Automating Report Deployment with BIDS 2008

A great tip from Craig Guyer’s I Command Thee blog. You probably know that Visual Studio supports project configurations. In BIDS 2008, you can automate report deployment with configurations. For example, the following command deploys the solution using the settings of the QA configuration.
 
C:>devenv “C:BooksRS2008Codech03ReportsReports.sln” /deploy QA
 
This is especially useful when automating deployment to SharePoint because you need to change the report definitions to use absolute paths to external resources, such as shared data sources. BIDS deployment can handle this for you and save you writing custom code to automate deployment.
 
While we are on the SharePoint deployment topic with BIDS, one nasty bug was introduced late in the SQL Server 2008 cycle that prevents you deploying folders that contain a space, such as Data Sources, to SharePoint from BIDS. When you attempt to do this, you get:
Error rsInvalidItemName : The name of the item ‘Data%20Sources’ is not valid. The name must be less than 128 characters long. The name must not start with slash; other restrictions apply.
 
If the folder already exists, deployment is successful. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, this bug won’t get fixed in the RTM timeframe. As a workaround, don’t use spaces in the target folders, e.g.; DataSources instead of Data Sources.