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How to Install/Find/Use the Ability to Create and Edit an SSRS Report

Last Modified: 2019-08-15

I really hate that someone has made it very difficult to create or edit a SQL Reporting Services (SSRS) Report.  In the old days, when I worked with SSRS everyday, I simply used the Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS).

Now, you cannot find anything like BIDS in the newer versions of SSRS.  I hate Report Builder and refuse to use it.

Last week, I followed instructions found online and installed Visual Studio Tools.  And, I asked the IT department to reboot the SQL box late at night.  This was all in an effort to find the latest equivalent of BIDS.

But, I cannot find this.

What in the world do I use and how do I find it?

Please help!  I can't believe that this tool has been buried, in the newer version of SSRS.  

Thank you!  Much appreciated!

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lcohanDatabase Analyst

The easiest by far and lightest by far option to create (modify/compile/deploy) SSRS reports is in my opinion is to use "Microsoft SQL Server Report Builder" that can be downloaded from Microsoft and installed locally or on your SSRS Servers. You don't need to have the have VS and SSDT  in order to perform the exact same work on a much easier way resulting in the RDL file that you can save/edit/deploy/uplod/ETC much easier than VS Projects. Depending on your SQL and SSRS version please see the two links below:

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Report Builder 3.0

Microsoft® SQL Server® 2016 Report Builder


I really don't want to use Report Builder.  Thank you, for the suggestion, however.
lcohanDatabase Analyst

Well in that case the alternate answer to your question "What in the world do I use and how do I find it?" is... The Report Designer based on Visual Studio with all the goods and bads of having to use such a heavy/overloaded (in my opinion) tool just for SSRS Reports.

"Use Report Designer to create full-featured Reporting Services paginated reports and reporting solutions. Report Designer provides a graphical interface in which you can define data sources, datasets and queries, report layout positions for data regions and fields, and interactive features such as parameters and sets of reports that work together.

Report Designer is a feature of SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT), a Microsoft Visual Studio environment for creating business intelligence solutions. SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) is not included with SQL Server. Download SQL Server Data Tools.


Thanks, lcohan.

Unfortunately, before posting this case, I had already rifled through that link.  It told me to download the tools, which I did last Friday, to no avail.  I do not see the Report Designer in any of the Tools' list.

The reason that I need to use the Report Designer is because, not only is that the app that I was trained on, but that app is the only one that I have used to conduct either modifications or creation of SSRS reports.

I don't like Report Builder because it is neither user friendly nor does it offer in any way, shape, or form a simple means of uploading reports once you have conducted modifications.


lcohanDatabase Analyst

What SQL Server version are you using?
Did your had a look at "Deployment and Version Support in SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT)"

"SQL Server Data Tools supports the following scenarios:
Open report definitions (*.rdl) and report server projects (*.rptproj).
Build report definitions.
Preview reports in Report Designer.
Deploy reports to report servers."


Hi lcohan:

It's SQL Server 2017.   Yes, I had already reviewed that document prior to opening this case.  It does not explain how to find the Report Designer.

Sure, it lists the steps for finding the Report Designer.  But, the steps are wrong.

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