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Previewing a report definition that uses an external assembly

Environment

Product Progress® Telerik® Reporting

Description

Previewing a report definition containing expressions with user-defined functions or other custom CLR objects coming from an external assembly. The application has to be configured to load the external assembly.

Solution with User-defined functions

Without extending the application to load the external assembly, you will get the following error "The expression contains object 'MyReportExtensionsLibrary' that is not defined in the current context."

To avoid the error, follow the next steps:

  • Add the Telerik.Reporting configuration section to the <configSections> element. Notice that the section type attribute may differ according to the version. For the exact details check Telerik Reporting Configuration Section in the .chm help file for your version.

  • Add <Telerik.Reporting> section element and <AssemblyReferences> element in it, like in the Report Designer configuration file.

  • Place the assembly extending the default functionality (MyAssembly.dll) in the directory from where the custom application will be executed or in a subfolder described via relative to the execution folder paths using the .NET <probing> element.

    * Adding a reference to the assembly in Visual Studio with CopyLocal settings set to True will copy the DLL automatically.

The entire configuration for extending an application with MyAssembly.dll containing user-defined functions should look as follows:

<configuration>  
 <configSections>  
   <section 
           name="Telerik.Reporting"
           type="Telerik.Reporting.Configuration.ReportingConfigurationSection, Telerik.Reporting, Version=x.x.x.x, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=a9d7983dfcc261be"  
           allowLocation="true"  
           allowDefinition="Everywhere"/>  
 </configSections>

 <runtime>  
   <assemblyBinding xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v1">  
     <probing privatePath="MySubDir; MySubDir\SubDir"/> 
   </assemblyBinding>  
 </runtime>

 <Telerik.Reporting>  
   <AssemblyReferences>  
     <add name="MyAssembly" version="1.0.0.0" culture="neutral"publicKeyToken="null" />  
   </AssemblyReferences>  
 </Telerik.Reporting> 
</configuration>
Where **x.x.x.x** stands for the used Telerik Reporting assembly version, e.g. 7.1.13.802.  

Important
If the external assembly depends on other assemblies, all related assemblies have to be placed into the folder from where the application is executed.

Solution with custom CLR objects

Without extending the application to load the external assembly, CLR objects used as data sources will not be loaded. To avoid the issue you can:

  • Add a reference to the external DLL in the project. If the reporting data source components refer to the CLR object by ​its assembly qualified name, the reporting engine will be able to use Reflection and use the types since the assembly is already referenced and loaded in the application.

  • Extend the application to load the assembly via Telerik.Reporting section as illustrated above for Reports using external assemblies with User-defined functions. With this approach, you will have to manually copy the DLL in the application's execution folder, and thus you can skip adding a reference in the project. The configuration will let know the reporting engine that it has to load the assembly.

Important
If the external assembly depends on other assemblies, all related assemblies have to be placed into the folder from where the application is executed.

Note
 The same configurations are applicable if you need to use external assemblies with User-defined functions or with custom CLR objects in Visual Studio Report Designer where the application is devenv.exe, Standalone Report Designer where the application is Telerik.ReportDesigner.(x86.)exe, or other custom application with a viewer control.

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