Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Workaround to upgrading SSRS project

This guide is more of work around for specific opportunity I faced at work. Hopefully, this can help someone else to create a workaround for a problem that should be rather easy to be fixed, but there are limitations that prevent you from taking the simple solution.


You have upgraded to newest Visual Studio 2015 and you are excited (not me) to make some reports. You get the path for the project and you create working directory using Visual Source Safe ( an old tool that got replaced by Team Foundation Server). Now that files are on your local machine, you fire up Visual Studio and try to open the solution only to get the following screen.
Now What? You talk to other people and they are still using Visual Studio 2010 and you are not allowed to upgrade and break it for everyone.


  • Create new project and name it something different from original project to avoid confusion
  • Now that we have a project we need to copy all report definitions to the new location that was created for the project. To do that just find all .RDL files in old folder and copy them to new folder that was created for the project.
  • Now just add reports to the project by right-clicking on Reports Folder in Solution explorer and select all reports that have been copied over.
  • At this point reports are in new project and you are ready to develop (or are you)
  • You find the most amazing report that looks something like this and you click Preview just to get the following error.
  • This error even though it is cryptic, is actually missing Shared Data Source file that existed in the original project.
  • Now all we have to do is copy .RDS file found in the original directory to the new directory where we placed .RDL files and then add Existing Item under Shared Data Sources
  • At this point we can preview report but now arises the issue of deploying it the server. Since we created the new project we don't know where it needs to be deployed. Luckily this can be easily fixed by opening .rptproj file in Notepad++ or another editor and looking for Configurations element. It should look something like this.
            <TargetDataSourceFolder>/MyProjectTarget/Data Sources</TargetDataSourceFolder>
            <TargetReportPartFolder>Report Parts</TargetReportPartFolder>
  • Once you have that information just place it project properties of your new project and you are done.


Couple things to consider, but doing this we have removed the project from original source control solution and it will take additional effort to commit it back to source control. The easiest way to overcome would be to check out and check-in files from new location using Source Control utility. In my case, I can easily check out and check files back in using Visual SourceSafe Explorer.

As always questions and comments are welcomed and I if I can add any details to help out fellow developer I would be happy to do so.

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