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Comparing Report Authoring Environments

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services offers three report authoring environments:

  • Report Builder 2.0. Use this tool to design reports by using the familiar Ribbon interface.

  • Report Builder 1.0. Use this tool to design ad hoc reports that use a report model as a source of data.

  • Report Designer. Use this tool in SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio to design full-function reports.

All three authoring environments create report definitions in the Report Definition Language (RDL). This topic lists the features that are supported in each authoring environment.

Feature

Report Designer (BI Development Studio) in SQL Server 2008

Report Builder 1.0

Report Builder 2.0 (Standalone and ClickOnce)

Integrate SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) reports and data sources, SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) cubes, SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) packages, and Visual Studio (VS) language projects in a single solution in BI Development Studio.

Available

Use VS-compatible source control systems such as VSTS or SourceSafe.

Available

Enable business users who do not want to work in BI Development Studio to create their own report or to update, edit and share existing reports.

AvailableAvailable

Use Microsoft Office-optimized report authoring environment. 

Available

Use multiple deployment configurations.

Available

Manage resources such as images as part of a project.

Available

Custom configuration options for data extensions, rendering extensions, custom assemblies.

Available

Feature

Report Designer (BI Development Studio) in SQL Server 2008

Report Builder 1.0

Report Builder 2.0 (Standalone and ClickOnce)

Create and use embedded data sources.

Available

Available

Use shared data sources with report server credentials.

Available

Create shared data sources.

Available

Create queries that retrieve data directly from relational databases by using a graphical query designer.

Available

View Designer from Visual Database Tools

Available

Relational Query Designer: SQL Server only

Create queries that retrieve data directly from relational databases by using a text-based query designer.

Available

Available

Create queries that retrieve data directly from multidimensional databases by using a graphical query designer.

Available

Available

Create queries for a multidimensional database by using a text-based query designer that supports extended field properties.

Available

Create queries that retrieve data directly from data mining models.

Available

Retrieve data from multiple queries for multiple data sources in a single report.

Available

Available

Import queries from .sql files or reports.

Available

Available

Retrieve data from data source types SQL Server, Analysis Services, Sap NetWeaver BI, Hyperion Essbase, OLE DB, Teradata, ODBC, Oracle, XML.

Available

Available

Retrieve data from report models built from SQL Server, Analysis Services, Oracle, or Teradata.

AvailableAvailableAvailable

Feature

Report Designer (BI Development Studio) in SQL Server 2008

Report Builder 1.0

Report Builder 2.0 (Standalone and ClickOnce)

New Report Wizard.

Available

Data Region Wizard.

Available

Rich visualizations (chart, gauge).

AvailableAvailable

Basic chart

Available

Free-form report layout surface.

Available

Available

Query generation through layout actions.

Available

Automatic generation of infinite drill through links.

Available

Automatic formatting of data for number format and column width.

Available

Flexible data layout (Tablix).

Available

Available

Snaplines for alignment.

Available

Available

Zoom.

Available

Available

Field tags to add fields to cells.

Available

Available

Placeholder text for simple expressions.

Available

Available

Full support for RDL features.

Available

Available

Advanced grouping, sorting, filtering.

AvailableAvailableAvailable

Multiple data regions in one report.

Available

Available

Feature

Report Designer (BI Development Studio) in SQL Server 2008

Report Builder 1.0

Report Builder 2.0 (Standalone and ClickOnce)

IntelliSense for report expressions.

Available

Display processing errors in the Task pane.

Available

Feature

Report Designer (BI Development Studio) in SQL Server 2008

Report Builder 1.0

Report Builder 2.0 (Standalone and ClickOnce)

Excel

AvailableAvailableAvailable

Word

AvailableAvailableAvailable

PDF (Acrobat)

AvailableAvailableAvailable

MHTML (Web archive)

AvailableAvailableAvailable

TIFF

AvailableAvailableAvailable

CSV (Comma delimited)

AvailableAvailableAvailable

XML (Report data only)

AvailableAvailableAvailable

HTML 4.0

AvailableAvailableAvailable

Feature

Report Designer (BI Development Studio) in SQL Server 2008

Report Builder 1.0

Report Builder 2.0 (Standalone and ClickOnce)

Provides design time support for Custom Report Items (CRI).

Available

Use local CRIs.

Available

Use report server CRIs.

Available

Available

Use local custom .NET Framework assemblies in languages such as VB.NET or C#.

Available

Use runtime custom .NET Framework assemblies on the report server.

Available

Use local custom data sources.

Available

Use custom data sources installed on the report server.

Available

Use a custom security extension on the report server to authenticate username and password.

AvailableAvailableAvailable

Feature

Report Designer (BI Development Studio) in SQL Server 2008

Report Builder 1.0

Report Builder 2.0 (Standalone and ClickOnce)

View RDL source.

Available

Import existing reports from Access.

Available

Updated content

Added information about automatic data formatting in the Report Layout Support Features table.

Added information about support for custom security extensions in the Custom Extension Features table.

Included information about feature set in Report Builder 2.0 ClickOnce, introduced in SQL Server 2008 PCU1.

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