Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Converting SSRS 2008 reports to SSRS2005

If you are reading this, you are probably aware of the fact that you cannot deploy SSRS 2008 reports on an SSRS2005 server.  SSRS reports are housed in rdl files.  rdl files are basically xml files that follow a predetermined schema.  The schemas for 2005 and 2008 are very different.  The objects in use on the same report between the two versions can be radically different, and Microsoft does not support a downgrade path between the two.

There are probably not many reasons why you would end up in this situation, but if you find yourself there, here are your optons:
1. Upgrade the existing server to SQL Server 2008
2. Deploy the reports on another server that is already running SQL Server 2008
3. Set up a new server on SQL Server 2008
4. Rewrite the 2008 reports in 2005 manually
5. Attempt to use a conversion tool to downgrade the reports automatically

There are a couple of unsupported "tools" out there that individuals have written for their specific circumstances, so the conversion CAN be done.  However, it would not be easy due to new objects like the tablix. Options 1-3 would most likely be more cost effective than paying to have each report downgraded and tested.

If you are interested in trying, here are some links that might help:

This person claims to have written a tool that they will sell you -

RDL spec for 2008 -

RDL spec for 2005 -

Did this help you?  If so, please leave a comment!


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