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Building RS Reports with Visual Studio

This is just a placeholder for the questions I'm sure to have later as I develop this dynamic report.
@yosiasz and @jeffw8713 thanks for your tips.
@jeffw8713 Your detailed instructions for how to install Visual studio (Community) were very accurate. Thank you. I have installed the RS and IS extensions as you see here:

@jeffw8713 Several of your comments relate to SSRS being able to provide access directly to the reports. However, this project is not for internal users. We will need to email the excel reports to external customers who will NOT have access tot he reporting portal. And those email addresses will be retrieved from a table dynamically. Does your data-drive subscription solution still apply to this scenario?

Yes, pleaase review the link i provided. It explains data driven subscriptions.

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Will do, @jeffw8713 . So, the Preview tab shows detail lines, looks good. But how do I force the report to be excel, .xlsx?

No need, the subscription will be set to attach the report in Excel formot

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@jeffw8713 In Design Mode, When I Preview the report, it looks good,
But when I go to the Reports folder http://...../Reports the folder name is there but
when I click it I get "The folder is empty".
Does that mean I haven't successfully Deployed the report?

@jeffw8713 it does look like the Report has not been deployed. When I try to deploy and let it run for a couple of minutes it fails with

Is there a log which can give me more information? Thanks

How are you deploying the report? What are the settings you are using to deploy?

You also need to review SSRS permissions and make sure you have appropriate permissions to deploy to that folder.

So if these reports will not be consumed by internal users but strictly to be disseminated, why even spin up all these services to send a simple excel file?

It is good to ask: Why are we doing this?

Why cant this just be done via a scripting language such as python or powershell?

SSRS makes it far easier to format, lay out and customize the output that ends up in Excel. PowerShell and Python would require a great deal more programming to do anything close to it. If these Excel sheets are going to external customers they will likely care more about how it looks. Having a subscription model built-in and cooperating with a schedule runner, all available graphically as well, is also far easier to use. Especially if there's going to be more than even a handful of different reports, or the same report with different parameters, recipients, and output formats.

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You may be correct, @yosiasz. But no one on our team knows Python or PowerShell. But it is a lot of effort to install all these tools and features.

I agree 100% because I have produced ssrs reports for over 15 years. But....

@jeffw8713 I've tried Build ---> Deploy. Also from the Solution Explorer window - right-click report name --> Deploy. Both error out with a timeout error. I wish there were a log file that gave more info.

Check the project properties, they need to be set to the right server for deployment

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@jeffw8713 that's what I was thinking too. These are the project properties: I confirmed that the url takes you to the Reports portal. But because I can run the report from the portal, doesn't that mean the report deployed successfully even with the Timeout error?

I think that is supposed to be 'http://{servername}/ReportServer'

Now, when I click Preview, I get "One or more parameters required to run the report have not been specified"
I have a shared data set which is associated with the query to retrieve the email addresses.
So I'm not sure what I need to look at to resolve this error.

Have you specified some parameters for the report query?

Yes one parm named EmailAddresses.

There you go, since email address is not provided it errors.