MSBI # 52– SSRS # 9 –Details for SSRS RDL Information i.e *.rdl file and its advantages

Hi folks ,

Continuing from my last post on SSRS :

  • MSBI # 4 – SSRS # 1 – What is SSRS ? – (SQL Server Reporting Services)
  • MSBI # 7 – SSRS # 2 – Get familiar with BIDS–SSRS ? – (SQL Server Reporting Services)
  • MSBI # 16 – SSRS # 3 – Some Question about SSRS for Deeper Understanding !
  • MSBI # 33 – SSRS # 4 – Everything and Explanation of Shared Data Source in SSRS
  • MSBI # 47 – SSRS # 5 – What is a Report ? and Report Definition Overview Diagrams !
  • MSBI # 49 – SSRS # 6 – What is a Reporting Services report and Why Use Reporting
  • MSBI # 50 – SSRS # 7 – Deep Dive into SSRS Details for its Components, Architecture, Rendering Extensions
  • MSBI # 51– SSRS # 8 – Details of SSRS Report Manager ,Report Builder Difference(1.0,2.0,3.0 ) ,Report Designer
  • In this article we are going to cover all details regarding RDL file which is nothing but extension for SSRS  

    As we know SSRS is flexible in terms of export any any of form its main RDL format


    Report Definition Language (RDL) is a standard proposed by Microsoft for defining reports.

    "A report definition contains data retrieval and layout information for a report. Report Definition Language (RDL) is an XML representation of this report definition”

    RDL is an XML application primarily used with Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services. RDL is usually written using Visual Studio, although there are also third-party tools; it may also be created or edited by hand in a text editor. SQL Server Reporting Services or other 3rd party reporting frameworks use RDL to define charts, graphs, calculations, text, images (through links) and other report objects and render them in a variety of formats.

    There are three high-level sections in a typical RDL file:

  • Page style
  • Field definitions
  • Parameters and Database connections
  • Lets understand this section

    · Page style – The objects to display including fields, images, graphs, tables.

    · Field definitions – The extended attributes of fields which are populated with formulas, dynamic data, or Database derived data.

    · Parameters and Database connections – Parameters that may be furnished by the user or passed in from another application; and database connections and queries for pulling data into the report.

    RDL is a schema definition, not a programmatic interface or protocol like HTTP or ODBC. RDL does not specify how report definitions are passed between applications or how reports are processed. Also, RDL is meant to be fully encapsulated; meaning that successfully interpreting an RDL document should not require any understanding of the source application.

    RDL is designed to be output format neutral. This means that reports defined using RDL should be able to be output to a variety of formats including Web and print-ready formats or data-focused formats like XML. It is expected that the in process of generating different output formats, products may represent RDL constructs slightly differently or ignore certain constructs completely.

    SSRS RDL schema defines:

    · Report layout– the body of the RDL file defines all of the objects that will be displayed in the report, including fields, images and tables

    · Each dataset, the data source for each dataset and database connection information (where no data source is used)

    · A set of fields in each dataset that can be populated with data

    · Any parameters that are used in the report

    RDL is:

    · An XML schema for report definitions.

    · An interchange format for businesses and third parties.

    · An extensible and open schema that supports additional namespaces and custom elements.

    So RDL is XML representation for the definition of a report. This association is classified as XML. The Mime types used with this association are: text/xml.

    Comparing RDL and RDLC

    RDL and RDLC files have important technical and terminology differences as described below:

  • RDL and RDLC are defined by an XML schema called the Report Definition Language. The schema for both file formats is identical. The schema is documented in SQL Server 2005 Books Online.
  • The ReportViewer control, which processes .rdlc files, ignores the <Query> element of RDL. If a report definition contains a query, the control will not process it.

Hope this explanation is useful for you !!

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