The SQL Data Source Wizard allows you to create a new or edit an existing SqlDataSource component based on a SQL select statement or a database stored procedure. After the wizard appears you have to perform the following steps:

  1. Choose Your Data Connection

    Choose an existing connection from the list of connections or specify a new connection.

  2. Save the Connection String

    Choose "Yes, save the connection with the following name" to store the connection string in the application configuration file under a specific name. Type a name for the connection or use the provided default name if applicable.


    Saving connection strings in the application configuration file simplifies the process of maintaining your application if the database connection changes. In the event of a change in the database connection you can edit the connection string in the application configuration file as opposed to editing the source code and having to recompile your application.

  3. Configure Data Source Command

    Choose whether you want to base your SqlDataSource on a SQL select statement or a stored procedure:

    • Choosing the "Select Statement" option allows you to enter a SQL query statement directly in the text box below. Alternatively you can click "Query Builder" to invoke the Visual Studio Query Builder dialog. In the context of the Standalone Report Designer the button will invoke the Query Designer in the Standalone Designer. Both are user-friendly interfaces for building SQL queries.

    • Choosing the "Stored Procedure" option allows you to select the name of an existing database stored procedure from the drop-down list below which is responsible for the data retrieval.

  4. Configure Data Source Parameters

    Specify the parameters for the SQL query or stored procedure. Click "New" to add a new parameter to the SqlDataSource component or "Delete" to remove an existing parameter. Use the arrow buttons to change the order of the parameters when necessary.

    • Specify a valid name for each data source parameter in the "Name" column. You can also choose that name from the list of existing parameter names which are derived directly from the SQL query statement or stored procedure.

    • Choose the appropriate database type for the parameter in the "DbType" column. This type should match exactly the type of the expression in the SQL query statement or the type of the parameter from the stored procedure.

    • Specify a default value for the parameter in the "Value" column or bind it via an expression.


    You can bind a data source parameter directly to a report parameter. This way you can use the standard report parameter user interface to provide values for your data source parameters. The drop-down list of the "Value" column displays all existing report parameters. You can create a new report parameter by choosing <New Report Parameter> from the list. Alternatively you can invoke the Edit Expression dialog by choosing <Expression> from the list. This allows you to specify an arbitrary expression to evaluate for the parameter value.

  5. Configure Design Time Parameters

    This step allows you to specify a value for each data source parameter that can be used at design time to retrieve the schema of the SqlDataSource component.


    Specifying design time values for the parameters is necessary because the designer might need to execute the SQL query or stored procedure of the data source in order to populate the schema displayed in the Data Explorer tool window and the Edit Expression dialog. These values do not affect the execution of the SQL query at runtime however.

  6. Preview Data Source Results

    You can preview the result set returned by the SqlDataSource before completing the wizard. Click Execute Query to execute the SQL query or stored procedure and display the retrieved data.

    If the data source has parameters, the wizard displays a popup dialog before each preview, which allows you to enter the parameter values.

    This is the last step of the wizard. After pressing "Finish" the wizard will configure the SqlDataSource component with the specified settings and close.