Setting up Visual Studio for .rdl Reports

By Steven Blomquist | August 17, 2018

Recently I had to write a custom .rdl report for a CRM customer and I just wanted to share what was required to facilitate that process.  The information can be found out on the web but I didn’t find a page that could give a brief synopsis with the links to the downloads needed.  Here are your instructions for setting up Visual Studio for .rdl reports. First off you will need Visual Studio 2015, more on why later.

You need the following installed:

  1. Visual Studio 2015
  2. SSDT toolset for visual studio 2015 (Instructions here.) NOTE:  2015 instructions are further down the page.
  3. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Report Authoring Extension (At the time of this post the extension is not compatible with visual Studio 2017) (Instructions here.)

As to when the CRM Report Authoring Extensions might be ready for VS 2017 . . . who knows? The CRM Report Authoring Extensions were not ready for Visual Studio 2015 until December of 2016.

Check out Microsoft's page on authoring a custom report.

Please note that I could not get the report preview to work in Visual Studio 2015 so I had to preview the report in CRM itself by continually editing the report and connecting to my .rdl file. Not optimal but it did work. The preview in VS 2015 seemed to be having trouble connecting to my CRM organization. (Maybe someone will have more luck with a different CRM organization?) Just want to give the heads up that if the preview is not working for you in Visual Studio 2015, you are not alone and there is a way around it.

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