Steve Shebuski, VP of Digital Strategy
Guiding businesses through their digital transformation journey
Microsoft is improving report delivery performance when viewing in a browser. This new feature is part of the Microsoft D365 wave 2 release.
In the wave 2 release, server-side rendering and direct-to-PDF preview tools allow you to dramatically reduce report generation (but not necessarily running) time. By enabling a single feature, personnel of all types can get back to business faster.
Enabling the embedded PDF preview option in Dynamics can cut the render time of a report by more than 50%. While report run times are impacted by the amount of data, report render times are largely a function of complex SSRS operations like the grouping of data or calculated expressions.
This new feature decreases the total wait time by improving the render step. It does not, however, solve the problem of high-volume reports that take a long time to generate.
During tests conducted by Blue Horseshoe, the team saw a 2000 row report drop from 40s render times to an average of 3s. Keep in mind that the report itself still took about 2 minutes to generate before being sent for rendering. This report had a small number of groupings and expressions, but still saw significant improvement.
In addition to improved performance, the document preview experience is now more closely tied to the actual printed look of the report. This new process cuts down on expensive re-running of the report during development cycles and ensures business users know exactly what they're printing.
Keep in mind this feature removes your ability to export directly to Excel from the rendered report. This is a PDF preview only. To export to Excel, you'll need to choose a file type destination.
You'll also find that it's easier to print to your local printers. There's no need to configure new printers as they are added. Business users can print reports the same way they print all of their other media.
For troublesome reports with high volume data, consider the use of Power BI to look at summarized or aggregated data. You'll also enjoy improved performance when reporting off a well-thought-out infrastructure.
A Better User Experience
The PDF preview experience will decrease your time spent waiting on reports by eliminating extra steps and going direct to PDF. It will also simplify both the developer and the business user's workflows. All of these will keep personnel focused on adding value and not waiting on information.
Microsoft D365 wave 2 release
Wave 2 release includes new capabilities across business applications including Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Supply Chain, the Power Platform and more. You can learn more about: