Returning to the Authoring Phase
At the end of Part I, we previewed our work in building a
blank report, and then saved the report file as RS02_Authoring for easy
identification. We will reopen the file and resume our exploration of report
design procedures, focusing immediately on additional features within a
continuing practice example. As you recall, we constructed RS02_Authoring,
a simple tabular report from "scratch," using a manual example for
our first exposure to authoring, versus a wizard-driven report, to enrich our
overview with a far greater number of the aspects of Report Designer. At
this stage, we will resume our progress within the layout of the report, and
build upon our work to date.
Opening the Report from Part I
Let's first reopen the Report
Project, and get to the Report File. We again launch Reporting
Services' Report Designer, found in Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003.
Navigate to Microsoft
Visual Studio .NET 2003 in the Programs group, as appropriate. The
equivalent on my PC appears as shown in Illustration 1.
Illustration 1: Getting
Started in Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 ...
Visual Studio .NET 2003 to initialize the application.
Development Environment [Design] opens.
--> Open --> Project from the main menu, as depicted in
Illustration 2: Selecting
a New Project
Navigate to the
location of project RS002-1, which we created in Part I (see the Creating the
Report Project subtopic in the Creating the Report Project and
the Report Files section).
arriving at the location, we see two related files within the Open Project
dialog, RS002-1.rptproj (the Project file), and RS002-1.sln
(the Solution file), as shown in Illustration 3.
Illustration 3: Files
Related to the Reporting Project
Projects and Solutions are
containers in Visual Studio .NET for managing files. The objects that
these containers hold are called Items.
is made up of a set of files. Projects generally produce one or more output
files when built, with the nature of the files depending on the type of Project.
While many of the details surrounding Project file components relate
more to Visual Studio .NET than to our current focus within the Report
Designer, it is helpful to know that Report Projects (Visual
Studio .NET projects that relate to Reporting Services) contain
reports, shared data sources, and resources. Projects belong to Solutions,
which contain one or more Projects, among other possible components.
NOTE: For more information about Visual
Studio .NET and its components / processes, see the Visual Studio .NET
to select it.
Explorer pane, containing RS02_Authoring.rdl, is depicted in Illustration
4: The Report Definition File in the Solution
RS02_Authoring.rdl is the Report Definition
file in which our work from Part I
is stored (in Report Definition Language, or "rdl").
on RS02_Authoring.rdl, which appears within the Solution Explorer
pane (the upper right corner of the Development Environment).
The Report Definition file for RS02_Authoring.rdl opens,
defaulted to the Layout tab in
front. The Design Surface is presented, as depicted in Illustration
The Layout Tab and Design Surface
The Design Surface
of the Layout tab is, we recall, the central "palette" from which
we started our blank report in Part I. We will
begin here, as we have a few more Layout considerations to explore
before moving on with the report.