What is SSRS?

What is SSRS?

SSRS or SQL server Reporting Services which is also called Microsoft SQL reporting is a component of the Microsoft BI stack. Reporting Services has intergraded into a mature and flexible reporting Tool.

Organizations can leverage Reporting Services and the Microsoft Business Intelligence Platform to implement a variety of reporting solutions, including enterprise reporting, Internet reporting, ad hoc reporting, and embedding reports in custom applications.

 

Why Use Reporting Services?

Reporting Services can help you implement a wide variety of type reporting. For example, Reporting Services can address two of the most pervasive reporting needs in every organization: standard reporting and ad hoc reporting.

Standard reporting

A standard report is a conditioned report whose layout is not meant to be changed by end users. Sales by Product marketing reports and Balance Sheet financial reports are good examples of standard reports. Standard reports can be rather complex. For instance, features a standard report that has multiple tables and chart sections:

 SSRS Standard reporting

 

Ad-hoc reporting

Ad hoc reporting allows business users to create their own reports. Since standard reports take significant time and effort to produce, many organizations are looking for ways to let end users create specific, customized reports. Reporting Services provides ad hoc reporting features that address the business reporting needs of less technically savvy users. End users can build simple reports without prior knowledge of the underlying database schema or query language. For example, the image below shows a crosstab report which I authored quickly using the Report Builder component of Reporting Services.

This report shows the sales order data broken down by product category on rows and by ears on columns. In comparison with standard reports, ad hoc reports typically have simpler report layouts. End users would typically author such reports for private use although Reporting Services let users share reports if needed.

SSRS Ad-hoc reporting

Enterprise reporting

Suppose that your company would like to implement an enterprise-wide reporting system where reports are centrally managed and available to anyone on the corporate intranet who is authorized to view them. Because Reporting Services is a server-based platform, report authors can deploy reports to a designated report server. The report administrator would then define security policies that enforce restricted access to these reports as needed. Authorized users can request the reports on demand, analyze their data, and make decisions. Users can also automate report delivery by subscribing to reports on a schedule. For example, a sales manager can subscribe to a Monthly Sales report to receive it on a monthly basis via e-mail. When the scheduled event occurs, Reporting Services processes and e-mails the report to the sales manager.

 

Digital dashboards and portals

Many organizations build digital dashboards and web-based portals to gauge business performance and let users collaborate online. Information workers can use Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services or Microsoft Office SharePoint Server to assemble such solutions by creating personalized dashboard pages consisting of web parts. Suppose that your organization would like to deploy strategic reports to the corporate SharePoint-based portal. You can configure Reporting Services to integrate seamlessly with SharePoint. From an end-user perspective, reports appear just like any other documents deployed to the portal. For example, users can upload a report, check the report in or out, version reports, change report parameters and execution properties, and so on. Users can click a report to view the report on demand. With a few clicks, you can assemble a SharePoint dashboard page with multiple report views. For example, the image below shows a dashboard page that displays two reports side-by-side. The left report shows the company sales as a chart. The right report shows the value of the Product Gross Profit Margin KPI. Dashboard pages are very powerful as they help the executive management team quickly understand the company business by just glancing at the page.

 SSRS Digital dashboards and portals

Web-based reporting

In keeping with the fast pace of the Internet age, everyone wants to have up-to-date information   by accessing the latest data in real time over the web. Reporting Services reports are the web enabled   by default. Consequently, end users can view a report by requesting its URL in the browser.

 

Embedded reporting

Almost all applications require some sort of reporting capability. For example, you may have a desktop application used to produce operational reports. Or, your company may need to enhance its web portal to let online users view reports, such as a report that shows the customer order history. Thanks to the Reporting Services open programming interfaces, any web-based application can integrate with Reporting Services irrespective of the targeted programming language and operating system. As noted, a custom application can simply request the report by URL. Alternatively, developers can use the Report Server Web service if more programmatic control is needed. Furthermore, adding reporting features to.NET applications is even easier because Microsoft has provided ReportViewer Windows Forms and Web server controls in Visual Studio.

 

Summary

SSRS is Microsoft’s answer to business reporting. It provides a unified, server-based, extensible, and scalable platform from which to deliver and present information. Reporting services is a powerful enterprise reporting platform. Сapable of meeting your report delivery needs simple to administer. Also constantly evolving to become even more powerful.

 

References

Books:

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services by Brian Larson

Applied Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services by Teo Lachev

Web Sites:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/sqlserver/cc511478.aspx

Blogs:

Reporting Services Team Blog - http://blogs.msdn.com/b/sqlrsteamblog/

Robert Bruckner - http://blogs.msdn.com/b/robertbruckner/

 

Also check out:

Best Regards. Taras Ozarkiv

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