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Connecting Your Reports to an XML Data Source

We are excited to announce that the Bold Reports Designer has an XML data connector as of the September 2020 Bold Reports release. The connector allows you to feed data to your report from the following sources: local storage, external link, inline input area.

In this blog post, we will walk you through the steps to connect your XML data to Bold Reports Designer. Using that data feed, we will generate a report to display a list of products and their details. As a first step, launch the Bold Reports Enterprise server demo site, referring to the steps to create a report, and create a new report.

New report
New report

Choose XML data connector

To create a new data source with an XML data connection, open the data sources configuration panel by selecting the data source icon on the right.

Data pane view
Data pane view

In the DATA configuration panel, click NEW DATA. The DATA SOURCES panel lists the data connectors as shown in the following screenshot.

Choose data connection type
Choose data connection type

Choose the XML connector. The XML data connection panel will be displayed.

New XML data source connection pane
New XML data source connection pane

Connecting with XML data

In the connection properties, provide a unique name for the data source. Select the source type of your XML data. In Bold Reports Designer, you can connect XML data from the following sources: local storage, external link, and inline input area.

XML data source types
XML data source types

For example, lets connect to XML data using a file from the local storage. Select the File option from the Type drop-down. For more information, please refer to the documentation on connecting to XML data from the .xml file in the local storage.

Click the ellipsis button to open the file upload window.

Upload XML file
Upload XML file

Note: The .xml file cannot exceed the maximum size of 20 MB.

You can download the sample data ProductDetails.xml to proceed with the data source creation steps.

Find the XML file in the upload window and click Open.

Choose XML file
Choose XML file

On successfully uploading the .xml file, click Connect to create a data source.

Connect to data source
Connect to data source

You can refer to the load from external URL and inline data documentation for how to connect to your .xml data from external URL and inline input sources.

Design query

After clicking the Connect button, the XML data will be processed, and you will be directed to the query designer on successful connection.

The XML result available in the data source will be displayed in the left pane of the query designer.

Query designer
Query designer

Drag the table into design pane. You can exclude columns in the data table and select only the columns that you require for your data set. Execute the query and click Finish.

Execute query
Execute query

Note: In the schema tree, the nested fields in the XML data will be shown as a flat structure.

Design a report

Using the data set we created, we will now design a product catalog report to display a list of products and their details.

Refer to the design a report using a table documentation and create a similar report design.

Report design view
Report design view

Preview report

You can preview the report at design time using the built-in Bold Reports Viewer to ensure the report design is as expected. Switch to the preview mode.

In preview, our report will display the list of products along with their respective details, like in the following screenshot.

Report preview of the products list
Report preview of the products list

Conclusion

I hope this blog provided a clear overview on how to connect to an XML data source in Bold Reports Designer and generate a report using the data feed. For additional information on the connecting an XML data source to Bold Reports, you can go through the documentation. For further reference, you can download the generated .rdl report that we created in this blog.

If you have any questions, please post them in the comments section. You can also contact us by submitting your questions through our contact page or, if you already have an account, you can log in to submit your support question.

Bold Reports now comes with a 15-day free trial with no credit card information required. We welcome you to start a free trial and experience Bold Reports for yourself. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Stay tuned to our official Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram pages for announcements about releases.

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