Dynamics 365 Business Central: save report dataset to Excel

Dynamics 365 Business Central version 18.3 introduces a new interesting feature for report developers or consultants: the ability to export a report dataset to an Excel file for data inspection.

Why should you use this feature? Because in this way you can inspect the data that is generated for a given report dataset and you can optimize your report data processing and the relative performances or it can help you on troubleshooting.  The feature is also useful for end users for exporting report data to Excel for further processing, like filtering or pivoting.

How to use this feature?

Using this new feature is very simple. Just go to the report’s request page and select the Send to menu.

Here you have a new option now: Microsoft Excel Document (data only):

When you select this option, the report will be rendered to include data only (data without the layout) and the raw dataset will be presented in an Excel file:

The Excel file contains the value of each field and the value of each variable and caption defined in the report. The exported dataset is the same dataset that is streamed to the reporting engine component of Business Central. If you have binary data inside the report, this is not exported into Excel (obviously) but it gives you an indication of the byte size. It works also for reportextension’s data.

Consider it as a “report inspector” for devs and consultants 🙂

Users must have the Allow Action Export Report Dataset To Excel permission assigned (you can assign the Troubleshooting Tools or Export Report Excel permission sets to them).

P.S. could be interesting to have the report data exported also as XML, this could open lots of interesting scenarios.


  1. Thank you for article.

    Hooray, finally almost useful thing. Maybe after few years MS provide dataset in XML and will provide some tool in VSCODE extension “AL Language” which use “Microsoft.Reporting.WinForms.ReportViewer” control to render layout locally without publishing to server for development accelaration. XML a RDLC is enough to render report.

    This will be time saver when adjusting layout…



      1. Hello Stefano,

        Thank you for your suggestion to MS.
        I see that Microsoft reject it.

        I tried to write more decribing idea about report preview.

        I have working prototype.
        Demo is attached „ReportPreview.mp4“.

        I hope that Miscrosoft will accept this idea, because it can be time saver for layout developers.
        Many scenarios are opening with it (i.e. developing layout with production specific data).

        I do not know how to more propagate this idea… 😊 I really need it. 😊

        Kind Regards,


  2. It seems not all versions are supporting this new feature!
    W1 shows this new option.
    DE 18.3.27240.27581 sadly not 😉

    BR Andre


      1. This is the SaaS-DE Version from last week (friday or so), the W1 is from today.
        I am just downloading a newer build at the moment and will try again … the “mismatch” of build nos between DE and W1 made me a little suspicous.


  3. Please notice that for existing customers, you need to enable the feature in the Feature Management page.
    Furthermore, the menu item will show up only for users that have the ‘TROUBLESHOOTING TOOLS’ permission set – as there is a permission controlling the access.
    In the next version, there will be a dedicated permission set for it


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