Getting Started in Report Designer

Report Designer is a report authoring tool that supports a rich set of features to help you create reports that present a compelling visual display for your report data. Great reports are designed to answer questions. The way that you design your report depends on the questions you want the report to answer. To make the most effective choices about report design, you must understand both the report server and report design features. For more information, see Reporting Services Concepts.

Report Designer is a report design tool that is installed with Business Intelligence Development Studio when you install Reporting Services. In this environment, Report Designer runs inside Visual Studio. In addition to reports, you work in solution and project files to manage multiple reports, shared data sources, and multiple publishing configurations. For example, you might publish reports to a local server for debugging and to a network server for production. For more information, see Reporting Services in Business Intelligence Development Studio.

Report Designer features guide you through the report design process. You define the data to use for a report, add data regions to the report design surface, link the data and data regions, apply formatting, create or modify parameters to provide user interactivity, preview the result, and publish the report. Report Designer creates a report definition language (RDL) file in XML format that can be saved, reused, and modified. For more information, see Working with Report Designer in Business Intelligence Development Studio.

After you publish a report, you can manage data sources, parameters, and the report definition independently on the report server. You can also schedule report processing, create subscriptions, and export reports to a variety of popular file formats.

To get started writing your first report, see Tutorial: Creating a Basic Table Report. To learn more about how to create a report using Report Designer, see Report Design Basics and Creating Reports with Report Designer.