Microsoft® SQL Server® Reporting. Services is a comprehensive, highly scalable solution that enhances real-time decision-making across the enterprise . Summary: This book contains tutorials for SQL Server Reporting Services: Create a. Data-Driven Subscription, Create a Basic Table Report, Create a. Aras Innovator Microsoft Reporting Services Guide. For use with Microsoft SQL Server Document #: Last Modified: 1/10/
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SQL Server Reporting Services rendering extension - Export PDF PDF/A and XPS reports containing tables charts and images from SQL Server. SSRS Tutorial for beginners: It provide SQL Server Reporting Services tutorials, shortly called as SSRS tutorial, or SQL Reporting services tutorial. limited to PDF and TIFF.) The larger-scale enhancements that came with SSRS are only available in SharePoint- integrated mode (not covered in this.
Business decision makers need pertinent information, and they need to view it in a manner that applies to that person's role or responsibility. Since most users deal with information in a slightly different manner, you can create hundreds of reports, each designed for a specific need. Alternatively, you can create flexible reports that serve a broader range of user needs. For example, a sales summary report could be grouped or filtered by the sales person's region, by customer type, and include information for the week, month, quarter or year, or for a specific product category.
To produce individual reports for each of these needs would be time-consuming and cost prohibitive.
Besides, computer users are savvier than they were a few years ago and need to have tools that help them take informed decisions, not just look at the numbers. I recall working at Hewlett-Packard several years ago in a manufacturing site IS group. Every Thursday a report cart would come around.
There were several regularly scheduled reports that the mainframe system produced on a weekly and monthly basis. Users, typically department managers, would subscribe to these reports that were then printed in another building and delivered by hand to each subscriber.
Many of these reports were little more than a huge list of numbers and text printed on continuous, fan-fed paper — some as large as pages. I watched inquisitively as managers would meticulously scan through the pages, highlighting and circling figures of interest. Some would bind them into large books and give them to their administrative assistants to go through with a ten-key calculator and add up all of the figures they had highlighted.
At the end of the month dumpsters full of these reports were hauled off to landfills and recycling centers as their usefulness quickly came to an end. I spent nearly two years developing a reporting application for this group using Microsoft Access. We originally planned for eight to ten reports in this application. But as time went on, and users began to rely on the reports to perform their jobs, they would ask for the same reports with different sorting, grouping, and selection criteria. In the end, we deployed some reports, most of which were variations on the few original reports.
He says, "I think one of the greatest challenges to providing BI Solutions is to educate the customer as to the extent of the long-range problems and the associated business costs caused by disjointed attempts to derive information from corporate data. Closely related to that is to correct the normal tendency to apply band aids.
Foresight and planning with a BI Strategy is the most effective means of halting the creation of stove-pipe data analysis systems.
Once management perceives the benefits and downloads into the process, a 'master plan' strategy can be formulated, that will guide the 4 Getting Started with Reporting Services process of developing the solution. Integration of existing systems, new tools, or BI Platform migration can then be tackled based on priority and available resources. They reason that good data should lead to good decisions, and good decisions mean good business. This makes sense, right?
A very common scenario today is that businesses trying to get that edge will invest in expensive ERP systems that effectively gather and store mountains of customer, product, and sales information. Mission accomplished? These days, the time between data entry and consumption is very short, almost instant. More effective data-gathering mechanisms result in data silos and data warehouses populated to the gills with all kinds of facts.
The new generation of business workers are informed and empowered to make decisions. They need tools to get useful information and respond to changes. Having data available is useless unless it has business value and can be used to effectively take informed decisions. A fundamental fact in business is that the people who gather and collect data are often not the people who use that data or need access to the information that the data represents.
Business executives, managers, and analysts make strategic decisions everyday that may affect many people, the direction of their organizations, and ultimately, the way people and organizations will go about conducting business in the industry.
These decisions are largely driven by the relative height of a bar displayed in a chart or a few numbers printed on a piece of paper. Having capable reporting tools doesn't necessarily solve this problem.
Most businesses don't know how to effectively use the products they own. A reporting tool is of little value if it's complicated and difficult to use. This presents some fundamental challenges such as collecting comprehensive, accurate and meaningful information, storing it in a form so it continues to represent the facts, and presenting the information in a concise and unbiased form. On the surface, it seems like a simple task. Automation to the Rescue — A Scenario I'll share an example of this kind of challenge.
Several years ago, I spent a few months developing a reporting system for the operations group at a paper mill in the Pacific Northwest. The old mill is located in a small, remote town and many of the people operating the mill have been working there all of their lives. As is common in the pulp and paper industry, the mill has changed ownership a few times and is currently operated by a very large paper and office supply company.
As time went by and technology changed, several different computer systems were incorporated into the operation of this mill; an IBM and an AS system were used to manage customer orders and production history records.
The original inventory management system is still in place. It's a very old, special-purpose computer that stores most of its data in a single, flat text file. All of its components are redundant and it hardly ever needs significant maintenance. Shortly before I arrived, a Windows server box was installed with a SQL Server database and an application that would replicate production and inventory data from the existing database systems.
Management within the parent company believed that they didn't have a handle on the rates of material consumption and product quality. They wanted a reporting system that would give them the figures they needed to make adjustments to their ordering and pulp production processes.
The system would calculate quantities of ingredients to produce a batch — typically to fulfill an order for a customer. The order would be sent to the production floor where workers had newly installed controls used to assure the accurate delivery of pulp ingredients.
Different batches of product continued to be produced with varying degrees of quality and their ability to track the consumption of these materials didn't significantly improve. Management continued to invest in reporting solutions.
They bought and developed software to look for trends and perform statistical analysis but to no avail. After several months and hundreds of thousands of dollars invested, the product quality didn't really improve much. Finally, one of the IT managers put on a hard hat and walked down to the production floor to observe the process.
What he learned was a simple lesson: when the orders arrived on their computer workstations, workers were printing the orders and then putting them aside. They had overridden the automated controls and were using the same manual techniques to make paper that earlier generations had been using for decades. It was a matter of tradition and pride, and they weren't about to let some computer do their job for them. The initial reporting solution was elegant and technically capable. The calculations were accurate and the report presentation was appropriate.
However, the solution didn't fully support the process. This cultural hurdle was eventually overcome workers were instructed to use the automated systems if they wanted to keep their jobs and the product and process improved. A report is only as good as the data it presents, and the data is only as good as the information used for collection.
The information is only as good as the process that it represents. Challenges of Existing Reporting Solutions For over ten years, Microsoft has offered only one product with substantial reporting capabilities.
Designed to run as a single-user or a small workgroup, desktop application, Microsoft Access is a capable database and reporting solution. In Access , Access Data Projects were added. In Visual Studio 6, an integrated reporting tool was offered for Visual Basic 6 but its capabilities were meager at best. Developers at that time thought this was a glimpse of things to come in subsequent versions of Visual Studio.
Due to the lack of a unified, consistent approach for reporting, many developers have had to revert to creating their own custom solutions. One case in point is the reports starter kit project available on the ASP. NET development support site www. The developers did a bang-up job creating a web-based reporting solution using ASP. NET datagrids and datalist controls. They even made their own pie charts using line drawing objects. This effectively proves that. NET is a powerful arsenal of programming tools.
However, it also makes the point that we have lacked a strong reporting solution to round out Microsoft's front-line development and database suite. When Visual Studio. NET was released in , I was a little disappointed because the only integrated reporting component was a limited-use version of Crystal Reports. Now, before I get myself into too much trouble with folks who may be loyal to this product, I'll say that Crystal Reports is a capable reporting tool.
However, it's neither a part of Microsoft's strategic direction nor does it behave like, or integrate tightly with other Microsoft products.
The version of Crystal Reports that installs with Visual 6 Getting Started with Reporting Services Studio is limited to five concurrent users and the term concurrent is subject to some serious interpretation.
Now that Crystal Reports has changed hands once again recently acquired by Business Objects , it will be interesting to see how this affects the direction of this well-known product.
Notably, the most remarkable change in the industry over the past few years has been the opportunity and need to exchange information over the Internet. Previous technologies simply don't provide the means to access application components across the Internet. Connecting business trading partners and even regional sites was often cost prohibitive and logistically infeasible.
Few options existed for reporting over the web. At best, a list or table filled with data could be viewed in custom-built, server-side web page solutions using ASP or CGI. Each page had to be carefully designed and scripted at the cost of dozens, or sometimes hundreds of programming hours. With the recent maturity of the web, a new generation of mobile devices is evolving that can connect users to company resources, email, documents, and databases.
These laptop, hand-held, palm-top, and wrist-worn devices open new doors of opportunity and present new challenges for data presentation. Perhaps, it will soon be common for people to stagger around the streets, talking to themselves and staring blindly into space in a zombie-like trance as they are connected to the world through webenabled cerebral implants!
We can only hope! To gain access to useful and readable information, data must be accessible over available communication channels such as corporate networks and the Internet , easy to access, secure, and available in a variety or formats so that it may be viewed using available document readers or browsers — all compatible with different devices. Did I mention the need to support different Operating Systems OS , applications, and perhaps, without the installation of any custom software on the client device?
This is the challenge. SQL Server Reporting Services is a server-side reporting solution that meets all of these requirements and more. It can obtain its data from a variety of data sources that you can access using modern programming tools. That data may be grouped, sorted, aggregated, and presented in dynamic and meaningful ways. The structure of the data and the presentation elements may be transmitted across practically any communication medium, using an industry standard format, to just about any type of client or server computer or device.
The resulting content may then be displayed in many standard formats using browsers and document readers. Further, the data itself may be consumed by standard and custom applications to be further parsed, imported, manipulated, and consumed.
It's a truly remarkable innovation with incredible possibilities. Since Reporting Services is based on. NET, it offers the advantage of integrating tightly with the Windows platform and benefits from the performance, scalability, and security inherent to the. NET Framework. When used in concert with BackOffice products like Share Point Portal, it can provide a comprehensive enterprise solution with little programming effort.
Reporting Services can be used with ASP. NET and other. NET programming tools to produce highly customized, special-purpose solutions. Reports may be rendered in program code or they may be accessed through a simple web address — like any other web page.
Reports may be rendered in several formats. These include different flavors of HTML to provide compatibility with different browsers and devices, the Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format PDF for uniform presentation and printing, as a graphic file, and in Microsoft Excel so users can slice, dice, pivot, and re-analyze the data.
Business Intelligence Solutions Traditionally, BI solutions have been very costly and only accessible to large businesses that could afford them. However, they require costly deployment, training, and maintenance. By contrast, this is the part I like the best Reporting Services is available at no additional cost if you install it on a computer with a licensed instance of SQL Server.
In a single server installation, you don't need an additional license and you can use it royalty free — so long as your database, and server products are appropriately licensed. For additional information regarding licensing and deployment options, please refer to Chapter Comparatively speaking, collecting data is the easy part.
Most companies have been doing this for decades, but how they utilize all of this data is often another story. There is no doubt that effectively collecting data may not be so easy but it's something businesses have been doing for quite some time.
Most companies have untold mega-, giga-, or even peta-bytes of "important" archived data residing in documents, spreadsheets, and various databases on backup tapes, disks and folders throughout their enterprise — with no hope of fully utilizing and gaining significant value from it all. It's about measuring performance, discovering patterns and trends; and measurable forecasting through statistical analysis. It ties together applications, documents, and data sources in a manner that lets people collaborate and communicate effectively.
BI systems are no longer a luxury but a necessity in many business environments. Today, having access to timely information can make the difference between having a competitive edge and being left in the dust behind competitors.
Who Uses Reports and Why? In almost any organization, there is a universal condition that people in different roles and at different levels have different perspectives on information. What are the Report Databases? The Report Databases are: What is the Report Server? Report Server is a web application that acts as a gateway to your underlying Report Server database.
This way you can read the metadata of the reports. The URL is: What is the Report Manager? Report Manager is a web interface which allows you to manage your reports on the report server. This allows you to manage the reports and their data by creating folders, applying security, optimization, etc. What are the Deployment Modes? The Report Deployment modes include: Native Mode Reporting Engine 2.
What are the different Service Account types? The different Service Account types include: Local System Uses Windows Credentials 2. Network Service Uses the credentials supplied by your Network Connection 3. Local Service Uses the credentials specific to the Reporting Services engine. What are Encryption Keys? Encryption Keys are a symmetric key to encrypt credentials, connection strings, and other sensitive data that is stored in the report server database.
When a Report Database is restored, it gains a new encryption key. In order to fix this, you must backup your encryption keys in order to restore your encryption keys upon a Report DB restore. What is a Report? A Report is a structured arrangement of information. Typically, the information in a business report comes from data in a business application, although report information can be derived from a variety of sources. They are answers to Business Questions.
What is a Reporting Platform? A Reporting Platform is an integrated set of applications that supports all required activities in a managed report environment, including report development, management, and viewing. When was the first Reporting Services released? Since then, organizations small and large have migrated to Reporting Services to take advantage of the many benefits it has to offer.
What is a Managed Report? A Managed Report is characterized by detailed operational data or summarized management information that is gathered from a variety of data sources and formally organized into a central repository. Also known as Static Reports.
Often, managed reports must conform to specified formatting standards. They are created by technical people. What is an Ad Hoc Report? An Ad Hoc Report allows users with limited technical skills to produce new, simple reports on their own. Ad Hoc Reports are created from Report Models created by technical people. User can choose whether to save them privately or to share them with others by publishing to the Reporting Services centralized store.
How accessible are Ad Hoc Reports? What are Report Models for? To support business users creating ad hoc reports, a more technical user can develop a report model that describes the tables and columns in a database in a user-friendly format for non technical users to easily drag and drop for their report creation.
What are the most important aspects of Reports for the end user?
Accuracy and Performance. Business decision makers want accurate reports so they can correctly analyze the data and get accurate answers to their questions. What are Embedded Reports for? They allow developers to integrate. NET, Java, C codes into the report or embed the report into the codes. It is a development platform that can be used by in-house developers or third-party independent software vendors to create either Microsoft Windows or Web Reporting applications.
What is Rendering? Rendering is a process of converting the report layout and report data into a specific file format. What is the Reporting Life Cycle? The Reporting Life Cycle is the sequence of activities associated with a report from creation to delivery. There are three phases of the reporting life cycle including report development, management of the report server, and report access by users. What is Report Development?
What is Report Administration? Report Administration is the process of managing the technical environments for reports and their reporting platform. Administrators or Power Users have to manage the location, security, and execution properties of reports. What is Report Access? Report Access is the process of users accessing reports whether from the Report Server or a shared network folder. The most common way for users to access reports is to use a browser and navigate to a central report repository.
As another alternative, you can create your own portal application with links to guide users to reports in Reporting Services. What are the Preparation Tasks for installing Reporting Services? Before you can begin installing Reporting Services, you must make several decisions and perform a number of preparation tasks: Understand the features supported in each of the six editions so you can choose the one most appropriate for your reporting needs 2.
Decide whether to implement Reporting Services in native mode or SharePoint integrated mode and whether you should deploy it in a single-server or multi-server topology. Review the hardware and software requirements for Reporting Services to ensure that the installation completes successfully.
Consider whether you need to create Microsoft Windows accounts or whether you want to use build-in accounts for use as service accounts.
Each edition of SQL Server supports a different set of features to meet specific scalability, performance, and pricing requirements. What are the Server Modes for Reporting Services? Two server modes are available for Reporting Services: The server mode you select is closely connected to the structure and usage of the report server databases so if you change modes you must create a new database.
What is SharePoint Integrated Mode? With this, you can locate, view, manage, and secure reports in the library. What are the benefits of SharePoint Mode? Office SharePoint Server provides several additional business intelligence features that enable you to integrate reports into dashboard pages using a Report Viewer Web Part with SharePoint filter Web Parts.
What are the limitations of SharePoint Mode? There are two important limitations with SharePoint integrated mode.
It does not support linked reports nor does it support performing administrative tasks such as report deployment in batch mode using the RS utility.
What kinds of accounts can Reporting Service be run under? The Report Server Service can be run under a built-in service account, a Windows account on your local computer, or in your network domain. What is the Reporting Service Configuration Manager? What does the RSCM consist of? The RSCM consists of many tabs: With it you connect to the database server with your credentials. What is a Shared Data Source?
A Shared Data Source is a data source connection string that is shared by all the reports in the project. What are Shared Data Sets? Share Data Sets are data sets which can be used by multiple reports.
What are Parameterized Reports? Parameterized Reports are reports that include parameters in them. These parameters can be applied to different functionalities. Such as using the parameters as a search predicate for your report table. In the report viewer, the user will see the parameter as a dropdown box that pulls available values from the select statement.
What are Cascaded Parameterized Reports? Cascaded Parameterized Reports are reports that use multiple parameters in them. However, some parameters will depend on other parameters for their values or value sets. The order of parameters can change the optimization of the report. For example, if we have a customer parameter that has million results it can be filtered by first having the gender parameter, which will cut the customer parameter results in half. What are Drill Down Reports?
Drill Down Reports are reports that have hierarchies within their rows or columns. They take advantage of expanding pivot tables to give the user aggregated data that can be expanded to show greater detail. What are Drill Through Reports? Drill Through Reports are reports which link objects to specific actions.
Specify arrows for new lines in reports. Explicitly specify the orientation of each page within reports. Specify security constraints for the resultant PDF document.
Embed font information into the resultant PDF document. Set the page margin size information for produced PDF documents. Parametric Support You can specify many configuration parameters that have an effect on how Aspose.
Integration with Microsoft Report Viewer Aspose. PDF for Reporting Services? PDF for.