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Differences between Report Builder and Reporting Services
Part seven of a seven-part series of blogs

Report Builder and BIDS (the Visual Studio add-in for creating Reporting Services reports) are essentially the same underneath their very different looking skins. This blog lists the small number of differences.

  1. Report Builder vs. Reporting Services - Differences
  2. Report Builder Difference 1 - Look and Feel
  3. Difference 2 - Report Builder 3.0 has more wizards
  4. Difference 3 - Creating Datasets in Report Builder
  5. Difference 4 - Expression Intellisense in Report Builder
  6. Difference 5 - Using Report Parts in Report Builder
  7. Other Differences for Report Builder (this blog)

Posted by Andy Brown on 07 November 2011

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Other Differences

In additon to the differences already listed in this blog, here's a summary of some other minor differences we've found.

The Number Format Bug

In BIDS, when you try to change the number format of a text box using the properties dialog box, it tends to vanish:

Number format dialog box

When you click on the Number category shown here for a second or subsequent time in a BIDS session, the dialog box tends to disappear. This bug doesn't seem to be present in Report Builder 3.0.


Switching Report Item

In BIDS, you can switch between currently selected report items using a dropdown at the top of the properties window:

The dropdown for the report item

You can click on the dropdown shown to choose a different report item in BIDS.


Oddly, no such feature is included in Report Builder:

Report Builder - no dropdown

In Report Builder 3.0 you can still see what you have selected - you just can't change it.


Subreport Parameters

When editing the properties of a subreport in BIDS, you can't use a dropdown list to choose the parameter:

The subreport parameter dropdown

In Report Builder 3.0 this drop down list is populated with a list of the parameters in the subreport - shame this doesn't happen in BIDS.


Should you be using BIDS or Report Builder?  What this blog shows is that it doesn't matter too much.  We'd go for BIDS and Visual Studio, as the lack of intellisense in the Report Builder expression builder is annoying.


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