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Microsoft Reporting vs. Microsoft Reporting Services
Posted by Skip Munk, Last modified by Skip Munk on 08 January 2017 01:33 PM

The line between Microsoft Reporting, and Microsoft Reporting Services can be a little murky. Both use a Report Definition file with the extension RDLC. However, that is where the similarity ends.

Because the two have a very similar look and feel from the front end, the end user, or even a system admin is unlikely to know the difference between the two. Adding to the confusion, a search engine query seeking information about either Microsoft.Reporting, or Microsoft.ReportingServices is likely to return the same results, all for Microsoft.ReportingServices.

It is only when we drill into the nitty-gritty in a development environment such as Visual Studio that the differences between these two becomes evident. The first difference is in the namespace:

  • Reporting
  • ReportingServices

When we use Microsoft.Reporting, we are typically working within a .Net Framework environment. The application that calls the given report (RDLC) performs all data gathering operations and compiles the information into a DataSet object, which is then passed to the RDLC file for rendering. The RDLC in Microsoft.Reporting does not have any UI features embedded such as parameter fields. All of that must be handled by the application itself. A Microsoft Reporting report can be implemented in a desktop or web environment. A Microsoft Reporting RDLC can be embedded to the application or included in the deployment package as an external file.

When we are using Microsoft.ReportingServices, we are typically working with Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). In this environment, the RDLC is more or less a self-contained component. The Reporting Services RDLC has the selection parameters embedded in the report form and the report form performs the query operations itself. The database connection string/definition can either be embedded in the report, or passed as an argument to the RDLC when called. A Microsoft Reporting Services report is web based only. If a Reporting Services report is called from a WinForms application, the application must call in the web URL for the report. A SSRS report can be defined to accept the query parameters as arguments rather than providing it’s own UI. A Reporting Services RDLC is always a linked external component to the application.

When using Microsoft.Reporting in a WebPart, make sure the correct definitions are included in the ASCX and Web.Config files:

In the ASCX file, make sure your assembly registration is:

<%@ Register Assembly="Microsoft.ReportViewer.WebForms, Version=10.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a" Namespace="Microsoft.Reporting.WebForms" TagPrefix="rsweb" %>

You will have two entries to check and confirm in your Web.Config file:

<system.web>
  <httpHandlers>
    <add path="Reserved.ReportViewerWebControl.axd" verb="*" type="Microsoft.Reporting.WebForms.HttpHandler, Microsoft.ReportViewer.WebForms, Version=10.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a" />
    ....
  </httpHandlers> 
  ....
</system.web>

If you find:

<add verb="*" path="Reserved.ReportViewerWebControl.axd" type="Microsoft.Reporting.WebForms.HttpHandler, Microsoft.ReportViewer.WebForms, Version=11.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=89845dcd8080cc91" />

Comment that line out.

The next entry in your web.config will be:

<system.webServer>
  ....     
  <handlers>
    <add name="ReportViewerWebControlHandler" preCondition="integratedMode" verb="*" path="Reserved.ReportViewerWebControl.axd" type="Microsoft.Reporting.WebForms.HttpHandler, Microsoft.ReportViewer.WebForms, Version=10.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a" /> 
    ....
  </handlers>
</system.webServer> 

If you find:

<add name="ReportViewerWebControlHandler" preCondition="integratedMode" verb="*" path="Reserved.ReportViewerWebControl.axd" type="Microsoft.Reporting.WebForms.HttpHandler, Microsoft.ReportViewer.WebForms, Version=11.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=89845dcd8080cc91" />

Comment that out as well.

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