Give Blood (Report Expressions in Report Builder)

It’s not obvious, but SQL Server 2005 Report Builder allows you to use expressions in textboxes on the report surface. You don’t get an expression editor, but if you begin a textbox value with ‘=’, it will be evaluated at report processing time. For example, you can add a time / date stamp to a report…


Fingerpops (RS and Flattened Rowsets)

We have gotten some negative feedback from customers about the RS/AS integration in SQL 2005. This is frequently communicated as a “flattened rowset versus cellset” issue. While RS does consume data from sources in a rowset format, flattened rowsets from AS provide identical functionality to cellsets. The exact same information is provided by AS to the client application – …


Snowing Sun (New RDL Specification)

We have uploaded a new Report Definition (RDL) specification to the SQL Server web site. The RDLNov05.PDF file contains the SSRS 2005 version. It’s the same tags that are documented in SQL 2005 Books Online, just in a single document.

Antics (SQL 2005 Documentation Updates)

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last entry. Lately, we have been working on plans for SQL Server “Katmai” as well as taking some much needed down time. Last weekend, the entire SQL team went up to Whistler, BC for some winter fun. It was especially interesting because the hotel we were in…


At the National Grid (Features for RS.Next)

Now that SQL 2005 is done, we have been working on plans for the next release of Reporting Services. While we have lots of ideas for new features, we are always interested to hear about what customers want. If you would like to see something in the next version, then post a comment with the suggestion on…


Calling Over Time (New Reporting Services 2005 Partner Products)

Now that SQL Server 2005 is released, some of our partners are updating and enhancing their products to work with the new version. I want to point out two great partners in with new products. The first is a company called Neodynamic Systems ( They have released a new product called Barcode Professional for Reporting…


Horses (Parameterized Web Service Report)

Several people have had trouble using the new XML data provider in SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services. Unfortunately, the feature came in very late in the cycle so the documentation is really sketchy. I have built a report that uses an Anagram web services at You can try out the methods at The…


Free Dirt (SQL Launch)

I haven’t gotten a chance to write a new blog entry since I returned from the SQL 2005 launch in San Francisco. The main entertainment (Cheap Trick and the Orange County Choppers guys) was fun but the highlight of the evening was AC/DShe, an all-girl AC/DC cover band.  They totally rocked! While it was a lot…

Houdini (GotReportViewer?)

If you are eager to get started with the Microsoft Report Viewer Controls in Visual Studio 2005, check out Rajeev’s new site at It’s got lots of great info and samples.


Bakesale (Upgrading from RS June CTP)

I know many of you have been testing Reporting Services using the SQL Server 2005 June CTP. While there is no officially supported upgrade path to the RTM version (the safest thing is to do a fresh install and then republish your reports), we do have some database upgrade scripts that we use internally to…