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Add reports to VB.net application

I need a simple report solution for my vb.net application. I've created a crystal report awhile ago but it is a lot of job to create. I'd like something like the reports built into MS Dynamics RMS. My main point is that I don't want to be tied to Visual Studio to build a report. I'd like to be able to write the reports in notepad like it works in RMS and load it into my application, very simple and not over complicated. Maybe crystal reports would work for me but I don't know how to use it??

Any suggestions? If there's nothing exactly like I described, maybe something close?
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timbraun
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timbraun
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EYoungCommented:
I can certainly understand your reluctance to use Crystal Reports.  I have used it for around 15 years and finally got fed up with the .dll problems in deployment.  I switched to MS SSRS and since it uses the .Net Framework, there are no .dll issues to deal with.   With that said, there is a learning curve with SSRS but there is with any reporting tool of any sophistication.  Just an idea.  Best of luck.
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timbraunAuthor Commented:
Hey thanks for the idea EYoung.

A few questions concerning SSRS if you don't mind.

1. Can SSRS be used with SQL server 2005 express?
2. Is there a report builder or do you write the report code. I hate xml btw, I hope it would be simple coding. :)
3. Is there a separate cost for using SSRS, a recurring cost?
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EYoungCommented:
1.  SSRS can be used with SQL Server 2005 express.  Here is a link:  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc966542.aspx

2.  The SSRS report writer comes with SQL Server and with Visual Studio.  I like to use the one in Visual Studio as the IDE is easier to use.  There is a learning curve but not nearly as difficult as CR.  If you try some simple reports, you will probably like it fairly quickly.

3.  There are no separate or recurring costs for SSRS.  You will need to download and install this run-time distributable but it is just one easy-to-run executable:  http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=a941c6b2-64dd-4d03-9ca7-4017a0d164fd
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timbraunAuthor Commented:
Thanks!
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