MSBuild support for Reporting Services projects now available

Today’s post is written by Brad Syputa, a software engineer on the SQL Server BI team.

Today, we’re pleased to announce a long requested feature from the SQL Server Reporting Services developer community. For the first time, Reporting Services customers can take advantage of the Microsoft Build Engine (MSBuild) support when building and deploying Reporting Services projects with SQL Server Data Tools for Visual Studio 2015 or Reporting Services Projects for Visual Studio 2017. By invoking msbuild.exe on your project or solution file, you can orchestrate and build products in environments where Visual Studio isn't installed. This is key for developers looking to automate deployment of Reporting Services projects outside of Visual Studio, which can streamline the process of moving between development and production environments.

How to get started

Once you install the latest update, depending on which version of Visual Studio you’re using, the new files enabling MSBuild for your projects will be installed in different folder paths -

In Visual Studio 2015, you’ll find it as a standalone folder called “MSBuild” under Program Files (x86) –


In Visual Studio 2017, it’ll will be a nested folder in your Visual Studio folder hierarchy. For example, the location with the Community Edition is in the Community folder


If you see these new folders, this means you’ll now see MSBuild support as an option for Build, Clean, Compile and Deploy actions in any new report project you create. For existing projects, you will be prompted to do a one-time upgrade the first time you open it after installing the latest updates. The upgrade will automatically backup your project first, then proceed. Once it’s completed, you’ll have the new MSBuild functionality available to you.

For detailed walkthroughs to help you take full advantage of the MSBuild capabilities in your projects, please refer to the following documentation –

We’ll be publishing an updated walkthrough that’s tailored to Reporting Services projects in the coming weeks.

Get it now and send us your feedback