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SSRS(Sql Server Reporting Services) Reports


What is SSRS reports?

SSRS stands for SQL Server Reporting services a server based report generation software system from Microsoft.

SSRS is reporting platform whereby reports are stored in single centralized web server.

  • Reports deployment is so simpler.
  • SSRS  reports are  generated  by using BIDS(Business intelligence development server) included with SQL Server 2008.
  • The SQL Server 2008 version of BIDS has some nice enhancements to the user interface for designing, developing and testing reports.
  • For non-developers SQL Server 2008 has a new and enhanced version of Report Builder, which was first released with SQL Server 2005.

RDLC Reports and RDL Reports.

RDLC Reports(Report definition language ‘Client’:

RDLC reports are client contained reports that are not hosted any  where. The extra c in the name means 'Client'. Generally this is an extension of the RDL language meant for use only in Visual Studio Client Applications. It exists in Visual Studio when you add a 'reporting' item.


  • We can use WCF service much easier to the  dataset.
  • We have more control over the dataset and can use POCO classes filled with Entity framework objects or ADO.NET directly as well as tables themselves.
  • You can do customization with add on’s in code behind.
  • It has no licensing tags to it.


  • You need to handle parameters on your own .
  • The user cannot see the parameters in a 'Report Viewer' control unless it is in remote mode and accessing an RDL report. Thus you need to make textboxes, dropdowns, and radio buttons on your own outside the control to pass to it.
  • Anything you want to do with servicing the reports for distribution you need to build yourself.

RDL Reports(Report definition language):

Report Definition Language (RDL) is a Microsoft-standard XML schema for representing reports.

RDL reports are hosted reports generally. This means you need to implement SSRS Server. They are a built in extension of Visual Studio from SQL Server for the reporting language. When you install SSRS you should have an add on’s called 'Business Intelligence Development Studio' which is much easier to work with the reports than without it.


  • You can host the reports in an environment that has services running for you on them.
  • You can configure security on an item or inheriting level to handle security as a standalone concept ,
  • You can configure the service to send out emails(provided you have an SMTP server you have access to) and save files on schedules
  • You have a database generally called 'ReportServer' you can query for info on the reports once published.
  • You can access these reports still through 'ReportViewer' in a client application written in ASP.NET, WPF (with a winform control bleh!), or Winforms in .NET using 'ProcessingMode.Remote'.
  •  You can set parameters a user can see and use to gain more flexibility.
  • You can configure parts of a report to be used for connection strings as 'Data Sources' as well as a sql query, xml, or other datasets as a 'Dataset'. These parts and others can be stored and configured to cache data on a regular basis.


  • We have to deploy an .rdl file to a report server and access it using that server.
  • When an RDL file is used by the ReportViewer control, the SQL related information in the RDL file is simply ignored by the control.
  • Guage objects are not supported.

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