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Client-side Reports Using the Report Viewer

The Report Viewer Control in Visual Studio is a valuable tool when designing or updating an application.  This is a useful device to utilitize when  doing administrative reporting without adding the overhead of a full SQL Server Reporting Services install.  This can be beneficial when just a couple of reports are needed and/or when executing the reports involves a relatively small amount of processing.

The Report Viewer allows the reports to be stored and executed on the client-side of an application.  A developer just has to design a report and dataset in Visual Studio, bind the report to a report viewer that is added to the .aspx page, and assign the datasource of the report to the dataset which will be used to populate the report.  Parameters can also be added to get the correct data reported.  For instance you can report data for specific user or data within a supplied time frame.  Client-side reports get the .rdlc extension as opposed to the .rdl extension that is generated on a server side report.  The “c” is the denotation that the report is a client-side report.  In fact, with only a minor bit of editing, a server-side report can be translated to a client-side report and a client-side report can be translated into a server-side report.    

When using client-side reporting you get most of the power of a server-side report, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind.   The major issue is this; reports are compiled into the application.  This means that if you need to update a report, you have to re-deploy the application.  This is also the case with adding new reports.  Keep this in mind when determining if client-side reporting fits into your solution.


Client-side reporting can be a valuable tool to the right application. 

- Adam Wildman
.NET Application Developer

Tags: Visual Studio 

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