Dan English's BI Blog

Welcome to my random thoughts in regards to Business Intelligence, databases, and other technologies

Inside the Power View RDLX File

Posted by denglishbi on June 12, 2012

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So if you have downloaded and started playing with the new SQL Server 2012, one of the new features you can use with SharePoint 2010 and Reporting Services is Power View.  Power View is a new self-service reporting tool developed by the Reporting Services team and it currently works against Tabular BI Semantic Models (so either PowerPivot files in SharePoint or Tabular SSAS databases).power view

Now when you create a new Power View report you might realize that it doesn’t create just an RDL file anymore, they are now RDLX files.  Theses files are really zip files, so just like PowerPivot XLSX files you can simply rename these files with a ZIP extension and explore the contents.

So what is inside?  Let’s take a quick peek:

image

Here I have renamed an RDLX file called Hotel Performance Dashboard that I downloaded from SharePoint with the ZIP extension and extracted the contents.  Inside nothing too interesting yet, but I see a folder called ‘Reports’.  Let’s take a look in there…

image

Now this looks a little more interesting and what do you know, an RDL file…what is in there?  I won’t paste the whole contents here, but I will give you a little screenshot of what the contents include:

image

Now this is what we are used to seeing, XML with DataSources, DataSets, etc.  We can even see the DAX that is generated and used to retrieve our data for the report!  Really nice.

Some other things that we will see in here are ReportSections:

image

More on these in another post that will be coming up soon.

So let’s go back to that ZIP folder and see what else might have been in there tucked away…I think I saw a folder called Metadata…

image

Cool, look at that, the snapshot images of our views in our Power View report file.

Okay, so that is a quick tour of the RDLX file, up next…Power View URL commands…coming really soon!

And by the way, if you haven’t heard, the new Power View book, Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power View has been released, so check it out and let me know what you think.  Not only does it include information about Power View, but also how to build Tabular BI Semantic Models, use DAX, how to build a BI Virtual Environment, and it is loaded with ‘Learn By Doing’ exercises and videos as well!

Resources

– Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power View (book) – http://tinyurl.com/powerviewbook

– Microsoft Business Intelligence http://tinyurl.com/msftbi

– Power View Overview http://tinyurl.com/mspowerview
– Power View Samples – 6 samples to test out http://tinyurl.com/msbitryit

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5 Responses to “Inside the Power View RDLX File”

  1. jason said

    Good read, thanks for posting!

  2. Thanks, Dan. Very interesting

  3. […] Power View reports are based on a .rdlx file which is generated by SharePoint when you create a new Power View report. If you are interested in what makes up the internals of an .rdlx file then Dan English (blog|twitter) has already cracked one open – https://denglishbi.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/inside-the-power-view-rdlx. […]

  4. […] Dan English’s excellent article describes what can be found inside a PowerView .RDLX file and how to open it on your PC.  In a nutshell, Dan has discovered that the .RDLX file is actually […]

  5. […] https://denglishbi.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/inside-the-power-view-rdlx/ […]

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