Report Builder 3.0 and Custom Report Item (CRI)


  • Does Report Builder 3.0 support editing Custom Report Items?  If so what needs to be done to register/install these CRI's to show up in the Report Builder UI for the user to see them?  To be clear, I'm not referring to Visual Studio / BI functionality as we already have this up and working as needed in the development department, rather I'm looking at this from a end user standpoint and/or a customer support standpoint where the users only have access to Report Builder in order to modify reports.  Currently I am attempting to get the Report Builder functionality working on a local workstation which already have SSRS installed Visual Studio / BI installed along with the CRIs.

    At this point when a user opens a report with a CRI they see "The custom report item type X is not installed".  I've looked at the MSReportBuilder.exe.config file which accompanies a local install of Report Builder.  This appears to be a simple .NET config file, but no apparent hooks to register CRIs right off.  There is no RSReportDesigner.config file like was modified for the SSRS server / BI environment.  The help file references "Custom Report Items, Threat and Vulnerability Mitigation (Reporting
    " but there doesn't appear to be any information for these.  Any help would be much appreciated.

    Monday, July 01, 2013 2:13 PM

All replies

  • There is some documentation here about what works and what doesn't work with Report Builder 3.0.  E.g.,

     "You cannot do the following:
     1.Add references or class member instances to a report.
     2.Preview a report with references to custom assemblies in local mode."

    Also, here:

     "To develop complex expressions or expressions that use custom code or custom assemblies, we recommend that you use Report Designer in Business Intelligence Development Studio."

    I hope this is helpful.

    Monday, July 01, 2013 6:00 PM
  • I think we may be referring to two different things.  In looking at the links provided, they appear to be referencing custom assemblies which are mainly used for logic processing (i.e. string formatting, calculations, etc) where as what I'm referring to is a Custom Report Item such as a Chart, Map, Barcode, etc.  For the CRI, there should be a DesignTime and/or RunTime "control" on the designer surface which allows users to interact through the properties window to set various settings in order to generate the desired UI display.  In comparison the logic processing is usually embedded in a single Text property and makes a function call.

    To confirm, I am editing reports which are running in "server" mode and do have the corresponding CRI assemblies installed and properly referenced.  Please correct me if I've misunderstood.


    Monday, July 01, 2013 7:00 PM
  • Hi Christopher,

    From your description, you have created custom report item on Report Designer and deploy it to Report Server, and you want to know if it can be used on Report Builder because of your users can modify reports on Report Builder only, right?

    We can know in the link Custom Report Items :
    "The custom report item consists of a run-time component, which is called by the report processor at run time, and a design-time component, which allows the custom report item to be available in Report Designer."

    So the Custom Report Items cannot be used on Report Builder in Reporting Services currently. If you have any concerns about this feature, you can submit a feedback at and hope it is resolved in the next release of service pack or product.

    Thank you for your understanding.

    Charlie Liao

    If you have any feedback on our support, please click here.

    Charlie Liao
    TechNet Community Support

    Tuesday, July 02, 2013 2:45 AM
  • Charlie, your assessment is correct.  Thank you for the CRI link as I had not seen this before. 

    In reading the documentation and thinking about this as a developer, the inclusion of one item (in this case Report Designer) in no way indicates the exclusion of another item (Report Builder).  As the documentation is geared toward BIDS and UI developers I would not have come to the conclusion that CRI's are not supported in Report Builder from reading this.  Furthermore, we know that Microsoft purchased the Dundas charts, maps, etc functionality a while back which *is* included in Report Builder and would further lead me to believe that CRI's might be supported in Report Builder in some way.

    If you are certain that CRI hooks aren't currently available in Report Builder then I thank you for the information and will log my feedback with the link provided.  I just haven't seen any documentation one way or the other that indicates this to be the case.
    Tuesday, July 02, 2013 2:24 PM
  • After further playing around with this, it does appear to be possible in Report Builder (at least partially).  My problem is I don't know how to duplicate what I've done to get the Custom Report Item to display at run time.  I've upgraded my Report Builder 3.0 to use the SQL 2012 version instead of the SQL 2008 R2 version (but this alone does not resolve everything).  I have runtime support when editing a Report in "server mode", but I still don't have Design Time support.  In looking at the URL reference below it appears to be possible (as this was created back in 2005).

    "classes from the Microsoft.ReportDesigner and Microsoft.ReportingServices namespaces to implement a custom report item run-time component and design-time component that can be used in Report Builder."!Custom%20Report%20Item%20Sample

    Now I just need to figure out the right combination to get everything to work as the documentation is apparently not very good.

    Thursday, July 11, 2013 3:07 PM