Chapter 31



  • Designing reports
  • Generating reports
  • Deploying reports

One of the key components of almost every business application is reporting. Businesses put data into the system to get useful information out of it, and this information is generally in the form of reports. Numerous reporting tools and engines are available, and it can often be hard to choose which one is best for your application or system. (They tend to work in different ways and have different pros and cons.)

Visual Studio 2012 contains a built-in report designer that saves to files using the RDL file specification — and reports built using this designer can be generated using the local report engine, or rendered on a remote report server running SQL Server Reporting Services.


When you start designing reports, you either want to add a report to an existing project or start a completely new project (such as for a reporting application). If it is the latter, the easiest way to start is to create a new project using the Reports Application project template. This creates a Windows Forms project already set up with the necessary assembly references, a form with the Report Viewer control on it, and an empty report. Now look at the former scenario and how to manually get started (which actually isn’t much extra work).

Reports can be viewed in either a Windows Forms application or an ASP.NET application using the Report Viewer control. There are two Report ...

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