Developing Local Reporting Application with Barcode Fonts Plugin on Visual Studio 2013 and above


In this article we'll work through creating a local reports application using Morovia DataMatrix fonts. The tutorial is based on Visual Studio 2013; they should work on higher versions such as Visual Studio 2015. The tutorial assumes that you have Morovia Datamatrix Fonts & Encoder 5 installed on the development machine.

An example project using Northwind Access database is attached in this article.

Creating Reporting Application Skeleton

In Visual Studio, select New Project... from the File menu. Locate template Reports Application under Other Languages/Reporting category. Give a project name and click OK.

Follow the designer wizard to choose the dataset and the fields in the report. After the wizard is completed, you should get a project as below:

Compile the project and run the program. You should be able to run the program without any errors.


If some dataset field names contain spaces or in a form that is not compliant with CLS identifier rules, you will receive Field names must be CLS-compliant identifiers.. You need to change the field names manually in .rdlc file. The designer wizard does not warn on non-compliant field names.

Adding Custom Assembly

Remember that you cannot just format the string encoded with barcode font to produce a barcode. Instead, the data string must be encoded into a form called Barcode String first. The encoder function resides on a DLL written in C++. Unfortunately the report cannot call this DLL directly so we provide a wrapper DLL.

For this tutorial the wrapper DLL is called ReportServicePlugin_DataMatrix5.dll, located under C:\Program Files (x86)\Morovia DataMatrix Fonts & Encoder 5. If you are using a different product, refer to the manual for the name and the location of the wrapper.

Started from Visual Studio 2013 the build engine has changed. Because of this change, you need to copy the DLL to C:\Program Files (x86)\MSBuild\[version]\Bin directory. Replace [version] with the corresponding Visual Studio version, as below:

Visual Studio 201312.0
Visual Studio 201514.0
Visual Studio 201715.0

Now add the assembly to the project reference by right clicking on the project and select AddReference. With this step the assembly is copied to output directory every time that the project is built.

Adding Barcode to Report

Click on Report1.rdlc to switch to report design view. Select Report Properties from Report menu. Click on Reference and add the reference to the custom assembly.

Now right click on the header of the last column and insert a column on the right. Right click on the text box just created, and select Expressions. Change its value to:


You can use the builtin operators and functions to pass more complicated string to the encoder function.

Now you can build the project. However, when you run the report, you will see #Error in the new column.

Code Changes under .Net Framework 4

The .Net framework changed the security model.

First open App.config, add the following content just before ending configuration.


    <!-- enables legacy CAS policy for this process -->

    <NetFx40_LegacySecurityPolicy enabled="true" />


In Form1.cs file, inside Form_Load method, add

#pragma warning disable 618
   "ReportServicePlugin_DataMatrix5, Version=1.0.4191.23800, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=null");

Note that the parameter must match the custom assembly string. In order for the string to be exact, click on Report Properties/Reference to view the assembly reference string.

Build the project and run again. You should see the barcode string in the new column. Go back to the report designer. Right click on the text box and select Textbox Properties/Font. Change the font MRV DataMatrix5 and font size 6pt. Build the project again.

Sample Project

Download the sample project here.