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Reporting Services - Report without a datasource/dataset?

Posted on 2009-05-04
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Perhaps I'm going about this in the wrong way, so if there's a better way please let me know.

I'm trying to create a report in Reporting Services without a datasource or dataset. That may sound odd, but the idea is that we want to create a form that is easily printable and exportable to different formats, and Reporting Services is a simple way (with a technology we know) to do that. It will be filled externally purely by parameters that are passed to it through the ReportViewer control in ASP.NET.

When I try to run the report by setting the data source to Sql Server, but leave the connection string blank, I get the error:

"A connection cannot be made to the database. Set and test the connection string"

I've tried the other types of connection strings without any luck and when I try to run the report, it won't display and gives me another error about the datasource being empty. I understand why it's complaining, but is there any setting that will allow this to work? I'd rather not set it to an existing database if possible, I'd like for it to be able to live on it's own.

Otherwise, is there a different way I should be going about this that's relatively straightforward? Basically, we just need to print a PDF form with specific values passed in. From what I saw, it looked like I would have to basically create the entire format of the PDF in code, but I'd rather start off with a template I could create manually (in a GUI designer) where I could designate where each parameter should display, then just pass in parameters each time the PDF would be generated to fill in the specific data. Basically, the same approach I'm already taking with Reporting Services, but perhaps with a different library.

We develop using Visual Studio 2005 with ASP.NET 2.0

Please let me know if I need to clarify anything.

Thanks,
-Matt
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Question by:tds_softwaredev
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Expert Comment

by:Emes
ID: 24296857
can you use a simple excel spreadsheet ?

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Expert Comment

by:mfreuden
ID: 24297083
You can easily do this with Report builder 2.0

download at:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=9f783224-9871-4eea-b1d5-f3140a253db6&displaylang=en

When you create a report, you will be prompted to select a data-source on a blank report-page.  simply remove the the Data-Region from the page that has the connection prompt within it.   Don't get tricked thinking you have to select one od the datasources.

Now you'll have a blank page ready to work with.
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mfreuden earned 2000 total points
ID: 24297178
You can also do this in the Development Studio by:

1. Create a New "report server" project.
2. Add a Blank report by right-clicking on "Reports" in the Solution Explorer and select "Add-->New Item", then select "Report".
3. Switch to Layout view and modify to your hearts content.
4. You'll need to specifiy the "Startup" Item" by right-clicking on the soluction in the Solution explorer window.

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Author Comment

by:tds_softwaredev
ID: 24297258
Ah, after taking a look at Report Builder 2.0, it looks like I'm mistaken. I can create a report without a datasource, even in VS 2005, but when I try to use the Table or Matrix objects, it gives me an error that they must be bound to a dataset. Anyone know if there's a way around this? Otherwise I'll just redesign without using those objects, but it would just be nice if I could since it allows them the columns to be easily aligned and manipulated.
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Assisted Solution

by:mfreuden
mfreuden earned 2000 total points
ID: 24297320
Nope, you can't use Table and Mattrix objects without a data source... sorry.
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Author Comment

by:tds_softwaredev
ID: 24297389
Alright, thanks!
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