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Reporting Services Features

SQL Server 2000

This section describes features for report definitions, design, management, execution, access and delivery, architecture, and programming. Links to additional information are provided at the end of each feature section.

Report Definition Features

Feature Description
Tabular, matrix, chart, and free-form reports You can build tabular reports for column-based data, matrix reports for summarized data, chart reports for graphical data, and free-form reports for everything else. Free-form report layout is based on data regions, which enclose controls and fields in a container that you can move, nest, or arrange in a side-by-side layout.
Combine report types Tabular, matrix, and charted information can be used in a single report.
Data source support You can populate reports with relational and multidimensional data from SQL Server, Analysis Services, and .NET provider data sources such as Oracle. ODBC and OLE DB providers are also supported.
Graphical elements You can embed or reference images and other resources that contain external information.
Parameterized reports You can add parameters to refine a query or filter a dataset. Dynamic parameters get values at run time based on user selections (the selection of one parameter builds the value list for a second parameter).
Navigation Bookmarks and document maps provide navigation options within a large report.
Interactive reports You can add interactive features by providing links to related reports and reports that provide supporting details. You can add scripted expressions in Visual Basic .NET.
Aggregations You can aggregate and summarize data using controls and expressions. Aggregates include sum, average, min, max, count, and running totals.
Presentation formats Choose a presentation format when you open the report, or after you open the report. You can choose Web-oriented, page-oriented, and desktop application formats. Formats include HTML, HTML with Office Web Components, MHTML, Acrobat (PDF), TIFF, and Excel.

For more information about report definition features, see Designing and Creating Reports.

Report Design Features

Feature Description
Report Designer Report Designer is a full-featured report authoring application that is hosted within the Visual Studio environment. For more information, see Report Designer.
Report Wizard Follow step-by-step instruction to create a report.
Import Reports Import existing Microsoft Access reports to create a report definition. Use this feature to create a report definition from an existing report.
Query builders Use query builders to create underlying queries for SQL Server relational data and Analysis Services multidimensional data.
Preview mode View design and layout changes in preview mode before you publish.
Publishing and deployment Publish directly from Report Designer to a report server test or production server.

For more information about report design, see Designing and Creating Reports.

Report Management Features

Feature Description
Report Manager Use a Web-based tool for managing and maintaining reports and the reporting environment. Report Manager is accessed from a report server. A browser is the only client-side component.
Command line utilities Command-line utilities support report server configuration, activation, key management, and scripted operations.
Scripted administration Create and run scripts to automate server administration tasks for deployed servers.
Report server folder hierarchy Create folders in the report server namespace to organize reports for specific groups of users (for example, folders for sales reports, human resources reports, and operational reports).
Role-based security Use role-based security to control access to folders, reports, and resources. Security settings follow an inheritance pattern through the folder structure. You can vary security at any branch to redefine user access at the item level.

Role-based security works with Windows authentication. A default security model provides initial security. Security is in place when the product installs. For more information, see Using Role-Based Security.

Job management Monitor and cancel pending or in-process reports.
Shared data sources and Shared schedules Create and manage data source connections and schedules independently of the reports that they are associated with.
Report history Use report history to store snapshot images of a report over time. Report history balances live, Web-based reporting with the need to maintain past reports for future reference. You can add report snapshots on an ad hoc basis or as a recurring scheduled operation.
Linked reports Repurpose an existing report by attaching a different set of properties, parameter values, or security settings to a named instance of a report. To the user, each linked report appears to be a stand-alone report.
Server configuration Edit configuration files to customize e-mail delivery, security, tracing, and more.

For more information about report management and server administration, see Managing Report Server Content and Deploying and Administering Reporting Servicess.

Report Execution Features

Feature Description
Scheduling Scheduled operations are supported through SQL Server Agent. You can schedule subscriptions, caching, report history, and report execution.
Report execution properties Set processing options to prevent a large report from running on demand. Control how and when reports are processed.
Report caching Improve performance by caching large, frequently accessed reports.
Report execution time-out settings Set time-out values to prevent a single report from overloading system resources.
Optimized performance Queries are processed in parallel for high performance. Reports are compiled as common language runtime assemblies to further improve performance.
Performance monitoring Performance objects and counters provide data about real-time processes. You can also use ASP.NET and SQL Server performance objects to monitor the Web service and report server.

For more information, see Managing Report Processing, Using Schedules, and Monitoring Performance.

Report Access and Delivery Features

Feature Description
On-demand access over Web connection Use a browser to navigate a folder hierarchy, which provides a familiar metaphor for finding and working with reports and other items. Reports can be referenced from a Favorites list in a Web browser, or hyperlinked from a corporate portal.
Report navigation Within a report, use page navigation, zoom in or out, search, and export features to view a report in other formats.
My Reports Use a personal workspace to store and manage reports and other items.
My Subscriptions Access and organize subscriptions from a single location.
Standard subscriptions Automate report delivery through a standard subscription. You can use subscriptions to set report presentation preferences. Users who prefer to view a report in Microsoft Excel, for example, can specify that format in a subscription.
Data driven subscriptions Automate report distribution through data-driven subscriptions, which generate a recipient list and delivery instructions at run time from an external data source. Use a query and column-mapping information to customize report output for a large number of users.
E-mail delivery Deliver a rendered report to a mailbox. Set delivery options that control whether the report is delivered as a link or attachment.
File share delivery Deliver a rendered report to a file share. Set delivery options that control whether the report is overwritten or added to an existing folder.

For more information, see Managing and Working With Published Reports and Distributing Reports Through Subscriptions.

Architecture Features

Feature Description
Multiple renderings Reports are processed in loosely coupled phases that separate data processing from final rendering. This enables multiple users to choose different rendering options for the same report.
Modular architecture Reporting Services is composed of components. Selected components are designed for extensibility. Programmatic access is supported from managed code.
Web service and Windows service The report server is implemented as a Web service and Windows service. The services work together to host, process, and deliver reports.

For more information, see Reporting Services Component Overview and Authoring, Managing, and Delivering Reports.

Report Programming Features

Feature Description
Report Definition Language (RDL) RDL describes all possible elements of a report using an XML grammar that is validated by an XML schema. The report definition of an individual report is based on RDL and contains instructions for realizing the design at run time.
SOAP API Use Report Server Web service methods to access a report server and report server engine programmatically.
URL Access Access through parameterized URL strings. All reports and items stored in a report server are addressable through the report server namespace.
WMI Reporting Services includes a Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) provider that you can use to manage the Report Server Windows service from code.
Extensible reports Add support for elements or features that are not present in the existing RDL schema, and then build custom tools and report rendering extensions to handle the features you create.
Extensible delivery Create custom delivery extensions to route reports to file shares, internal archive stores, or internal applications.
Extensible data processing Create custom data processing extensions to query, convert, or transform data.
Extensible rendering Create custom rendering extension to support report presentation in application formats or Web-oriented formats that are not provided with the product.

For more information, see Reporting Services Programming and Report Definition Language.

See Also

Introducing Reporting Services

Reporting Services Component Overview

Using Reporting Services

Authoring, Managing, and Delivering Reports

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