Report Deployment Checklist
There are two primary deployment scenarios for making reports available for general use. You can use Report Manager, the viewing tool included with Reporting Services, or you can embed URLs to published reports on an existing corporate portal.
For more information about publishing and deploying reports through Report Designer, see Debugging and Publishing Reports. For more information about using Report Manager to upload finished reports to a report server, see Uploading Files to a Folder.
Deploying Reports Through Report Manager
The easiest way to make reports available to users is through Report Manager. Report Manager can be configured to support an end-user mode that provides view-only access to reports on a report server. Administration features that are typically available in Report Manager can be hidden from users who do not have local administrator account access. To support this mode, you create role assignments that map specific user or group accounts to the Browser role (or another role that includes view-only tasks).
Deploying Reports on a Corporate Portal
Reports that have been published to a report server are accessible through a URL address. You can place URLs to published reports on a portal Web page. If you are using a portal server, the portal software must support access to hyperlinked content. When the user clicks a link to a report URL, the report is processed on the report server and then returned to the client browser. An HTML viewer provides a report toolbar and supports interactive report features, so you can open a report through its URL address without having to install a client component or configure the portal in any special way.
For best results, you should open the report in a new browser window. You can edit the report URL to set parameters that select a specific rendering format or hide the report toolbar. For more information, see URL Access.
Report Deployment Overview
The following sections provide general information that is useful for any deployment.
Deploying Oracle Reports
You can build and deploy reports that use data from an Oracle database. Before you deploy the report, you must install Oracle client tools on the report server that hosts the report. After you install the client tools, you must restart Internet Information Services (IIS).
Stage Reports Before Deploying
You can create a separate folder to stage the report. Report authors can publish the report to a staging folder so that you can test and configure it before making it available for general use. After the report is configured, you can move it to a target folder. For more information, see How to move an item.
You can omit this step if you are not concerned about users accessing the report before it is fully configured. For more information about folders, see Creating, Modifying, and Deleting Folders and Securing Folders.
Configure Data Sources
After a report is published to a report server, you can configure its data source to modify connection information and credentials. If the report supports subscriptions or scheduled report history, or if it runs as a report execution snapshot, you must configure the data source to use stored credentials or no credentials. For more information about data source properties that you can set, see Modifying Data Source Properties.
Restrict Access to the Data Source
Because a report server never writes back to an external data source, you do not need to be concerned about data corruption from a report server user. However, a report server does run queries against external data sources. For this reason, unauthorized access to sensitive data is a security risk that you must address. To mitigate this threat, do one of the following to ensure that only authorized users have access to the external data sources used by reports:
- Require user authentication to external data sources. You can configure a report to prompt users for credentials before the data is retrieved for the report.
- Create least-privilege login accounts for the database server. For example, if you are using a SQL Server database, you can create a login named data reader that has only the db_datareader role assigned to it. You can then specify credentials for data reader in the Data Source properties page of a report.
Set Query Time-outs
You can set a query timeout value on the database server to minimize the possibility of any one query consuming too many processing resources on the database server. SQL Server instances have a query time-out value by default. You can set this value in SQL Server. You can also specify a query time-out value for the report that is passed to the SQL Server instance. For more information, see Setting Time-out Values.
Configure Report Execution Properties
Reports are configured by default to run on demand. This means that the queries that are defined for the report are executed against the data source each time a user selects a report. If you do not want a report to run on demand, you can set report execution properties to control when and how the report is run. For more information, see Managing Report Processing.
Configure Report History Properties
You can keep a history of a report by saving snapshots of the report. You can schedule when a snapshot is added to report history, or you can add a snapshot manually. For more information, see Managing Report History.
As part of report deployment, you can create subscriptions that distribute reports to users through e-mail or to a file share. You can create subscriptions at any time. You can also allow users to create individual subscriptions. There are several ways to subscribe to reports. For more information about report distribution strategies, see Distributing Reports Through Subscriptions and Creating, Modifying, and Deleting Subscriptions.