Creating a Deltek Vision Custom Invoice report seems like a daunting task. We know that sometimes the standard invoice template just isn’t for you. That’s why 9DOTS thinks outside of the box. A client or project may need customizations that seem impossible to create. Here are Three Easy Ways to create a custom invoice template to fit your exact needs

Editing the Deltek Vision Invoice Report

You can edit the Deltek Vision Invoice report in any version of Visual Studio, but you must compile the project for SQL Server 2008 R2, 2012, or 2014. Instead of trying to find a computer that has BIDS (Business Intelligence Development Studio for Visual Studio 2008), use any later version of Visual Studio and control the deployment of your reports easily.

To start, in the Visual Studio toolbar, select Project > Properties.
Vision Custom Invoice
Vision Custom Invoice
What’s the difference? RDL files directly from your project directory can’t be uploaded to Vision because they are not the correct XML Schema. Once you change the TargetServerVersion property and build your project, you can use the RDLs located in the OutputPath (bin\Debug) that have the schema defined by the TargetServerVersion.
From the Project Folder:
Vision Custom Invoice
From the bin\Debug Directory:
Vision Custom Invoice
The standard invoice report is a single SSRS report that contains 42 subreports. Five of those subreports contain subreports:
  1. BillingBackup.rdl
  2. CreditInvoice.rdl
  3. CreditInvoiceDetail.rdl
  4. IntercompanyInvoice.rdl
  5. Invoice.rdl
Customizations to the standard invoice may require changes to the subreports and their queries.
Vision Custom Invoice

Renaming the RDL Files

It is generally a good idea to rename all of the RDL files in the project. Our general naming convention is <client name>_<short customization identifier>_<existing RDL name>.rdl


  1. 9DOTS_BillingPhasePercentage_Invoice.rdl
  2. 9DOTS_BillingPhasePercentage_InvoiceFee.rdl

Rename all the RDLs in the project the same way. If you are creating many Vision Custom Invoice templates, this renaming process allows you to keep your files organized. Renaming the RDL files this way also gives you the ability to identify which Invoice Template you are using in the Invoice Template Editor.

Don’t Modify Existing Report Elements

Try not to modify existing report elements and parameters. Deleting or making changes to report elements can result in unexpected behavior when running your vision custom invoice report. It can also result in report errors when you are viewing your invoice.

Alternatively, you can control element visibility by using the Visibility Category in the Properties window. Some report elements are conditionally hidden based on a parameter value, like in the screenshot below.
Vision Custom Invoice
These three tips are ways 9DOTS teaches our clients how to create their own Vision Custom Invoice. We hope this makes it simpler for you when a standard invoice report just isn’t working for your client or project. Please contact our team with any questions or for more helpful tips and tricks!

“In all negotiations of difficulty, a person may not look to sow and reap at once; but must prepare business, and so ripen it by degrees.” – Francis Bacon

In thinking of this month’s blog, I wanted to write about the hardest part of life, business or personal, and that is negotiating. The world is full of wise sayings regarding negotiating: how to get to YES, get past NO, win, gain an Advantage, close the deal, get leverage, influence or persuade others and so forth. But going out and doing it is much harder than any class or self-help book you read. There are 12 negotiation strategies I use every day.

Each month over the next year, I will lay out 1 of these 12 negotiation strategies to help you in any part of life, business or personal. After all, life itself is a negotiation. The strategies together are different than what most people believe negotiating means.

At 9DOTS we pride ourselves on thinking differently, thinking outside the box. Follow me on this journey, and together, we will use these negotiation strategies to GET MORE.

Negotiation Strategy #1: GOALS ARE PARAMOUNT

Goals are what you want at the end of the negotiation that you do not have at the beginning. Clearly, we need to negotiate to meet our goals. That sounds too easy. But many of us take actions that are contrary to our goals in order to settle. In a negotiation, you should not pursue relationships, win-win or anything else, because you think its an effective tool. Everything you do in a negotiation should bring you closer to your set goal. Otherwise, it’s irrelevant or damaging.

The point of negotiating is to get what you want. Why should you negotiate to create a relationship if it won’t help you meet your goal? Studies show that setting goals is the most important thing anyone can do for themselves.

negotiation strategies

First, decide what your goal IS, explicitly, at the beginning. And continue to remind yourself of that goal along the way. Too often, we do not complete the goal because we lose focus or get distracted.  How many times have you walked into a meeting and said, “What do you want at the end of this meeting that you do not have NOW?” Try it today. You will be amazed at the difference responses everyone will have. Even the slightest difference in the goals can wind up a mess in negotiation.

Not having a goal is like getting into your car and not knowing where you are going. Not checking your goals is like not checking the map along the way. People get distracted. New information emerges. Unless you check the goals at intervals, you are less likely to complete them. Ask yourself, “Are my actions meeting my goals?” The world is full of people that do not do this. They get emotional, distracted, or frustrated. This goes for you in business AND in any personal relationships you care about.

Again, write down your goals. Check them often. I’d love your feedback on these negotiatiom strategies if you try this over the next month before meetings, conversations with family, etc. Did you know your goal heading into the conversation? Did you focus on the goal? How did it work out? I am starting you with just one strategy here, start using it. Imagine how successful you will be with your negotiation strategies once you learn all twelve!

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9DOTS CEO connects the DOTS every month. Subscribe here (click Subscribe at the top left of the link) to our newsletter so you never miss a post. 

Check back next month & think outside the box with us.