Extract and Transfer RDL files from SSRS

I was in the situation when I had to modify some reports, but I did not have the source code (RDL) files on hand. I tried to go to SSRS server, and looking for download or save-as menu. I was expecting there are some ways to download the report definition so I can modify it under Visual Studio.

Unfortunately not, there is no built-in features in SSRS that for download or extract report from the server. Once deployed, it is there forever. I just thought to create small application using SSRS web services or API to extract the definition. But I was lucky enough that Jasper Smith created an amazing tool for this purpose.

I downloaded the RSScripter and install it on my machine. It can connect to both SQL 2000 and 2005, and generate the RDL, user, roles, and also the data source. This free tool is really fantastic.


I can also use this stuff to transfer the SSRS content from one server to another. A very good toolkit for server migration and deployment. The configuration is under option button, specify to transfer and as well as destination server.


  2 comments for “Extract and Transfer RDL files from SSRS

  1. John
    June 22, 2009 at 2:38 PM

    There is actually an option in SSRS to download the RDL file. It is located in the ‘General’ section of the report’s properties. At the bottom of the page there is a section called ‘Report Definition’ and it has an EDIT hyperlink that allows you to download the RDL file. To access the properties of the report you can login to the http://servername/Reports, browse to the report then select the ‘Properties’ tab.

    The existence of the Properties tab and the EDIT button may depend on your user permissions… but I’d imagine if you can use the tool to extract the report then you’ve got the required permissions.

  2. mca
    July 4, 2009 at 2:24 PM

    Hi John,
    Thanks for let me know this, Yes you are correct. I was overlooked the general section at the time.

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