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Aspose.Words for Reporting Services FAQ

This FAQ contains technical questions related to Aspose.Words for Reporting Services frequently asked by our customers and those who evaluate the product. Please read before posting your question in the support forum, maybe your question is already answered here.

Technical Support

Is Aspose technical support free?

Yes, we provide unlimited free technical support for all users of our products including customers and evaluation.

The main avenue for technical support is the Support Forums. Post your questions and they will be answered quickly, but take time zones into consideration when expecting an answer.

I have a problem with Aspose.Words for Reporting Services, what should I do?

If you have a problem, we usually need to reproduce it in our tests. To speed this process up:

  1. Attach the .rdl report(s) that cause the issue(s) to your post.
  2. Attach your data source if possible. A neat way of extracting a database to send is backing it up to a single disk file or exporting table data to an Excel spreadsheet. If you use the Microsoft Visual Studio Report Designer (Business Intelligence Studio), you can simply provide the corresponding .rdl.data files that appear in the same directory where your reports are placed when you preview them within the designer.
  3. Attach the resulting Microsoft Word documents produced by the rendering extension.
  4. Describe the problem; specify what error you get, what document formatting is incorrect etc.

Is it safe to attach my documents in the Support Forums?

Yes, it is safe. Your attachments can be downloaded only by you and Aspose staff.

Installation

When installing Aspose.Words for Reporting Services on my machine, I unexpectedly got an error "Could not properly install or configure…" Why could that happen?

This error should not occur if you have Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services properly installed on your machine. Please try the following:

  • Check if you have at least one instance of Reporting Services installed and configured.
  • Make sure you have selected the correct version of Aspose.Words for Reporting Services (2000, 2005 or 2008) to install when the MSI installer asked you to select it.
  • Make sure your edition of Microsoft SQL Server supports custom rendering extensions.
  • Close Microsoft Business Intelligence Development Studio (Visual Studio Report Designer) and run the installer again.

If nothing helps, then please post the issue in the support forum.

Report Rendering

There are empty or excessive pages in the exported document. How to avoid that?

It is not easy and sometimes impossible to convert absolutely positioned items to flow items preserving their exact original position. Aspose.Words for Reporting Services uses a number of techniques and tricks that allow to control items positioning as precisely as possible, but ideal conversion is unreachable in some cases due to the following reasons:

  1. In the RDL model each report item has predefined coordinates. All the formats that support positioning (such as PDF) may render the item as meant by designer. When converting to the Microsoft Word flow layout document, we rely on Word supposing it will place the items as expected. We do all we can to predict Word's behaviour (use tables without borders to align items, empty paragraphs to represent spacing between items etc), but there's no guarantee that all possible input will be rendered 100% accordingly to the original design.
  2. There is a number of technical differences between the way RDL reports are rendered by report designer, PDF viewer etc. and Word. The most obvious difference is caused by the way table borders are rendered:

That is why in Word the contents of the page may sometimes be higher than in the original report and therefore go beyond the page. It may lead to shifting the contents of the whole report downwards relatively to page edges. In the worst case, however, it may lead to generating empty or almost empty pages. How could this happen? Sometimes the renderer inserts page breaks into the document, depending on original page breaks and how the export is configured. So page contents are followed by a page break supposed to appear before the real page edge. But now that page contents is higher that the height of the page, the break appears on the next page that results in blank space until the page end.

Aspose.Words for Reporting Services involves a number of algorithms intended to compensate this effect. It also provides the SpacingFactor configuration setting that may appear helpful in getting rid of empty pages. By default, the value of this parameter is 1.0 which means that the spacing between report items is the same as in the report design. You can try reducing the value (up to 0.0), thus shrinking the spacing and making page contents more compact. Keep reducing the value until you notice all page contents fit on the corresponding pages.

However, in some cases there is merely nothing to reduce or shrink so that the contents of the page would fit it. Basically, if you are not satisfied with empty/excessive pages appearing in your report exported to a flow layout document, just post your inquiry in the support forum (and don't forget to attach your original report please) and then we will decide if we can provide a hotfix specifically for your report or it's easier to slightly redesign it.

I want page breaks inserted on each page or I don't want them at all (contnuous contents). How to specify that?

By default, the renderer decides itself when to insert page breaks. Starting with Aspose.Words for Reporting Services 3.0, you can override this behaviour and instruct the renderer to insert page breaks on each page or never insert them. Consider the following configuration setting that controls this behaviour:

http://www.aspose.com/docs/display/wordsreportingservices/page+breaks

Some of report items exported to a Word document look different from the original design. Why?

Check if you have overlapping items in your report. For example, if you use the Business Intelligence Development Studio (Visual Studio Report Designer) to author your reports, choose Preview. If you report contains any overlapping items, you will notice a warning like this in the Output window:

[rsOverlappingReportItems] The textbox ‘textbox32’ and the image ‘image1’ overlap. Overlapping report items are not supported in all renderers.

Overlapping items cannot be represented in a flow layout document preserving their original position or size because flow layout does not support Z-order by design. However, Aspose.Words for Reporting Services attempts to export overlapping items as close to original design as possible. It uses a couple of approaches to resolve this problem. By default, it uses the "truncate" method. You can try another method called "push" to figure out if the exported document looks better. To know more about overlap resolution methods and how to enable the "push" method, please refer to the following documentation topic:

http://www.aspose.com/docs/display/wordsreportingservices/overlapping+items

However, we recommend to avoid overlapping items in your reports to convert them to Word document with the best quality possible.

Is there a way to force the product export reports to positioned layout documents (with textboxes, floating tables etc)?

Yes, of course. See the description at http://www.aspose.com/docs/display/wordsreportingservices/Document+Layout++Flow+vs.+Positioned. Switching to the positioned layout makes the resulting document less "editable" but closer to the original design in some complex cases.

I tried the above suggestions and nothing helped. What should I do next?

Please don't hesitate to post any inquiry in our support forum. We will respond and try to fix your issue ASAP. We are interested in keeping Aspose.Words for Reporting Services a really AWesome product, constantly improving it and extending its capabilities.