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Designing and Creating Reports

Reporting Services includes two tools for report design: Report Builder and Report Designer.

Report Builder is a client-side application that builds reports based on a report model. Using a simplified interface, you can query data and create on-demand reports. You do not have to understand the underlying databases, report definitions, or how Reporting Services stores reports in order to use Report Builder. For more information, see Ad Hoc Reporting with Report Models.

Report Designer is a tool for creating and publishing report definitions. Report Designer is installed through SQL Server 2005 and runs in the Microsoft Visual Studio .NET shell. Report Designer provides access to all report definition features. You do have to know how to query a data source, but you do not have to know RDL or how Reporting Services stores reports and resources in order to use Report Designer.

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Reporting Services stores report definitions in the report server database. These report definitions are created using Report Definition Language (RDL), an XML format that describes each element in a report, including the data model, format, and expressions.

Report Design Basics

Provides conceptual information about the elements and properties of a report.

Working with Report Designer

Describes how to use Report Designer to create and publish reports.

Design Considerations for Report Rendering

Discusses special considerations for specific output formats.

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