All posts by dan w

Post-Processing SSRS Reports using OfficeWriter in .NET

Using OfficeWriter‘s integration with SSRS in conjunction with the Designer is typically a straightforward process with no programmatic manipulation of the reports. A developer designs the report in Visual Studio BIDS, opens the .rdl using the Designer, designs the template in Word/Excel, and publishes the report. The report is then rendered inside the Report Manager using the custom OfficeWriter export option. However, there are times that situations call for post-processing the report programmatically and that’s where the ExcelApplication and WordApplication objects come in. Accessing and rendering the reports through the SSRS API is straightforward and the resulting byte array can be turned into a MemoryStream and passed to OfficeWriter.

Adding the SSRS Web Service

The first step necessary to tapping into the SSRS API is to add the Report Execution Service to your web references inside of Visual Studio. The URL for the web service is likely along the lines of *http://localhost/reportserver/reportexecution2005.asmx*, where localhost/reportserver is the hostname and virtual directory of the SSRS server. Note that this is for SQL Server 2008, despite the 2005. This web service is located in the directory C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSRS10.MSSQLSERVER\Reporting Services\ReportServer in the example instance I am using. Continue reading Post-Processing SSRS Reports using OfficeWriter in .NET

How to Create a Renewal Forecast Report with CRM, ExcelWriter and SharePoint

After finishing off our ASP.NET, SQL, and ExcelWriter training, the Technical Services Interns were given a project to create a proof of concept involving the dynamic generation of internal reports. We would use our new SQL knowledge to pull data from a customer relations database (Microsoft CRM), our ExcelWriter knowledge to create a rich Excel report from that data, and our ASP.NET skills to create a Web Form whereby users could constrain the reports they received. The reports would then be ported into SharePoint webparts. The reports were split into three categories:

  • Renewal Forecast
  • Case Distribution
  • Customer Activity

This post addresses the first of these reports. The Renewal Forecast report gives a company’s Sales and Support departments insight into customer contracts coming up for renewal.

Creating the Renewal Forecast Report

The purpose of this report is to provide a detailed overview of customers’ support contracts that are nearing expiration so employees can better manage the renewal process. The front-end in SharePoint is customizable so the report is generated completely dynamically and populated using queries from CRM. It is all ASP.NET code and uses a very sharp looking jQuery datepicker. Of course, the report generation is handled nicely using an ExcelWriter template. Not a current ExcelWriter user? No problem: you can download a free evaluation and follow along! Continue reading How to Create a Renewal Forecast Report with CRM, ExcelWriter and SharePoint