Introducing Reporting Services
Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2000 Reporting Services is a new server-based reporting platform that you can use to create and manage tabular, matrix, graphical, and free-form reports that contain data from relational and multidimensional data sources. The reports that you create can be viewed and managed over a Web-based connection.
Reporting Services provides a complete set of services, tools, and application programming interfaces (APIs), but you do not have to be a programmer to use Reporting Services. You can use the applications and tools included in Reporting Services to author, publish, and manage reports. There is a tool or application that supports each phase of the report lifecycle. For those who do program, an API is available to extend or integrate report capabilities into custom solutions.
Advantages of Web-enabled Reporting
You can build a reporting environment on top of your existing database server and Web server infrastructure. Reporting Services provides a middle-tier server that runs under Internet Information Services. You can build reports that draw data from the data servers you have in place for any data source type that has a .NET managed data provider, OLE DB provider, or ODBC data source.
Report deployment can also leverage existing infrastructure and skills. Users can access reports and management tools using a browser and navigation skills they already have. Reports are accessed from a central store that is represented as a folder hierarchy. You can create a reporting environment that organizes reports and collateral content in a folder hierarchy that you design. Navigation, search, and subscription features help users locate and run the reports they need.
Reports can be rendered in both desktop and Web-oriented formats. You can build a wide range of reports that combine the strengths of Web-based features and traditional reporting. You can create interactive, tabular, or free-form reports that retrieve data at scheduled intervals or on-demand when the user opens a report. Matrix reports can summarize data for high-level reviews, while providing supporting detail in drilldown reports. Parameterized reports can be used to filter data based on values that are provided at run time. Users can choose from a variety of viewing formats to render reports on the fly in preferred formats for data manipulation or printing.
Why Server-based Reporting?
Server-based reporting provides a way to centralize report storage and management, set policies and secure access to reports and folders, control how reports are processed and distributed, and standardize how reports are used in your business.
Reporting Services is scaleable. You can install report servers on single-server, distributed, and Web farm configurations.
About the Platform
Reporting Services has a modular architecture. The platform is based on a report server engine that consists of processors and services that obtain and process data. Processing is distributed across multiple components that can be extended or integrated into custom solutions. Presentation processing occurs after the data is retrieved and is decoupled from data processing. This feature allows multiple users to review the same report simultaneously in formats designed for different devices or quickly change the viewing format of the report. With a single click, HTML becomes PDF or Microsoft Excel or XML.
The architecture is designed to support new kinds of data sources or output formats. The rendering extensions included with Reporting Services are used to render reports in HTML and other formats for desktop applications such as Adobe Acrobat (PDF) and Microsoft Excel, but developers can create other rendering extensions to take advantage of printer or device capabilities.
Developers can include reporting functionality in custom applications or extend reporting functionality to support custom features. An API exposed as a Web service provides Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and URL endpoints for easy integration with new or existing applications and portals.
Getting More Information
The following table describes the topics in this section.
|Using Reporting Services||Describes scenarios for using Reporting Services.|
|Reporting Services Features||Summarizes Reporting Services features by category.|
|Authoring, Managing, and Delivering Reports||Explains reporting features and functionality in the context of the report lifecycle, which includes authoring, publication, management, execution, and access.|
|Report Terminology||Describes important terms and concepts.|
|Reporting Services Component Overview||Provides an architecture diagram and component overview.|