Authoring, Managing, and Delivering Reports
To understand Reporting Services functionality and how its components work together, you need to understand the lifecycle of a report as it progresses through the authoring, management, and delivery phases. Each new phase in the lifecycle introduces a new set of report features and functionality.
Report Lifecycle Diagram
The report lifecycle diagram below shows reporting phases, beginning with report authoring.
In the authoring phase, a report designer uses an authoring tool to create a report definition. A report definition is a blueprint of a report, before the report is processed and rendered. The report definition contains layout, connection, and query information. For more information about the authoring phase, see Report Authoring.
After a report definition is complete, the report designer publishes it to a report server where it becomes a managed report. In the management phase, a report server administrator uses Report Manager to work with managed reports. A managed report is any report that is saved in a report server and has properties and associated meta data that allow the report to be secured, scheduled, moved, renamed, linked to other reports and deleted. For more information about the management phase, see Report Management.
During report processing, a report definition is processed to get the data, merge the data with report layout, and render the output into a format suitable for viewing. Report processing produces a generated report. Reports are processed either on-demand, when a user selects a report from the report server, or according to a schedule.
After a report is generated, users can access it in a variety of ways. In the access and delivery phase, a report is viewed through an application (for example, a Web browser or a Microsoft Office XP application such as Microsoft Excel), routed to a delivery target such as an e-mail inbox, printer, or Web site. For more information about the access and delivery phase, see Report Access and Delivery.