12 March 2017

Quick Fix : Visual Studio displaying NAV Report Layout as XML

I got this issue with Visual Studio 2015 Enterprise Edition. 

Every time I open a Dynamics NAV report layout in Visual Studio, RDLC is rendered as XML file instead of visual layout with all the fields and tool boxes. 

How the report layout looks: 

FIX : In order to fix the issue you need to install "Microsoft SQL Server Data Tools"

To install "Microsoft SQL Server Data Tools" you need to go to 
Control Panel  -> Programs and Features - > Microsoft Visual Studio <Edition> -> Change

Or you can re run the installation setup. 
From the features list, enable "Microsoft SQL Server Data Tools" option and proceed. 
Once the installation is completed you are good to go. This time report layout will open in correct design layout. 
Hope this helps you to resolve the issue. happy designing. 

Please provide your feedback with a comment. 
Thank you and Regards,
Tharanga Chandrasekara


  1. It is helpful, thank you.

  2. so you get this problem again in 2018, and vs vorks fine for 2016 so any ideas what to do ?

    1. I'll have a look and will come back to you.

  3. Hey Tharanga, thanks for the post. I have used it for VS 2015 and NAV 2017 reports. This doesnot seem to work with NAV 2018 and VS 2017 Professional. Any Suggestions? I have tried installing SSDT, Server 2017 etc but still they come as xml file on VS 2017

    1. Is the issue still exists? If so please let me know I can have a look.

  4. Anonymous5/4/18 20:21

    Hi Tharanga, thanks for the post. I am using VS2015 Professional for RDLC designing. I have NAV 2016 and NAV 2018 CU 01 installed in paralled. However, NAV 2016 RDLC reports just look fine in VS 2015, NAV 2018 RDLC is just shown in XML. SQL Server Data Tools are installed. I even uninstalled VS 2015 with force and installed it again.

    Does this issue sound familiar? Is there any way known how to get VS 2015 to run with NAV 2018 RDLC report?

  5. Anonymous20/2/19 21:28

    you save my life.. thank you so much.