What's New in Microsoft Reports

Windows Server 2008 Visual Studio 2012 contains the following new reporting features to help you design reports, display them in your applications, and integrate your applications with Windows Server 2008 SQL Server Reporting Services:

The Visual Studio 2012 Report Designer supports report creation based on the Definition Language (RDL) 2010 schema. The following new features are included in this schema:

  • New report items: maps, sparklines, data bars, and indicators

  • Naming Excel worksheet tabs

  • Report pagination

  • Rotating text 270 degrees

  • Calculating aggregates of aggregates

  • Enhanced support for expressions

  • Lookup functions

For more information on each of these features, see What's New (Reporting Services) in SQL Server Books Online.

Reports based on the RDL 2008 schema can be opened and edited in Report Designer. When you create a new report, by default it is also set to the RDL 2008 schema. When you add functionality that is only supported by the RDL 2010 schema (such as adding a map report item), your report will be automatically upgraded to the RDL 2010 schema.

When you open your existing RDL 2005 reports in Report Designer, you must elect to upgrade your report to the RDL 2008 schema. The Visual Studio 2012 Report Designer does not support RDL 2005 reports without upgrading. However, you can still use the Visual Studio 2012 ReportViewer controls to display existing RDL 2005 reports.

When you use the ReportViewer controls in remote processing mode with a SQL Server 2008 or later version of the Reporting Services report server, you can enjoy report creation features available only in Reporting Services, such as custom report items.

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The following export formats have been added to the ReportViewer controls in this release:

  • Microsoft Excel XLSX: The Excel export option in the Export dropdown now exports to the Office Open XML format and the file extension is XLSX. This format is compatible with Microsoft Excel 2007-2010 as well as Microsoft Excel 2003 with the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint installed.

    This Excel format upgrade also has the following improvements:

    • Maximum rows per worksheet is 1,048,576.

    • Maximum columns per worksheet is 16,384.

    • Number of colors allowed in a worksheet is approximately 16 million (24-bit color).

    • ZIP compression provides smaller files sizes.

  • Microsoft Word DOCX: The Word format option in the Export dropdown now exports to the Office Open XML format and the file extension is DOCX. This format is compatible with Microsoft Word 2007-2010 as well as Microsoft Word 2003 with the Windows Server 2008 Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint installed.

The existing Excel (XLS) and Word (DOC) renderers are no longer visible in the Export dropdown, but can still be accessed programmatically. To retrieve the full list of rendering extensions that the ReportViewer controls support, use the ListRenderingExtensions method.

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A new property is added in both the ASP.NET and Windows Forms namespaces: MapTileServerConfiguration. This property is added to support the map report item. No other changes have been made to the ReportViewer API.

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Internet Explorer 6 is no longer supported by the ASP.NET AJAX ReportViewer control in this release, and Internet Explorer 9 is now supported. For a detailed support matrix, see Browser Support for ReportViewer Web Server Controls.

The ASP.NET AJAX ReportViewer control also contains a number of performance improvements for HTML rendering of large report pages and large numbers of parameter values.

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