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Reporting in ASP.NET website

Posted on 2013-02-07
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I need to create some reports using SSRS for my ASP.NET websites. I'm very new to SSRS.
Can you provide some general guide how to approach this project?
First I installed Reporting Service in SQL server and I'm fooling around with BID tool and got far to where I know how to publish to http. But I feel this BID is somewhat limited in creating report. I like to know how other report developers work with and how the production and development environments are set up so that I start up in the right direction.
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Question by:crcsupport
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by:crcsupport
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And also in Expression, Can I use all .Net Framework functions and properties? I'm comfortable using C# instead of Visual Basic. I saw a couple of tutorials where Expression editor allows to use .net Visual Basic funtions, I wonder if I'm also open to use all .net C# codes such as string, regex and others.
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by:Manoj Patil
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by:ValentinoV
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Developers are using BIDS for their report development, it is the recommended tool to use. Is it limited?  Well, every tool has its limits, right?  But my opinion is that you can actually get quite a lot done using BIDS for SSRS development.  It's just a matter of getting used to, and experience.

The language to use for expressions is indeed limited to VB, no C#.  But the expression functions are not limited to what's mentioned in the Expression builder.  You can indeed make use of the .NET framework.

Here's an example that uses the Regex class.  Matches is a static method so doesn't require a class instantiation:

=System.Text.RegularExpressions.Regex.Matches("Who writes these notes?", "\b\w+es\b").Count

Open in new window

(example based on Regex.Matches Method example)

The example above should result in 2.

Can you use the whole .NET framework?  Well, probably not.  As these are running on the SSRS server, there are some security (and other) issues if that would be allowed.  But the following should be supported at least:

You can write expressions that use functions from the Microsoft Visual Basic run-time library, and from the System.Convert and System.Math namespaces. You can add references to functions from other assemblies or custom code. You can also use classes from the Microsoft .NET Framework, including System.Text.RegularExpressions.

More info: Expression Examples

If the above does not satisfy your needs, or you really want to use C#, that's possible as well.  It can be done by developing a custom assembly (in C#) and then add it to your report.  But I wouldn't recommend this because it makes deployment and maintenance more complicated.

More info: Custom Code and Assembly References in Expressions in Report Designer
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