Working with and without a Report Server (Report Builder 2.0)

With Report Builder 2.0, you can work with report definition (.rdl) files directly from a report server or a SharePoint site that is integrated with a report server. You can open, edit, and save a report with the same or a new name on the report server. You can use shared data sources and report models from the report server directly in your report. When you preview the report, report processing occurs on the report server.

Report Builder 2.0 maintains a list of the report servers that you have used and displays them in the Recent Sites and Servers list in the Open and Save dialog boxes. Report Builder 2.0 also displays the report server that you are currently connected to in the status bar of the main window.

You can specify a default report server when you install Report Builder 2.0, or in the Options dialog box: click the Report Builder button and then click Options. If you have specified a default report server, when you open Report Builder 2.0 it connects to that report server automatically.

When you change the default report server in the Options dialog box, you must restart Report Builder 2.0 for the change to take effect.


To start Report Builder 2.0 with no connection to a report server, in the Options dialog box, leave the default report server box blank.

When you preview reports, some features only work when you are connected to a report server:

  • Drillthrough actions

  • Subreports

  • Custom assemblies

  • Custom report items

  • Additional data extensions

You can also author reports and store them on your local file system. When you preview these reports, report processing occurs on your local computer. When you are authoring reports without a report server, you cannot use drillthrough reports, subreports, images on the report server, or shared data sources. You may be able to define these objects in your report, but the references will not resolve when you attempt to preview your report, and you will get error messages.

In Report Builder 2.0, you can include a reference to a shared data source on a report server, and run the report. This means you and your report readers need permissions for the shared data sources that you reference on the report server. You can create new datasets based on these shared data sources. To modify the dataset in Report Builder, you may be prompted to enter credentials for connecting directly to the underlying database. However, when you run the report, the connection will be made with the credentials that are stored on the report server.

An embedded data source is stored in the report itself, and so can only be the data source for that one report. You can create an embedded data source in a report on a report server or on your local machine.

For more information, see Embedded and Shared Data Sources (Report Builder 2.0) and Working with Embedded and Shared Data Sources (Report Builder 2.0).

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