Report Designer is a tool that you can use to publish reports to a report server. Report Designer is integrated with Microsoft Visual Studio® .NET 2003. You install Report Designer features into Visual Studio .NET using a setup program. After installation, you can create reports by creating a new report project.
To create a report using Report Designer, you create a new project in Visual Studio and add a report or set of reports to it. You can create tabular, matrix, or freeform reports. Tabular reports and matrix reports, also known as crosstab or pivot table reports, are easily created using Report Wizard. Freeform reports, which can include tables, matrices, and any number of other elements, are created using the familiar Visual Studio .NET interface.
While developing a report, you have the option of testing it locally, without publishing it to a report server. Report Designer can use the same processing and rendering extensions that the server uses, ensuring that users see the report as it was intended when they run it from the server.
You publish, or deploy, a report using the Visual Studio build process. Report Designer deploys the report to a report server that you select, after which you can manage properties and security using administration tools such as Report Manager.
Most features of Report Definition Language (RDL) are available in Report Designer. For information about these features and how to use Report Designer, see Designing and Creating Reports.