How to Create a Simple RDL Generator in Visual Studio .NET

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How to Create a Simple RDL Generator
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Regardless of the specific implementation of your application, your RDL generator needs to be able to perform some common tasks. If you will incorporate metadata (such as column names) from your data source in your report, you will need to add a data source connection and command text so that the application can query the data to get a current list of fields. You can then use this list of fields when generating the RDL (or you can hard code field names) for a report.
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You can build an RDL generator into any type of application, but for simplicity you will create a console application in this chapter. All code in this application is contained in a single RDLGenerator class, which is a variation of the sample RDL generator described in a walkthrough that you can find in Reporting Services Books Online. In this version of the RDL generator, you will use the XML custom data processing extension that you created earlier in this chapter. In this procedure, you will create a console application based on a template for an RDLGenerator class.
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Create a console application with an RDLGenerator class
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On the File menu, point to New, and then click Project. Click the Visual Basic Projects folder, and then click Console Application. Change the project name to AdventureWorksRDLGenerator, specify its location as C:\rs2000sbs\Workspace, and then click the OK button. In Solution Explorer, rename the file as RDLGenerator.vb. Replace the contents of the file with the contents of the RDLGeneratorClassVB.txt file in the C:\rs2000sbs\chap14 folder, shown here:
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Imports Imports Imports Imports Imports Imports Imports Imports System System.Collections System.Data System.Data.SqlClient System.IO System.Text System.Xml AdventureWorks.VB.ReportingServices.XMLDataExtension
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Namespace AdventureWorksRDLGenerator Class RDLGenerator Private m_connection As XMLConnection Private m_connectString As String Private m_commandText As String Private m_fields As ArrayList
Public Shared Sub Main() Dim myRDLGenerator As New RDLGenerator myRDLGenerator.Run() End Sub Main
Public Sub Run() Try Call methods to create the RDL Me.OpenConnection() Me.GenerateFieldsList() Me.GenerateRDL() Console.WriteLine( RDL file generated successfully. ) Catch exception As Exception Console.WriteLine(( An error occurred: + exception.Message))
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Finally Close the connection string m_connection.Close() End Try End Sub Run
Public Sub OpenConnection() End Sub OpenConnection TODO: Open a connection to the sample database Public Sub GenerateFieldsList() End Sub GenerateFieldsList TODO: Generate a list of fields for a report query Public Sub GenerateRDL() End Sub GenerateRdl End Class RdlGenerator TODO: Generate RDL using XmlTextWriter End Namespace AdventureWorksRDLGenerator
This code currently has placeholders for functions that you will add in subsequent procedures. 6 In Solution Explorer, right-click the name of the project, and then click Add Reference. 7 On the .NET tab, click the Browse button, and then navigate to Microsoft.ReportingServices.Interfaces.dll, which by default is located in C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL\Reporting Services\ReportServer\bin. Click this file, and then click the Open button. 8 Click the Browse button again to add a reference to your custom data processing extension AdventureWorks.VB.ReportingServices.XMLDataExtension.dll which is also in the C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL\Reporting Services\ReportServer\bin folder. 9 Click the OK button. 10 Save the file.
Adding a Data Source Connection
A data source connection is required only if you want to query the data source to get a list of fields to use while building your report. By getting a list of fields
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before the application generates the RDL, you can create a flexible report that adapts to the current data set. For example, you could reuse the application code to generate a table with three columns in one case and four columns in another case if the query changes between each execution of the application. If your application will produce a report that has a fixed structure, you don t need to implement a method to open the data source connection. In this procedure, you will add the OpenConnection() method to the application.
Add a method to open an XML connection
Replace the code for the OpenConnection() method in the project with the contents of the OpenConnectionVB.txt file in the C:\rs2000sbs\chap14 folder:
Public Sub OpenConnection() Create a connection object m_connection = New XMLConnection Create the connection string m_connectString = data source=C:\rs2000sbs\chap14\Purchase Order Details.xml" m_connection.ConnectionString = m_connectString Open the connection m_connection.Open() End Sub OpenConnection
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