When first looking into writing SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) Reports in Visual Studio, it’s easy to think that creating a report will be possible straight out of the box with one of the existing templates that Visual Studio comes with. Somewhat surprisingly, this is not the case for Visual Studio 2012 and 2013.
To be able to create and edit SSRS reports in Visual Studio 2012 or Visual Studio 2013, you will need to download two separate components from the Microsoft support site.
Install Microsoft SQL Server Data Tools Business Intelligence
The first component you need to install will enable Business Intelligence project templates in Visual Studio 2012. This component is called Microsoft SQL Server Data Tools Business Intelligence and you can find it here:
Install Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Applications
The second component you’ll need to install is called Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Applications 2012 (or 2013 depending on the version of Visual Studio that you prefer to work with). This component will enable you to create and edit SSRS reports
Currently the URL to download Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Applications component for Visual Studio 2012 can be found here:
After clicking to download both components from the Microsoft site, you may need to wait a while since the download is fairly large and could take a good 10 to 20 minutes depending on your internet connection. Also, the install process will take a while, so you should probably plan to grab a coffee while the install completes.
Once you have finished installing both components, you will finally be able to create and work with SSRS reports within Visual Studio. Here are the basic steps for setting up a new SSRS report project:
- Open up Visual Studio
- Select File –> New –> Project
- You will now see a new project template option called Business Intelligence
- Expand this project template and select the Reporting Services option.
- You can now either choose to use the setup wizard or just a plain project template.
- See the example image at the start of this article for a screen shot of what it looks like to select the new Reporting Services project template in Visual Studio 2012.
So there you go, that’s what is needed to be able to create or work with SSRS reports in Visual Studio. Note that once you have built your SSRS report, you will need to publish it to your Reporting Services server in order for it to be available to your user-base.