ReportViewer: A great control - but beware...
One of the coolest controls in VS 2005 is the ReportViewer control. It is a powerful control for previewing, printing, and exporting (XLS or PDF) reports based on data in your database. However, this control is something of weird animal - it is not part of the .NET framework, but is an add-on control that is part of Visual Studio. This fact results in 2 main issues:
(1) If you deploy your application on a computer that does not have Visual Studio 2005 installed, you cannot necessarily assume that the ReportViewer control is available on that computer – even after the .NET Framework 2.0 is installed. This issue is easily addressed by downloading and installing the Report Viewer Redistributable (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=8a166cac-758d-45c8-b637-dd7726e61367) onto the target computer. Alternatively, you can build a setup program from within Visual Studio (Professional or better) to deploy your application on other computers. Once it is detected that your application uses the ReportViewer control, it will automatically be included as part of the setup program for your application.
(2) The VB Express and C# Express versions of Visual Studio do not include the ReportViewer control. This means that if you are using VB Express or C# Express to develop an application, you must first download and install the Report Viewer Redistributable described above onto your development computer in order to compile the starter kit. You must also must download and install the Report Viewer Redistributable onto any target machines onto which you are deploying your application.
In addition, VB Express and C# Express do not include a designer for designing reports.