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When you save an OfficeWriter report template, the OfficeWriter Designer encodes it as a custom XML element in a Reporting Services RDL file. The OfficeWriter renderer on the server understands this custom element, decodes it, regenerates the template, and - using data supplied by Reporting Services - replaces the merge fields or data markers in the template with database values.

The RDL files created by the OfficeWriter designer are compliant with the Microsoft RDL schema, and can be edited in Microsoft Visual Studio. You can edit the generated report in Visual Studio, format tables and text boxes, and cut-and-paste report definitions from existing reports. You must, however, preserve tables defined in the generated RDL, all custom tags, data source names (query names), and field names.

A Table ReportItem is added to the RDL file for each query assigned to the template. The structure of an RDL file is:

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