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Serializing and Deserializing Report Definitions

Telerik Reporting supports serialization/deserialization of the report definition as plain XML. The TRDX and TRDP files are declarative XML report definitions:

  • TRDX is a self-contained XML report definition. All embedded images are serialized in the XML file.
  • TRDP is a ZIP archive containing the XML report definition. It may also contain resources like image and localization files packed in the archive.

The report serialization/deserialization is useful in various scenarios and opens many possibilities that are not easily accomplished otherwise. For example, this allows adding or modifying reports in your application without recompiling or redeploying it. Another typical scenario is saving/loading dynamically generated report definitions or transferring them over the network.

To better handle report definition resources we also provide a ReportPackager that serializes the report definition in XML and packages it together with its resources in a file with zip compression. For more information see Package Report Definition.

Class Report Definition

The XML serialization/deserialization of report definitions is achieved through the dedicated ReportXmlSerializer class. To illustrate how a report is serialized and deserialized, let us start with a simple dynamically generated class report definition:

var report = new Report1();

report.Width = Telerik.Reporting.Drawing.Unit.Inch(4);

var detailSection = new Telerik.Reporting.DetailSection();

detailSection.Height = Telerik.Reporting.Drawing.Unit.Inch(0.2);

var numberTextBox = new Telerik.Reporting.TextBox();

numberTextBox.Value = "=Fields.ProductNumber";
numberTextBox.Left = Telerik.Reporting.Drawing.Unit.Inch(0);
numberTextBox.Top = Telerik.Reporting.Drawing.Unit.Inch(0);
numberTextBox.Width = Telerik.Reporting.Drawing.Unit.Inch(2);
numberTextBox.Height = Telerik.Reporting.Drawing.Unit.Inch(0.2);

var nameTextBox = new Telerik.Reporting.TextBox();

nameTextBox.Value = "=Fields.Name";
nameTextBox.Left = Telerik.Reporting.Drawing.Unit.Inch(2);
nameTextBox.Top = Telerik.Reporting.Drawing.Unit.Inch(0);
nameTextBox.Width = Telerik.Reporting.Drawing.Unit.Inch(2);
nameTextBox.Height = Telerik.Reporting.Drawing.Unit.Inch(0.2);

var dataSource = new Telerik.Reporting.SqlDataSource();

dataSource.ConnectionString = "Data Source=.\\SqlExpress;Initial Catalog=AdventureWorks;Integrated Security=True";
dataSource.SelectCommand = "select ProductNumber, Name from Production.Product";
report.DataSource = dataSource;
Dim report As New Report1()

report.Width = Telerik.Reporting.Drawing.Unit.Inch(4)

Dim detailSection As New Telerik.Reporting.DetailSection()

detailSection.Height = Telerik.Reporting.Drawing.Unit.Inch(0.2)

Dim numberTextBox As New Telerik.Reporting.TextBox()

numberTextBox.Value = "=Fields.ProductNumber"
numberTextBox.Left = Telerik.Reporting.Drawing.Unit.Inch(0)
numberTextBox.Top = Telerik.Reporting.Drawing.Unit.Inch(0)
numberTextBox.Width = Telerik.Reporting.Drawing.Unit.Inch(2)
numberTextBox.Height = Telerik.Reporting.Drawing.Unit.Inch(0.2)

Dim nameTextBox As New Telerik.Reporting.TextBox()

nameTextBox.Value = "=Fields.Name"
nameTextBox.Left = Telerik.Reporting.Drawing.Unit.Inch(2)
nameTextBox.Top = Telerik.Reporting.Drawing.Unit.Inch(0)
nameTextBox.Width = Telerik.Reporting.Drawing.Unit.Inch(2)
nameTextBox.Height = Telerik.Reporting.Drawing.Unit.Inch(0.2)

Dim dataSource As New Telerik.Reporting.SqlDataSource()

dataSource.ConnectionString = "Data Source=.\SqlExpress;Initial Catalog=AdventureWorks;Integrated Security=True"
dataSource.SelectCommand = "select ProductNumber, Name from Production.Product"
report.DataSource = dataSource

Report1 is a derivative of the basic Report class. A similar implementation can be found in the installation folder of the Telerik Reporting product usually located at the following path: Progress\Telerik Reporting 2024 Q2\Examples\CSharp.NET Framework\ReportLibrary. You can refer to the ProductCatalog implementation. However, the code is valid for the basic Report implementation as well. It will contain a more simplified design with just the text boxes added to the report.

Serialize to XML

The following sample code snipped demonstrates how to serialize the above report definition to an XML file:

using (System.Xml.XmlWriter xmlWriter = System.Xml.XmlWriter.Create("SerializedReport.xml"))
    Telerik.Reporting.XmlSerialization.ReportXmlSerializer xmlSerializer =
        new Telerik.Reporting.XmlSerialization.ReportXmlSerializer();

    xmlSerializer.Serialize(xmlWriter, report);
Using xmlWriter As System.Xml.XmlWriter = System.Xml.XmlWriter.Create("SerializedReport.xml")
    Dim xmlSerializer As New Telerik.Reporting.XmlSerialization.ReportXmlSerializer()

    xmlSerializer.Serialize(xmlWriter, report)
End Using

Deserialize from XML

The corresponding code that can be used to deserialize the report definition from the file is shown below:

System.Xml.XmlReaderSettings settings = new System.Xml.XmlReaderSettings();
settings.IgnoreWhitespace = true;

using (System.Xml.XmlReader xmlReader = System.Xml.XmlReader.Create("Report1.xml", settings))
    Telerik.Reporting.XmlSerialization.ReportXmlSerializer xmlSerializer =
        new Telerik.Reporting.XmlSerialization.ReportXmlSerializer();

    Telerik.Reporting.Report report = (Telerik.Reporting.Report)
Dim settings As New XmlReaderSettings()
settings.IgnoreWhitespace = True

Using xmlReader As System.Xml.XmlReader = System.Xml.XmlReader.Create("Report1.xml", settings)
    Dim xmlSerializer As New Telerik.Reporting.XmlSerialization.ReportXmlSerializer()

    Dim report As Telerik.Reporting.Report = DirectCast(xmlSerializer.Deserialize(xmlReader), Telerik.Reporting.Report)
End Using

and the resulting XML file would look like this:

XML Report Definition

<Report DataSourceName="sqlDataSource1" Width="4in" Name="userReport1" xmlns="">
    <SqlDataSource ConnectionString="Data Source=.\SqlExpress;Initial Catalog=AdventureWorks;Integrated Security=True" SelectCommand="select ProductNumber, Name from Production.Product" Name="sqlDataSource1" />
    <DetailSection Height="0.2in" Name="detailSection1">
        <TextBox Value="=Fields.ProductNumber" Size="2in, 0.2in" Location="0in, 0cm" Name="textBox1" />
        <TextBox Value="=Fields.Name" Size="2in, 0.2in" Location="2in, 0cm" Name="textBox2" />
    <PageSettings PaperKind="Letter" Landscape="False">
        <MarginsU Left="1in" Right="1in" Top="1in" Bottom="1in" />
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