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Behavior Changes in SQL Server Reporting Services

This topic describes behavior changes in Reporting Services. Behavior changes affect how features work or interact in SQL Server 2008 as compared to earlier versions of SQL Server.

Report Server Configuration and Management Tools

Report Authoring

Report Processing

Report Rendering

Reporting Services includes several tools and applications that you use to configure the server and manage content and operations. In this release, each tool is aligned to a specific purpose: configuration, administration, and content management. To promote consistency within a tool and to remove overlapping functionality, features and tasks have been added and removed from tools. If you were accustomed to using a tool to perform a given task, you might now need to use a different tool to accomplish the same task.

Feature

Description

Reporting Services Configuration

Color-code status icons have been removed. New URL configuration pages replace the pages for creating virtual directories. The workflow for creating and configuring a report server database has been revised. You now use a wizard to create or update database connection.

SQL Server Management Studio

Management Studio supports only server administration tasks. You can connect to and configure a report server that runs in native mode or in SharePoint integrated mode.

Report Manager

Report Manager is used to view and manage report server content. This release introduces the ability to manage report models. You can now set model item security and associate clickthrough reports to entities in a model.

When viewing a report in Report Manager, because of the changes introduced by on-demand report processing, the toolbar displays a page estimate with a question mark instead of the actual number of pages for a report. You can still click the Last Page button and navigate to the end of the report.

Tasks Supported by Tools

Tasks

Report Server Configuration

Management Studio

Report Manager

Command line utilities

Reserve URLs

X

X

Set the service account and password

X

X

Create the report server database or change connection information

X

X

Configure report server scale-out

X

X

Back up, restore, change keys or delete encrypted data

X

X

Configure unattended execution account

X

X

Configure report server e-mail

X

Enable My Reports

X

Enable logging on report execution

X

Enable client-side printing

X

Set server defaults for report history

X

Create or modify role definitions

X

View status of a running report or model process and stop it if it is taking too long

X

Grant permissions to report server items and operations by creating role assignments at the item and system level

X

Define and manage the report server folder hierarchy

X

View reports, report models, shared data sources, resources, and folders

X

Upload report definition (.rdl), report model (.smdl), and resource files

X

Create and manage shared schedules

X

X

Create and manage linked reports

X

Create and manage report history

X

Create and manage shared data sources, and any data source properties defined in an individual report

X

Schedule when data processing occurs for a report or configure a report to run as a report execution snapshot

X

Subscribe to report deliveries and create and manage data-driven subscriptions

X

Create data-driven subscriptions

X

Use Report Builder to create, modify, and save reports

X

Generate models, associate clickthrough reports to entities in a model, and set model item security

X

In earlier versions of Reporting Services, the four data regions (Table, Matrix, List, and Chart) were distinct report items with their own layout behavior and properties. In this release of Reporting Services, the Table, Matrix, and List data regions have been replaced by a new flexible grid layout called a Tablix data region that uses predefined templates to create the former data regions. The Tablix data region enables you to combine aspects of tables and matrices into flexible report layouts. The Chart data region remains a separate report item. New chart types, such as Polar, Radar, and Funnel, have been added to the Chart data region. For more information about the new chart types, see Working with Chart Data Regions. For more information about the Tablix data region, see Working with Tablix Data Regions.

Preserving White Space in a Report Body or Rectangle Container

Extra white space is no longer removed by default. When you render a report that had extra white space on the report body when viewed on the report design surface, the trailing white space after the last report item on the page is preserved. This may result in more pages for an existing report. To remove the white space, set the report property ConsumeContainerWhitespace to true.

For more information, see What's New in Report Authoring.

Report processing has been redesigned in SQL Server 2008. Reports are now processed and rendered page by page as a report user interactively reads through a report. The amount of data on each page influences the rendering time for each page. The total number of pages is determined when a report is rendered. For some renderers, an estimated number of pages is displayed until all pages in a report have been rendered.

Images

Images are no longer retrieved during the initial session when a report is rendered. Images are retrieved when they are accessed for the first time during on-demand processing.

For history and execution snapshots, images are retrieved at snapshot creation time.

Execution Log: TimeDataRetrieval, TimeProcessing, TimeRendering

Report log entries for TimeDataRetrieval, TimeProcessing, and TimeRendering are logged at the initial request to the report processor.

Error Detection on Export

In earlier versions of Reporting Services, the entire report was processed before any page could be viewed. Errors in expressions for the Visibility.Hidden RDL property were detected before a report could be exported. If you could view the first page of a report, you could export the entire report without error.

In this release, reports are processed page-by-page. If errors exist in an expression for the Visibility.Hidden RDL property, the error may not be detected until the page on which the error exists is rendered for export. In this case, the entire export fails. Being able to view a few pages of a report successfully does not guarantee that you can export the entire report. You must try to export the report and wait for a successful completion before you know that the report exports without error.

Expression evaluation for group, sort, and filter operations continue to behave in the same way as previous Reporting Services versions. Errors in these expressions are detected by the report processing component, and are reported as critical errors before the first page of a report is rendered.

Report rendering redesign has introduced the following behavior changes when rendering an existing report.

Page Breaks

In earlier versions of Reporting Services, soft page break renderers handled report items in a container (in a rectangle or in the report body) in the following way: page breaks from the top-most and bottom-most report items were applied to the container in order to minimize extra blank pages. In the new rendering object model, page breaks that you set on report items, known as logical page breaks, always cause a new page to be rendered. No attempt is made to eliminate extra pages.

For more information, see Understanding Pagination in Reporting Services.

RepeatWith Items

In earlier versions of Reporting Services, soft page break renderers included report items on a page when the RepeatWith property was set to true. These report items were not counted when calculating page size because of the flexible nature of page size for a soft page break renderer, nor were they counted when you set InteractiveHeight to control the amount of data on a page. In SQL Server 2008, these items will be counted toward the total page size. The result is that pages may contain less data, but setting the value for InteractiveHeight has more influence on the page size.

For more information, see Understanding Rendering Behaviors.

Nested Subreports and Data Regions in Excel

In earlier versions of Reporting Services, nested data regions and subreports in table and matrix cells were not supported when you exported a report to Microsoft Office Excel. In SQL Server 2008, this limitation has been removed. You can design reports that use nested data regions and subreports in a data region, export the report to the Excel renderer, and view the nested report items.

For more information, see Exporting to Microsoft Excel.

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