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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks


Getting started with SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

Notes on SSRS from the Pluralsight course SQL Server Business Intelligence Overview and other online resources -

* SSRS is a server based reporting platform

* When you install SSRS it creates Report Server Databases in your SQL Server Instance. These databases are ReportServer and ReportServerTempDB

* Features:

  • Can report from a variety of data sources - Relational databases, XML files & feeds, multidimenstional data (OLAP), any ODBC or OLE-DB compliant source
  • Visualize data into a variety of formats - Tabular, matrix & free form reports, Charting & interactivity capabilities, Export to PDF, Excel, text, XML
  • Extensibility - Extend with managed code, Add new data sources, report logic & render formats

* SSRS is made up of 3 server components:

  • Report Manager – manages permissions, data sources, authorization settings
  • Report Server – Report processor/brain of SSRS, manages scheduling (auto generated reports) & delivery, URL access reports, provides Web Service API
  • SSRS Database – contains metadata, Report catalog & settings

* Report Server & Report Manager are bundled within a Windows Service, ReportingServicesService.exe

* Visual Studio Reporting Projects & Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS), a VS shell installed by SQL Server installation can both be used to design & deploy reports.

* RDL (stores query information) & RDS (data source) files created during report generation are XML-based.

* To changing Report data in BIDS, use the menu option – View > Report data. Report data displays parameters & fields for report to consume

* Add new items on the Report with View > Toolbox > Report Items

* Report Items lists controls & regions to place on a report:

  • Textbox – to display static or data bound text. Use expressions to manipulate text
  • Line
  • Table - can be associated with a data set.
  • Matrix  – pivot table
  • Rectangle
  • List 
  • Image
  • Subreport
  • Chart 
  • Gauge

* SSRS supports the reporting life cycle:

  • Author reports
  • Manage reports
  • Deliver reports
  • Secure reports

MSDN & BeyondRelational have friendly step-by-step tutorials to implement basic SSRS tasks.

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