Thursday, March 21, 2013

Retrieve report definition .rdl from a SQL 2005 report server


If you are a developer and confronted with a situation where there is no source for a report that is stored on a SQL 2005 report server, then you can download the report definition from the server itself. although it is not obvious.


A report that was developed by someone else is run on a particular Sql 2005 report server. This report has to be modified and migrated to a new server. There is no source available. But luckily you do have the rights to administer the report site. Then there is a way to download this report definition as a file to your development pc where you can then add it as an existing report to your Visual Studio project.


To retrieve the .rdl file

  • Open the SQL 2005 report site with Internet Explorer.
  • Browse to the folder with the report.
  • in this folder click on the ‘Show details’ button
  • The reports are now listed line by line with an edit button in front of the name. Click on the ‘Edit’ button of the report that you need.
  • The properties page for that report is opened. Under ‘Report Definition’ click on the ‘Edit’ link
  • The ‘File Download’ dialog window opens. Click on the ‘Save’ button.
  • In the ‘Save As’ dialog window select a location on your pc where you want to save the file. click on ‘Save’

Add the .rdl file to you reporting project

  • Open the Business Intelligence project with Visual Studio.
  • Right-click on the Reports folder and from the dropdown menu select ‘Add / Existing Item…’
  • In the open file dialog browse to the location where you downloaded the .rdl file and select it.
  • The report definition is now in your project ready for modification.

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