How to document SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) from the project file system

Applies to

ApexSQL Doc


This article explains how to document SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) from the file system using an SSRS documentation tool.


Using ApexSQL Doc various SQL Server Report Services can be documented:

  • Project file system
  • Native web service
  • Share point web service

Project file system

Create a new project

When ApexSQL Doc is started, the blank main window will be shown. To create a new project, click on the New button from the Home tab in the Projects section:

ApexSQL Doc main window

Data sources will be shown on the left side of the main window. The Data sources contains Database engine, Server engine, Integration Services, Analysis Services, Reporting Services, Tableau Server and Share Point farm. To generate SSRS documentation, select Reporting services, then click on the Add button:

Add SSRS option in documentation tool

The Add Reporting services items window will be shown:

Add Reporting services items window

The same process can be done by clicking on the Add SSRS item button from the Home tab in the Actions section:

Add SSRS items option under Action section

The File system will be selected by default. From the drop-down menu, other locations can be selected such as Native web service and SharePoint web service:

Location options for adding reporting services items

When the Add button is clicked, the Add reporting service items window will be shown. Select the folder which contains SSRS project items, then add SSRS project items from the selected folder and click on the Open button:

Add reporting service items window

One or more reporting items can be added at the same time in the SSRS documentation tool:

Multiple reporting services items can be documented using SSRS documented tool

When the Open button is clicked, only selected reporting items will be shown in the Add Reporting services items window:

SSRS from the file system with multiple reporting items

The Add folder button is used to add all reporting items which are stored in one folder:

Option to add all SSRS items from a folder

When the Add folder button is clicked, the Browse For Folder window will be shown. Select the targeted folder which contains reporting items and click on the OK button:

Browse for SSRS items folder

The Add Reporting services items window will be shown which contains selected reporting items (reporting items can be removed by clicking on the Remove button):

SSRS from the file system with a single reporting item

When the OK button is clicked, the selected reporting item will be displayed on the right side of the main window:

Reporting items

Item details

The item details that will be included in the documentation can be adjusted in the Item details section.

Everything will be checked by ApexSQL defaults. These settings can be user-customized and saved as My defaults (unchecked details will not be included in the documentation).

Item details contains:

  • Report items:
    • Data sources
    • Datasets
    • Embedded images
    • Page body
    • Page footer
    • Page Header
    • Parameters
  • Shared items:
    • Data sources
    • Datasets

Item details for the SSRS documentation tool

The next step before creating documentation is to set a File format. Supported file formats to document reporting services using the SSRS documentation tool are:

  • CHM (Compiled help .chm)
  • Linked HTML (.html)
  • Markdown (.md)
  • DOC (Word document 97 – 2003)
  • DOCX (Word document 2007 – 2013)
  • Portable Document Format (.pdf)

To select a file format, click on File format from Output options and select a wanted format (at the bottom right side of the main window, the selected file format will always be shown):

File formats supported for documentation using SSRS documentation tool

Generate documentation

To generate reporting items using the SSRS documentation tool, click on the Generate button from the Home tab in the Actions section:

Generate SSRS documentation option

When the Generate button is clicked, the Save as window will be shown. Choose a wanted folder to save documentation:

Location of the generated SSRS documentation

When the Save button is clicked, generating documentation process will start and a pop-up message will be shown (Generate documentation. Please wait…). The process of the generating document can always be stopped by clicking on the Stop button:

Generating documentation using SSRS documentation tool

When the documentation is created, the info pop-up window with a message will be shown (The documentation was successfully created here:). Clicking on the Yes button will open generated documentation:

SSRS can be documented using ApexSQL Doc

This is an example of the created documentation using the SSRS documentation tool:

  • Compiled HTML (.Chm) file format:

    SSRS documented in the CHM file format

  • Linked HTML (.Html)

    SSRS documented in the html file format

  • Markdown (.MD)

    SSRS documented in the Markdown file format

  • Word document 2007 (.Docs)

    SSRS documented in the docx file format

  • Portable Document Format (.PDF)

    SSRS documented in the PDF file format