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Alternative Ways to Get a Data Connection (Report Builder)

A data connection contains the information to connect to an external data source such as a SQL Server database. Usually, you get the connection information and the type of credentials to use from the data source owner.

To specify a data connection, you can use a shared data source from the report server or create an embedded data source that is used only in a specific report.

In most tutorials you use embedded data sources, but if you have access to shared data sources, then you can use them instead.

If the report server has available shared data source that you have permissions to use, you can use them instead of an embedded data source. The following procedures tell how to locate the shared data sources and provide any credentials needed to use them.

To use a shared data source, you must browse to a report server and select one. Usually, you get the report server URL from the report server administrator.

To specify a data connection from a list of shared data sources

  1. On the Choose a dataset page, select Create a dataset, and then click Next. The Choose a connection to a data source page opens.

  2. From the list of data sources, select a data source that you have permission to access.

  3. To verify that you can connect to the data source, click Test Connection. The message "Connection created successfully" appears. Click OK.  

  4. Click Next.

    If necessary, enter your credentials. To save the credentials locally, select Save password with connection. If you not select this option, you will be prompted for credentials every time that you run the report

  5. Click OK.

To specify a data connection by browsing to a shared data source on a report server

  1. On the Choose a dataset page, select Create a dataset, and then click Next. The Choose a connection to a data source page opens.

  2. Click Browse. The Select Data Source dialog box opens.

  3. From the Look in drop-down list, select Recent Sites and Servers. In the data source pane, click the URL for your server, and then click Open.

    The list of data sources or models appears.

  4. Alternatively, in Name, type the URL to the report server. Click Open.

    Report Builder connects to the report server and loads the data sources that are available at the root folder.

  5. Navigate to a folder that contains a data source that you have sufficient permissions to connect to, select the data source, and then click Open.

    You are back on the Choose a connection to a data source page.

  6. To verify that you can connect to the data source, click Test Connection.

    The message "Connection created successfully" appears. Click OK.  

  7. Click Next.

  8. If you are prompted for a user name and password, enter your credentials. To save the credentials locally, select Save password with connection.

  9. Click OK.

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