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Overview

 

OfficeWriter Designer .NET was introduced in version 8.6.0 of OfficeWriter. It is a completely rewritten version of our Excel Designer add-in using more modern technologies than the existing OfficeWriter Designer. The OfficeWriter Designer .NET is written in .NET/C# using VSTO (Visual Studio Tools for Office). It has no dependence on COM or VBA. The new Designer .NET has better platform support (i.e. 64-bit Office) and is more robust. However, it does not yet support all of the features found in the original Designer. Additional functionality will be added to future releases of the Designer .NET.

Benefits of OfficeWriter Designer .NET

  • Office 64-bit support
  • No dependencies on COM/VBA
  • More robust handling on modifications to queries in Visual Studio/Report Builder
  • Better parameter support with the View functionality

Limitations of Designer .NET

  • Does not update references to shared data sources when publishing to a new folder on the report server. It may be necessary to update shared data source file paths through Report Manager.
  • Unable to retrieve or publish directly to/from a SharePoint report library

Details

Platform

Feature

OfficeWriter Designer .NET

OfficeWriter Designer

Office 2007

Excel and Word 2007 (up through SP3)

Excel and Word 2007 SP2 or SP3

Office 2010

Excel and Word 2010 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Excel and Word 2010 (32-bit only) SP1

Office 2013

Excel and Word 2013 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Excel and Word 2013 (32-bit only)

System requirements

.NET 4.0 or higher
Visual Studio 2010 Tools for Office runtime (VSTO)

Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)
MS Query
Latest Microsoft service pack
Security Bulletain MS-012-060

SQL Server Reporting Services Version

Feature

OfficeWriter Designer .NET

OfficeWriter Designer

SSRS 2005

Not supported

RDLs created in VS 2005 supported.

SSRS 2008 (R2)

RDLs created in Visual Studio 2008/2010, Report Builder 3.0

RDLs created in Visual Studio 2008/2010, Report Builder 3.0

SSRS 2012

RDLs  created in Visual Studio 2010/2012, Report Builder 3.0

RDLs created in Visual Studio 2010/2012, Report Builder 3.0

SSRS 2016RDLS created in Visual Studio 2010+, Report Builder 3.0, or SQL Server 2016 Report Builder 

Basic Designer Functionality

Feature

OfficeWriter Designer .NET

OfficeWriter Designer

Open a report (server/disk)

Prevents users from opening multiple reports at once

Users can open multiple reports at once which may lead to corrupted reports. 

Save a report (server/disk)

Defaults to XLSX. Remembers last-saved file format.

Defaults to XLS for each save. Does not remember last-saved file format.

View

  • Does not require an RDL to be open in the Designer .NET to view
  • Supports selecting multiple values and cascading parameters in addition to basic parameters
  • Requires an RDL to be open in the Designer to view a particular report
  • Supports basic parameters

Import a template

Supported

Supported in Excel and Word

Report properties

Available in the toolbar

Can only be edited when saving to disk

Insert data place holders based on data sets

Supports inserting data markers (Excel) and merge fields (Word)

Supports inserting data markers (Excel), merge fields (Word) and defining repeat blocks (Word)

Native query builder

Available through MS Query integration

Available through MS Query integration

Report Robustness

Feature

OfficeWriter Designer .NET

OfficeWriter Designer

Modifying data sets in Visual Studio or Report Builder

Safe actions: 

  • Add or remove data sets
  • Rename data sets

Safe actions: 

  • Add new data sets

Modifying fields in queries in Visual Studio or Report Builder

Safe actions: 

  • Add or remove fields
  • Rename fields

Safe actions: 

  • Add new data sets

SQL Server Reporting Services RDL Features

Feature

OfficeWriter Designer .NET

OfficeWriter Designer

Shared data sources

  • Fully supports RDLs that store absolute paths to shared data sources (i.e. RDLs created in Report Builder 3.0). 
  • When publishing RDLs that only contain the shared data source name (i.e. RDLs created in Visual Studio) to a new folder on the server, it may be necessary to update the reference to the shared data source through Report Manager.
  • Unable to View reports created from shared data sources in Visual Studio.

Correctly handles shared data sources with absolute and relative paths stored in the RDL

Report Models

Not currently supported

Supported

SHAREPOINT

 

 

Open from a report library

Not currently supported

SharePoint 2007 supported

Save to a report library

Not currently supported

SharePoint 2007 supported

Backwards Compatibility with OfficeWriter Designer files

OfficeWriter Designer Feature

OfficeWriter Designer .NET Support

RDLs with OfficeWriter Reporting Services formulas

Fully backwards compatible.

RDLs with Word templates from OfficeWriter Designer

Fully backwards compatible.

RDLs with Excel templates from OfficeWriter Designer

Fully backwards compatible.

RDLs created from MS Query integration in the OfficeWriter Designer

Fully backwards compatible.

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