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How to change Rendering Extensions in SQL Server Reporting Services


By:   |   Read Comments (7)   |   Related Tips: > Reporting Services Administration

Problem

SQL Server Reporting Services provides many different rendering extensions. Our users don't want to see the list of all rendering extensions, they only want to see Excel and PDF rendering extensions. How can you enable or disable Rendering Extensions in SQL Server Reporting Services Report Manager?

Solution

This tip assumes that you have previous experience with SQL Server Reporting Services. In this tip I will explain the problem with an example and later demonstrate the solution. To demonstrate the solution I will use SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services.

Step 1: Looking at available SSRS rendering extensions

Let's run a sample report in Report Manager and then click on the export button to view the available rendering extensions. As you can see from the below image, it lists all available rendering extensions.

Report_Preview_Shows_All_Rendering_Extensions

Now from the available rendering extensions, I have to remove all of the unwanted rendering extensions except "Excel" and "PDF".

Step 2: Change the Reporting Services Rendering Extensions

The SQL Server Reporting Services rendering extensions are managed through the configuration file "RSReportServer.config". You can find this configuration file in the "ReportServer" folder. The complete path of the folder is C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\MSRS11.MSSQLSERVER\Reporting Services\ReportServer. Your configuration folder location may be slightly different. You can refer to the below image.

RSReportServer_Configuration_File

Open the "RSReportServer.config" file in Notepad and search for the node name, you can find all available rendering extensions there. You can refer to the below image which shows the code for the first two rendering extensions "XML" and "NULL".

I have highlighted each extension with a different border color. If you look at the second set of code ("NULL" Extension) then you will find the visible attribute is set to false, but for the first code set ("XML" Extension) this attribute is missing. Based on the visible attribute value rendering extensions will be displayed in the drop down list. If the visible attribute value is false then the rendering extension will not be displayed in the drop down list or if the visible attribute is missing or has a value of true then the rendering extension will be displayed in the drop down list.

As you can see in the below image for the "NULL" rendering extension the visible attribute value is false that is why "NULL" rendering extension was not available in the rendering extension drop down list.

Open_RSReportServer_Configuration_File_Notepad

(Note- Be careful when changing the report server configuration file; it is recommended to create a back-up of the RSReportServer.config file before modification.)

If we add an attribute Visible="false" for the "XML" rendering extension then it should not show in the rendering extension drop down list. Let's add an attribute Visible="false" for the "XML" rendering extension, after the changes the file should look like below.

RSReportServer_Configuration_File_After_Modification

Step 3: Re-checking Available Rendering Extensions after the above changes

Let's run the sample report again and click on the export button to view the available export formats after the modification. As you can see from the below image, the "XML" rendering extension has been removed from the drop down list.

Report_Preview_Shows_Desired_Rendering_Extensions

In this same way we can remove all of the unwanted rendering extensions from the drop down list. After we add an attribute Visible="false" for all of the unwanted rendering extensions except "Excel" and "PDF" the list looks like follows.

Only_PDF_Excel_Rendering_Options

Step 4: Checking Available Rendering Extensions in report subscription setup page

Let's go to the report subscription setup page and check available rendering extensions. As you can see from the below image, it lists all available rendering extensions. You are probably surprised to see that all rendering extensions are here even after modifying the "RSReportServer.config" file. So how can we remove the unwanted rendering extensions from here?

Report_Subscription_Rendering_Extensions

I mentioned that "RSReportServer.config" is the only file which manages rendering extensions. As you know we have already modified the "RSReportServer.config" file, but these changes are not taking effect. If you want to remove the rendering extension from this section too, you will have to delete the rendering extension code from the "RSReportServer.config" file. Deleting the extension code will remove the rendering extension from all rendering extension drop down lists including the subscription page.

I have removed the "XML" extension code from the "RSReportServer.config" file. The below line is what I removed.

<Extension Name="XML" Type="Microsoft.ReportingServices.Rendering.DataRenderer.XmlDataReport,
Microsoft.ReportingServices.DataRendering" Visible="false"/> 

Let's check the available rendering extensions in the Report Subscription page. As you can see from the below image, the "XML" rendering extension has been removed from the drop down list.

Report_Subscription_Required_Rendering_Extensions

In the same way, you can disable all unwanted rendering extensions from the "RSReportServer.config file.

To enable rendering extensions, do the opposite and add the code back.

Next Steps
  • Be careful when changing the report server configuration file; it is recommended to back-up the RSReportServer.config file before modification.
  • Always test your changes in the QA/Dev environment before trying on a production environment.
  • You can also change the rendering extensions order in the drop down list. To change the rendering extensions order just change the order of the rendering extensions in the RSReportServer.config file.
  • Check out Conditional report rendering based on render formats for SSRS Reports, click here.
  • Check out Rendering images from a database on SSRS reports, click here.
  • Check out all SQL Server Reporting Services tips.


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About the author
MSSQLTips author Ghanesh Prasad Ghanesh Prasad leads a team in Microsoft Business Intelligence and has over 5 years of experience working with SQL Server.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016 - 5:28:37 PM - Carlo Back To Top

 Hi Ghanesh,

 

is there a .txt  render extension I can easily add to the .config file? I just want to download my SSRS report like I see it in the report preview without and othere characters (just a flat file).

 

Thanks

 


Wednesday, August 05, 2015 - 12:13:09 PM - Kumar Back To Top

Hi Ghanesh,

Thanks for sharing !!.

Please tell me the render extension for TEXT. I need to create reports in .txt format (pipl delimited, or comma separated but not CSV) through Data Driven subscription.

Thanks again


Thursday, July 02, 2015 - 11:12:18 AM - Ghanesh Back To Top
Thank you all for your comments. Keep learning! Regards, Ghanesh

Friday, April 10, 2015 - 9:41:51 AM - Deana Back To Top

This is a great and very informative post! Thank you. I've been trying to figure out how I could create a space formatted (.prn) rendering format. The regular tab formatted text file unfortunately doesn't work for me. Thank you for any assistance you might be able to share with me. 


Wednesday, April 08, 2015 - 3:03:16 PM - anil Back To Top

Great post - Thank you for sharing !!


Wednesday, April 08, 2015 - 12:16:58 AM - Arif Back To Top
Hi Ghanesh Prasad, This tip is really will be helpful for work and interviews also thanks for the tip you shared with us and looking forward to hear some more tips from you and also let us know the tips for SSIS, SSRS, SSAS what ever you know as I am very new to this MSBI. Thanks Arif Also thanks to Durga Prasad

Tuesday, April 07, 2015 - 2:46:51 AM - Durga Prasad Back To Top

Hi Ghanesh Prasad,

 

This tip is really will be helpful for work and interviews also thanks for the tip you shared with us and looking forward to hear some more tips from you and also let us know the tips for SSIS, SSRS, SSAS what ever you know as I am very new to this MSBI.

 

Thanks

Durga Prasad


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