Solution Design Considerations for Multi-Lingual or Global Deployments (Reporting Services)
If your deployment requirements include support for multiple languages or cultures, the information in this topic can help you select tools and follow report authoring practices that support reports in multiple languages, and understand how language resources are used at run time.
This topic provides a list of the supported languages, describes how a language resource is used at run time, describes report language settings, and explains which items are not localized. For server-side components such as Report Manager and the report toolbar, the language resource is determined at run time. Both the client application (usually a browser) and the operating system of the computer that is running the report server play a part in determining which language resource is used.
For more information about language support in SQL Server 2008, see Hardware and Software Requirements for Installing SQL Server 2008 R2.
This topic does not explain effects of accessing a report server across different time zones. For more information about time zone issues, see Changing Time Zones and Clock Settings on a Report Server.
The following table describes how language versions are used throughout a Reporting Services installation.
How is it used?
Report server language
The report server language is the language of the operating system on which the report server is installed. This language is determined by the regional settings of the computer.
The report server language is the language used by a report server instance for the following items:
There are currently ten SQL Server languages. The report server language for a given report server instance will always be one of the ten available languages. Support for all ten of the SQL Server languages is provided in a single Reporting Services installation. There are no language packs to install.
The report server language is set when you create the report server database. If you use the Reporting Services Configuration tool to create the database, you specify the report server language when you run the Change Database Wizard.
If you install Reporting Services in a default configuration, Setup determines the report server language when it creates the report server database. The language resource that Setup uses is the one that mostly closely matches the language of the operating system:
Client browser language
Language and Locale settings in the client browser determine the language resource used for:
Reports use language settings for labels and formats:
Data that appears within a report is determined by the actual data values within the database and by database server collation settings.
SharePoint user interface
Language and Locale settings for the SharePoint user interface (UI) culture determine the language resources that are used for:
.NET Framework language pack
When the .NET Framework language pack is installed, errors returned by the .NET Framework are returned based on client language and locale settings. These errors include Reporting Services errors displayed in the SharePoint UI and in Report Manager.
SQL Server Reporting Services includes localized language resources for Setup, Report Designer, Model Designer, Report Manager, Report Builder, the report toolbar, and all messages that are returned from a report server. Reporting Services is localized into all languages supported by SQL Server. The resources for all supported languages are installed during setup. You do not have to run a separate installation program to add support for additional languages.
Language support varies depending on the server mode you are using. If you are not familiar with server modes, see Planning a Deployment Mode.
A native mode report server is available in the SQL Server languages only.
A report server that runs in SharePoint integrated mode supports additional languages through the Reporting Services Add-in and for Report Builder instances that you start from a SharePoint application page. Application pages that you use on a SharePoint site to view and manage report server items, and errors and warnings that appear on those pages, are available in additional languages.
Messages that originate from the report server and reports that you design in Report Designer are available only in the languages supported by SQL Server. This means that if you run the report server in SharePoint integrated mode, you might get a combination of languages if the SharePoint application pages are in a language that SQL Server does not support.
SQL Server Native mode
SharePoint Integrated mode
For Report Designer itself, the SQL Server language resource that is used in the report-authoring environment is determined by the language of the installation of Microsoft Visual Studio. For example, if you are running a Japanese version of Visual Studio, the Japanese language resource for Report Designer is used. If you are using a version of Visual Studio for which there is no close match in the SQL Server languages, the language resource for Report Designer and report definitions is U.S. English.
The following table provides a list of report definition elements and data structures that are affected by language support.
Element or data structure
Report definition (.rdl)
By default, a report definition (.rdl) file is language agnostic and does not take the language of the computer on which it is created. You can target a .rdl file to a specific language by setting the ReportLanguage property or the TextRunLanguage property for applicable items in the file.
Data in a report
Data is retrieved intact from the original data source. Reporting Services does not convert or translate data during report processing. If the report data source is a Japanese database, the data that appears in the report will always be in Japanese.
If you have different language versions of the same database, you can create a report that allows the user to select a data source at run time. To do this, you must define an expression in the report that returns a list of possible data sources. For more information, see Data Connections, Data Sources, and Connection Strings (SSRS).
Report name and description
The report name and description that appears in Report Manager always appears in the language in which the report definition was created. Neither browser settings nor server language will have any effect on this. If you created the report in the Korean version of Report Designer, the name and description will appear in Korean on the published report.
If you need a report name or description to appear in a different language, consider creating a linked report and then modifying the name and description of the linked report to a different language. For instructions on how to create a linked report, see How to: Create a Linked Report.
Date, currency, and number formats
In Report Designer, you can set the language on a report to show the formatted values (such as dates, currency, and numbers) of a specific language. Valid values for the Language property are the languages supported by the Microsoft .NET Framework.
The Language property is set on a report in Layout mode. The Language property determines the formatting rules that are used for all non-string data values, especially date, time, currency, and number formats.
Setting the language on a report is recommended if you deploy the report in a multilingual environment and you want to ensure that the formatting conforms to the language of the data and report layout.
If you do not set a language, the report server language determines the formats that are used.
If you want to dynamically set the locale and culture to the browser settings of the current use, you can set the Language property to the expression =User!Language. For more information about how to set the Language property to an expression, see Using Built-in Globals and Users References (Report Builder 3.0 and SSRS).
The browser language setting is the primary factor in determining which language resource is used by the report server for that client connection. For example, a user who uses a French version of Internet Explorer to access a report server on a Japanese operating system, will work with French versions of Report Manager, HTML Viewer, and the report server folder namespace. In addition, all errors, warnings, and informational messages will be returned in French.
Note that only the user interface components are affected by client language settings. The reports that you view and manage retain the language settings that were previously set for the report. In a multilingual environment, these factors may combine in such a way that multiple languages are displayed to a user within the same browser page. For example, if you use a French client to access a Japanese report, both French and Japanese characters are displayed to the user in the following ways:
Report Manager and the report toolbar will be in French because the client application is in French.
The report will be in Japanese (as will any report history snapshots of the report, parameter properties, or subscription properties that are set for the report) because the report is in Japanese.
Reporting Services does not include multi-language support for log files, the AdventureWorks2008R2 sample database, sample reports, and sample applications. These items are available only in English.
The AdventureWorks2008R2 sample database includes some localized content. Specifically, product descriptions are available in other languages besides English.