Wednesday, May 3, 2017

SSRS Tips: Creating 2012/2014 BI Templates Using VS 2015


With the release of VS 2015 shell, its now possible to utilize the BI templates available init for creating SSRS reports, SSIS packages and SSAS projects compatible with server versions 2012 till 2016 from the same unified environment.
This quick post discusses on two things that you need to consider while creating projects using VS 2015 shell which are targeted to deploy at a lower version server.


I had recently used VS 2015 shell for development of SSRS reports and SSIS packages for one of my projects. Our production server was still on 2014 version. As per official documentation of Microsoft VS 2015 shell can be used for creating packages, reports etc which can be deployed onto 2012, 2014 or 2016 versions. The link below has the details

As per the above I used SSDT 2015 for creating SSRS reports. After creating the reports I tested locally and once I was happy I decided to deploy the reports to the server which was in 2014 version.
For this I went to Project  Properties and tweaked the below properties

My expectation was that by setting this property I would be able to deploy the reports to 2014 server. But to my surprise I got the below message when I tried to deploy the rdl file

The definition of this report is not valid or supported by this version of Reporting Services. The report definition may have been created with a later version of Reporting Services, or contain content that is not well-formed or not valid based on Reporting Services schemas


I didn't understand why this was happening and did some analysis on other settings to see if there's anything I could find. Fortunately i was able to spot the below property

This comes under Tools options and determines the Server Version to which report is to be deployed. The default value set was 13.0 which corresponds to SQL 2016. Once I changed it to 12.0 and tried deploying, the report got successfully deployed to the server. 

Something to note next time when you do deployment of SSRS,SSIS or SSAS project from VS 2015 shell to make sure deployment is successful. 


Hope this quick tip will save you sometime in avoiding the above specified issue while deploying BI projects using VS 2015 shell templates