Report Development Environment

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This section describes the tools and access privileges required to write and publish a report.

Required Tools

Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services 2000 with SP2 or Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services 2005 must be installed on the Microsoft CRM server or on a separate reporting server, depending on where reports are being served from.

It is recommended that you use Visual Studio and Report Designer (a component of SQL Reporting Services) to write reports. Use Visual Studio .NET 2003 when you create or modify reports for Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services 2000. Use Visual Studio 2005 when you create or modify reports for Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services 2005. Visual Studio and Report Designer must be installed on the computer where the reports are authored, and you must have access to a Microsoft CRM server to deploy the reports.

As an alternative, reports can be authored using a common text editor. It is best to start with a copy of an existing report that provides most of the desired functionality and modify it to meet your needs. This reduces the amount of work necessary to create a custom report using a text editor. The format of the XML elements in an RDL file can be found at The modified report XML can be verified using the provided RDL XML schema.

Required Access Privileges

To publish a report in Microsoft CRM, you must have the Microsoft CRM Report Manager privilege. By default, the System Administrator and System Customizer security roles have the Report Manager privilege. If your network configuration employs a separate reporting server from the Microsoft CRM server, you should have access to that server to use Report Manager on that server.

Using Visual Studio .NET

What you see in the Preview tab of Visual Studio .NET does not always match exactly what you see when the report is deployed and run, especially with respect to white space and padding. The spacing and padding between levels of grouping are not rendered as designed. To see exactly how a report is rendered, you must deploy and run the report.

When creating a new report project in Visual Studio .NET, use one of the project templates from the Business Intelligence folder of the New Project dialog box.

For more information about creating Reporting Services reports in Visual Studio.NET, see the Reporting Services Books Online. The book appears in the Visual Studio .NET online Help after being installed from the Reporting Services installer.

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