The report server is the central component of a Reporting Services installation. It consists of a pair of core processors plus a collection of special-purpose extensions that handle authentication, data processing, rendering, and delivery operations. Processors are the hub of the report server. The processors support the integrity of the reporting system and cannot be modified or extended. Extensions are also processors, but they perform very specific functions. Reporting Services includes one or more default extensions for every type of extension that is supported. You can add custom extensions to a report server. Doing so allows you to extend a report server to support features that are not supported out of the box; examples of custom functionality might include support for single sign-on technologies, report output in application formats that are not already handled by the default rendering extensions, and report delivery to a printer or application.
A single report server instance is defined by the complete collection of processors and extensions that provide end-to-end processing, from the handling of the initial request to the presentation of a finished report. Through its subcomponents, the report server processes report requests and makes reports available for on-demand access or scheduled distribution.
The following illustration shows a report server instance as it is installed by Setup. It includes the core processors and default extensions shown in the diagram:
The report server is implemented as a Microsoft Windows service, called the "Report Server service", that hosts a Web service, background processing, and other operations. In the Services console application, the service is listed as SQL Server Reporting Services (MSSQLSERVER). For more information about service implementation, see Service Architecture (Reporting Services).
Third-party developers can create additional extensions to replace or extend the processing capability of the report server. To learn more about the programmatic interfaces available to application developers, see the Developer's Guide and Technical Reference.
The report server includes two processors that perform preliminary and intermediate report processing, and scheduled and delivery operations. The Report Processor retrieves the report definition or model, combines layout information with data from the data processing extension, and renders it in the requested format. The Scheduling and Delivery Processor processes reports triggered from a schedule, and delivers reports to target destinations. For more information about each processor, see Report Processor and Scheduling and Delivery Processor.
The report server is a stateless server that stores all properties, objects, and metadata in a SQL Server database. Stored data includes published reports, report models, and the folder hierarchy that provides the addressing for all items managed by the report server. A report server database can provide internal storage for a single Reporting Services installation or for multiple report servers that are part of a scale-out deployment. If you configure a report server to run within a larger deployment of a SharePoint product or technology, the report server uses the SharePoint databases in addition to the report server database. For more information about data stores used in Reporting Services installation, see Report Server Database and Storing and Synchronizing Report Server Content With SharePoint Databases.
The report server supports the following types of extensions: authentication extensions, data processing extensions, report processing extensions, rendering extensions, and delivery extensions. A report server requires at least one authentication extension, data processing extension, and rendering extension. Delivery and custom report processing extensions are optional, but necessary if you want to support report distribution or custom controls.
Reporting Services provides default extensions so that you can use all of the server features without having to develop custom components. The following table describes the default extensions that contribute to a complete report server instance that provides ready-to-use functionality:
A default report server instance supports Windows Authentication, including impersonation and delegation features if they are enabled in your domain.
A default report server instance includes data processing extensions for SQL Server, Analysis Services, Oracle, Hyperion Essbase, SAPBW, OLE DB, and ODBC data sources.
A default report server instance includes rendering extensions for HTML, Excel, CSV, XML, Image, Word, and PDF.
A default report server instance includes an e-mail delivery extension and a file share delivery extension. If the report server is configured for SharePoint integration, you can use a delivery extension that place report deliveries in a SharePoint library.
Reporting Services includes a complete set of tools and applications that you can use to administer the server, create content, and make that content available to users in your organization. For more information about all of the components included in a Reporting Services installation, and descriptions of the default extensions and the custom report processing extension, see Component Architecture.