynamics 365 Business Central titled  

Connection pool - concurrency issues when disposing NavSqlConnectionScope

that has not been backported to NAV2018 (and the exception trace that you provided looks similar to the one we saw when fixing this bug)

We have created a backport bug to have this fixed in an upcoming CU for NAV2018, preferably CU 06

And indeed it was released in for NAV 2018 as hotfix 267998. Once installed it did indeed fix the issue. No hiccups when disposing NavSqlConnectionScope.

Thanx to the MS team that helped us out.