The report server uses rendering extensions to transform data and layout information from Report Processor into a device-specific format. Reporting Services includes six rendering extensions: HTML, Excel, Text, XML, Image, and PDF. Developers can create additional rendering extensions to generate reports in other formats. The following sections describe the rendering extensions provided with Reporting Services..
HTML Rendering Extension
When you request a report from the report server, either through a URL or Report Manager, the report server uses the HTML rendering extension to render the report.
Depending on the browser you use, the HTML rendering extension renders reports in either HTML 4.0 or HTML 3.2. Supported HTML 4.0 browsers include:
- Microsoft® Internet Explorer for Windows versions
- Netscape Navigator for Windows version 7.1
HTML 3.2 is used for all other browsers that support HTML, such as earlier versions of the browsers mentioned previously and Internet Explorer for Pocket PC. The HTML rendering extension generates all HTML using UTF-8 encoding.
The HTML rendering extension supports the MIME Encapsulation of Aggregate HTML Documents (MHTML) standard. The rendering extension embeds resources such as images, documents, or other binary files as MIME structures within the report HTML, in a single file. The encoded resources within the report increase the size of the report, but embedding the resources is useful for clients that do not have access to resources stored on the report server or in another location. MHTML reports are also useful for embedding within e-mail messages, because all resources are included with the report.
Excel Rendering Extension
The Excel rendering extension renders reports that can be viewed and modified in Microsoft Excel 2002 or later. This rendering extension creates files in MHTML, which carry a MIME type of ms-excel and contain HTML meta tags and XML data islands that are specific to Excel. While the Excel rendering extension renders HTML, the rendered report is intended to be viewed in Microsoft Excel, not in a browser.
Resources, such as images, are embedded within the report. For more information about designing reports for the Excel rendering extension, see Designing for Excel Output.
CSV Rendering Extension
The Comma-Separated Value (CSV) rendering extension renders reports in comma-delimited plain text files, without any formatting. Users can then open these files with a spreadsheet application, such as Microsoft Excel, or any other program that reads text files.
For more information about designing reports for the CSV rendering extension, see Designing for CSV Output.
XML Rendering Extension
The XML rendering extension renders reports in XML files. These XML files can then be stored or read by other programs.
The XML generated by the XML rendering extension is UTF-8 encoded.
Image Rendering Extension
The Image rendering extension renders reports to bitmaps or metafiles. The extension can render reports in the following formats: BMP, EMF, GIF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and WMF. By default, the image is rendered in TIFF format, which can be displayed with the default image viewer of your operating system (for example, Windows Picture and Fax Viewer). You can send the image to a printer from the viewer.
Using the Image rendering extension to render reports ensures that the report looks the same on every client. (When a user views a report in HTML, the appearance of that report can vary depending on the version of the user's browser, the user's browser settings, and the fonts that are available.) The Image rendering extension renders the report on the server, so all users see the same image. Because the report is rendered on the server, all fonts that are used in the report must be installed on the server.
PDF Rendering Extension
The PDF rendering extension renders reports in PDF files that can be opened and viewed with Adobe Acrobat 4.0 or later.
Additional Rendering Extensions
For more information about creating and implementing additional rendering extensions, see Extending Reporting Services.