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What's New (Reporting Services)

The SQL Server 2012 introduces a number of new Reporting Services features.

For information about features in this release for other SQL Server 2012 products and technologies, see What's New in SQL Server 2012.

Note Note

For a summary of installing SQL Server 2012 SP1 and SQL Server BI features, see Upgrade BI Features to SQL Server 2012 SP1.

Power View

Power View, a feature of SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services Add-in for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise Edition, is an interactive data exploration, visualization, and presentation experience. It provides drag-and-drop ad hoc reporting for business users such as data analysts, business decision makers, and information workers. Power View reports are in a new file format, RDLX.

Power View expands on the self-service BI capabilities delivered with PowerPivot for Excel and PowerPivot for SharePoint by enabling customers to visualize and interact with modeled data in a meaningful way, using interactive visualizations, animations, and smart querying. It is a browser-based Silverlight application launched from within SharePoint Server 2010 that enables users to present and share insights with others in their organization through interactive presentations.

Based on Tabular Models

With Power View, customers start from an SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services (SSAS) tabular model to build their reports. Tabular models use metadata to present an underlying data source to end users, with predefined relationships and behaviors, in terms they understand. For more information about tabular models, see What's New (Analysis Services) and Tabular Modeling (SSAS Tabular).

Coexists with Report Builder

Power View does not replace Report Builder, the report authoring tool for richly designed operational reports. Power View addresses the need for Web-based, ad hoc reporting. It co-exists with the latest version of Report Builder, which also ships in SQL Server 2012.

For more information, see the following:

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SharePoint Mode

SharePoint integration has been re-architected to greatly improve the SharePoint IT administrator experience, the end user experience, and supportability. The new architecture is implemented as a SharePoint 2010 shared service. The shared service architecture allows Reporting Services to leverage many of the IT features of SharePoint products. The following is a list of some of the benefits from this release:

  • Configuration of Reporting Services SharePoint mode is now completely supported through SharePoint Central Administration using management pages for Reporting Services service applications or using Reporting Services SharePoint mode PowerShell cmdlets.

    Important note Important

    Reporting Services Configuration Manager no longer supports Reporting Services SharePoint mode. Configuration of SharePoint mode is completed using SharePoint Central Administration.

  • Leverage SharePoint scale-out functionality for Reporting Services Service Applications.

  • The new Reporting Services shared service is hosted in SharePoint Shared Service Application pool.

  • The new Reporting Services service applications support Claims based authentication.

  • SharePoint cross-farm support for viewing reports.

  • Support for SharePoint backup and recovery and end-to-end SharePoint ULS logging.

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Data Alerts

Reporting Services data alerts are a data-driven alerting solution that informs you about changes in report data that are of interest to you, and at a relevant time.

Imagine a sales report that contains information such as year-to-day sales, average monthly sales, and sales targets for sales persons by territory. As a sales person, you would like to know how you are doing. By creating a data alert on the sales report, you can receive messages whenever year-to-date sales exceed or fall below a specified value or contain data that you consider noteworthy. Rules in the data alert definition specify the data values to trigger the data alert. By using AND and OR operators in the rules you can combine many clauses into complex rules that define precisely the report data values you want to be notified of.

In some cases, the presence of any data in a report is of interest. For example, a report that lists cancelled orders becomes interesting when the first cancellation occurs. You can create data alerts on reports in which the presence of data, rather than specific data values, is important.

Data alerts messages are sent by email. Depending on the importance of the information, you can choose to send alert messages more or less frequently and only when results change. You can specify multiple recipients for the alert messages and this way keep others informed and enhance efficiency and collaboration. If you want to send alert messages immediately, you can run data alerts directly instead of waiting for them to run automatically at the scheduled time.

The following summarizes the key areas of data alerting:

  • Define and save data alert definitions—User views a report, adds a data alert, creates rules that identify interesting data values, defines recurrence patterns for sending the alert, and specifies the recipients of the data alert message.

  • Run data alert definitions—Alerting service runs data alert definitions at a scheduled time, retrieves report data, and triggers data alerts based on the rules in the alert definition.

  • Deliver data alert messages to recipients—Alerting service creates an alert instance and sends data alert messages by email to recipients.

Data alerts provide the following tools for creating and managing data alert instances and definitions:

  • Data Alert Designer—Users create and edit data alert definitions.

  • Data Alert Manager for users—Users view information about their data alerts, delete their data alert definitions, or open alert definitions for editing.

  • Data Alert Manager for alerting administrators—Alerting administrators view a list of data alerts created by all users on the SharePoint site and delete alerts.

For more information, see Data Alerts (SSRS), Data Alert Designer, Data Alert Manager for SharePoint Users, and Data Alert Manager for Alerting Administrators.

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Report Server Projects in SQL Server Data Tools for Visual Studio

In SQL Server 2012, SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) is an add-in to Visual Studio. Report server projects created in SQL Server 2008 R2 can be opened directly into SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT). Projects created in SQL Server 2008 are automatically upgraded when opened in SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT). For ease of managing your existing and new report server projects, you can continue to add projects created in SQL Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2008 to a SQL Server 2012 business intelligence solution.

You can also continue to open and edit reports that use the 2005 and 2008 RDL schemas in SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT). However, if you add a report item that is not compatible with the schema used by a report, the report will be automatically upgraded to the 2010 RDL schema.

Excel Renderer for Microsoft Excel 2007-2010 and Microsoft Excel 2003

The Reporting Services Excel rendering extension, new in SQL Server 2012, renders a report as an Excel document that is compatible with Microsoft Excel 2007-2010 as well as Microsoft Excel 2003 with the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint installed. The format is Office Open XML and the file extension is XLSX.

This Excel-rendering extension removes limitations of the earlier version, compatible with Excel 2003. The following lists the improvement in the rendering extension:

  • Maximum rows per worksheet is 1,048,576.

  • Maximum columns per worksheet is 16,384.

  • Number of colors allowed in a worksheet is approximately 16 million (24-bit color).

  • ZIP compression provides smaller files sizes.

For more information, see Exporting to Microsoft Excel (Report Builder and SSRS).

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Word Renderer for Microsoft Word 2007-2010 and Microsoft Word 2003

The Reporting Services Word rendering extension, new in SQL Server 2012, renders a report as a Word document that is compatible with Microsoft Word 2007-2010 as well as Microsoft Word 2003 with the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint installed. The format is Office Open XML and the file extension is DOCX.

In addition to making the features that are new in Word 2007-2010 available to exported reports, *.docx files of exported reports tend to be smaller. Reports exported by using the Word renderer are typically significantly smaller than the same reports exported by using the Word 2003 renderer.

For more information, see Exporting to Microsoft Word (Report Builder and SSRS).

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