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REPORT Definition language RDL

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What is RDL?

RDL is a file extension for an XML file used Microsoft SQL Server reporting services. RDL stands for REPORT DEFINATION LANGUAGE. RDL files provides printed information to the end user. It can be rendered into variety of formats as needed.

Follow the steps to generate reports: -

I. Open RDL Designer software.

II. Go to File menu and select New Report . You will get a form with the name "New Report Form Database"

III. Click the "Connection" tab you will see fields like Connection Type and Connection.

§ Connection Type:

In Connection type, select the type of the Database using which you will want to design RDL file.

§ Connection

Specify your Database path which is called as "Connection String" according to the type of the Database.
Ex: For SQLce the Connection String will be in following format:


Then Click on Test Connection to test the connection.

IV. Go to "SQL" tab

Here you can put the SQL query as shown below based on your requirement.

V. Grouping tab:

In this screen we have following fields:

In this "Pick a column to group":

Here we can select the field on which we can create grouping,

We can create subtotal of the fields using "Check columns you want to subtotal"

Calculate Grand total of the fields

VI. Report Preview:

After putting query in SQL tab and grouping we can see the table structure in Report Preview as shown below. In below example grouping has been done on Id.

Once the Structure is previewed click on OK. The screen contains all the fields which there in SQL Query.

In case if you want to change the query then go to Data Menu, click on Data Sets and then click on Data. (Here you can find the SQL statement which was entered in SQL tab while creating this table)

Here you can change the SQL query, after entering SQL query click on Refresh fields and all the fields will be reflected in Fields, then click on Apply, click on Ok.


Database objects executes only in Body Section. If we want to execute database objects in this section then we will have to create Parameters and then execute.

You can see the table names of the database which has connected. Also, you can write a query in the right text box.

Press Ok to proceed with the SQL statement.

The respected columns will be displayed in a auto generated table.

v. If you want to change the query, go to Data >> Dataset >> Data and write your query

Click Preview to see the output data.

If you have attached this RDL file to your project, then give association with respective button to get print report.