TIL => ReportViewer Control, Less is More

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: “Their IT staff is going to take care of that development …” And so it was recently on a project I am developing.

A separate development activity was spun up to create the required SSRS reports which were to be hosted on a Report Server. Well the Report Server uses Active Directory accounts for authentication and authorization. The portal that I’m building essentially uses the ASP.net Membership Provider and its services.

Suddenly, I was confronted with a situation where I needed to provide access to reports hosted on a report server from my MVC application and handle security for the reports too. Enter the ReportViewer control, hosted in an ASP.net WebForm ASPX page and running remote mode SSRS reports.

I scrambled to learn how to host the ReportViewer Control and have it render reports in my application. I didn’t search long enough to find a fully baked, working sample, but was able to get a report to render based on an initial set of parameters. I was happy and smug as a bug in a rug. But then I find out that this report should page and sort and link through to other reports. Now I’m a sad panda.

For my first attempt to host the ReportViewer control, I tried to juggle the parameters and update the report URL on each request. As it turns out, I was doing that wrong and completely broke the drill-through reports, paging and searching. After about half a day of combing the Internet for the secrets to keeping the remote reports fully functioning and not finding much helpful, I started to experiment.

Here is what I ended up with in the WebForm code-behind:

wound up doing it setting the report server and report title in the OnInit method of the web-page. I also bound the selection controls to the available options for the current user and wired up the change event handlers. PostBack events that aren’t triggered by the selection controls that I added to the web form are ignored by the code behind and the httpHandler for the report viewer control handles the interaction with the SSRS server.