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How to Create a Reporting Services 2005/2008 Template


At most large companies one business requirement is that all reports have the same look and feel.  This may vary by department, but there is typically some level of standardization amongst the business entities.  In most cases there is a header and footer template that needs to be seen on all reports.  Often developers I have seen developers start from scratch or copy and paste and existing report.  Those days are gone.  For all of you still using Reporting Services 2005, don’t worry this method is available to you also.  Here are the steps:

1.  Create a template report, maybe and .rdl that contains only the header and footer information.  These are items that are typically used throughout a company or department.

2.  Copy the .rdl file to one of the following directories

(SSRS 2005) - C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\Common7\IDE\PrivateAssemblies\ProjectItems\ReportProject

(SSRS 2008) - C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\IDE\PrivateAssemblies\ProjectItems\ReportProject

The next time you create a report, right click on the Reports folder in the Solution Explorer of your Reporting Services Project.  Then choose Add –> New Item.  A dialogue box will open, similar to the one below:


In the above screen shot, my template is named Dashboard Template.  Choose that item and click Add.  When the report is added to you project it will look exactly like the template you created.  Happy Report Writing!

Talk to you soon

Patrick LeBlanc, founder www.TSQLScripts.com and www.SQLLunch.com


Posted by knight_devin@hotmail.com on 20 November 2009

Great tip!  I'll start doing this myself.

Posted by tscoccol on 24 November 2009

Thanks, immensely helpful !

Posted by tnk on 24 November 2009

I'm confused by the wording of this. You say "for those of you still using Reporting Services 2005" as if to imply that this capability is native to 2008. However, you then specify where to copy the rdl to in order to use this tip with 2008.  

Posted by Patrick LeBlanc on 24 November 2009

The wording could be a little confusing.  The capability is

is available in both versions.  I mentioned 2005 because most people that I talk to are still running 2005.  The only difference is the directory in which you place the .rdl file.

Posted by dinesh on 24 November 2009

Thank u Patrick! This works fine with VS 2008 Pro.

Kind Regards,

Dinesh Halpage

Posted by pragnesh on 24 November 2009

Thanks Patrick,

Its a little but great feature sure for useful.



Posted by leon.venediktou on 25 November 2009

Nice one Patric, thanks for this.

Posted by Michael Tocik on 25 November 2009

When are Microsoft going to introduce something like a CSS for SSRS? Or have they in 2008?

Posted by cherie. on 26 November 2009

I agree! Creating 'user objects' from the core toolbox (tablix, text box etc) with the ability to save the properties would decrease build-time, enhance standardization and all that good stuff :-)

Posted by Juergen.Weiss on 28 December 2009

Great help, thanls

Posted by Juergen.Weiss on 28 December 2009

Great help, thanks

Posted by sabotta on 22 February 2013

I tried this with SQL Server 2012 and it works great.  Just a slight change in the folder path -- C:\Program Files|Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0\Common7\IDE\PrivateAssemblies\ProjectItems\ReportProject (for Visual Studio 2012)     or     C:\Program Files|Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE\PrivateAssemblies\ProjectItems\ReportProject (for Visual Studio 2010)

Posted by aswinirout1 on 6 August 2013

Hi Patrick,

I have one doubt ,that is if i change the existing template then how it will reflect in all the reports that build from this template.



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