SQL Server Reporting Services: Should support include files

It's common to want to embed custom code within reports in Reporting Services. One thing I don't like is the inclusion of anything that looks like business logic directly in the reports. However, formatting functions, etc. seem totally appropriate.

 

If I want to embed custom code within Reporting Services though, I currently have two options. One is to embed the code in the report, the other is to reference an assembly. Each of these has drawbacks.

 

If I embed the code in a report (say just some formatting functions), I have to edit every report if I ever change that code.

 

 The answer has been to use an assembly instead. The downside of placing code in an assembly is that I now have a deployment issue. It's very easy to deploy an RDL report file but quite another thing to deploy a .NET assembly that is referenced by it.

 

What I’d really like to see is an in-between option. I think a good solution would be to allow me to have another node in Solution Explorer, called something like “Shared Code” or some similar name. I could then have sets of code that I might want embedded in various reports. Then in the properties of a report, I could just specify that which of these pieces of code I'd like to have included (and embedded) in the report.

 

This would give me the benefit of only a single place to need to write/update the code but no downside on deployment as the code would simply be embedded in the RDL files.

 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. If you like it (or even if you don't), the Connect item is here: https://connect.microsoft.com/SQLServer/feedback/details/534679/reporting-services-should-support-include-files-via-code-inclusions

 

 

DevWeek in London – coming up in March – early bird ends soon

DevWeek is on again this year http://www.devweek.com

Should be good to catch up with many of my European colleagues again. DevWeek is on March 15 – 19 at the Barbican Centre in London. The early bird pricing runs till 19th February.

A number of my colleagues will be speaking as well: Itzik Ben-Gan, Javier Loria and Davide Mauro.

I'm looking forward to seeing them and all the SQL crowd that will make it to London for the event.

On the Monday, I'm presenting a precon entitled "A Day on SQL Server 2008 R2". Should be fun. Then a number of breakout sessions during the week: "Understanding SQL Server Indexing", "SQL Server Management Studio Tips and Tricks", "Working with addresses and locations in SQL Server". I'm hoping to also get to see some of Itzik's, Javier's and Davide's sessions.

If you're heading to DevWeek, please stop by and say hello.