Report Models

A report model is a business description of an underlying database that is used for building ad hoc reports in Report Builder 1.0. Report models can also be used as data sources for reports created in Report Designer. A report model is an additional layer of information that maps database tables and views into concepts that are meaningful to business users. A well-designed report model should reflect the information that business users want to report on organized in a meaningful way.

Report models are created in Model Designer or by generating in one of several Reporting Services Management tools, and then published to a report server or SharePoint site. Report models are then used as the basis for ad hoc reporting. Users who have permission to work on the report can refine it over time by adding and modifying filters, formulas, or even the type of information that is included in the report.

A model is a collection of entities and their relationships that reflects the real-world relationships between business functions and processes, for example, how Products relates to Inventory and Sales. Entities are logical groupings of attributes, such as Product ID, Product Name and other product-related items, and their relationships that describe individual data points, such as Product ID.

The purpose of a report model is to remove the need for specialized knowledge that prevents some business users from creating their own reports. Report models eliminate knowledge requirements for building query construction, data source connections and authentication, expressions, filters, and parameters. All of these aspects of report design can be built into the report model, allowing business users to focus on the data of interest.


Report models are not based on the Unified Modeling Language (UML) or other model specifications. Report models are not compatible with other modeling tools or languages. To create, publish, and use report models, you must use the authoring and deployment tools provided in Reporting Services.

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