Reporting is one of the most important activities of an organization because it provides a specialized and customized view of the data of various forms that live in databases or are stored in archives. The report is useful in making business decisions, scheduling business campaigns or assessing the competition. The report itself may be required in hard copy in several document formats such as DOC, HTML, PDF, etc. Often times it is also required in an interactive form for retrieving data from the data store and viewed on an interactive interface, including a web browser. The Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services, popularly known by its acronym SSRS, provides all that is necessary to create and manage reports and deploy them on a report server with output available in several document formats. In Visual Studio .NET 2003 IDE it was supported via Business Intelligent Project Type and presently it is an integral part of MS SQL Server 2005 accessed via SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio.
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services provides a complete server-based platform that is designed to support a wide variety of reporting needs, including managed enterprise reporting, ad-hoc reporting, embedded reporting, and Web-based reporting, to enable organizations to deliver relevant information where needed across the entire enterprise. Reporting Services 2008 provides the tools and features necessary to author a variety of richly formatted reports from a wide range of data sources, and provides a comprehensive set of familiar tools used to manage and secure an enterprise reporting solution. Reports are processed and delivered quickly and effectively, enabling users to either receive reports automatically through subscriptions, to access reports from a central report repository on an ad-hoc basis, or to consume reports in the context of their business processes through reports directly embedded into their business or Web applications.
Features of Reporting Service 2008 :
- Report authoring : Report developers can create reports to be published using use Report Definition Language(RDL), an XML-based industry standard used to define reports.
- Report management : Report definitions, folders, and resources are published and managed as a Web service. New in SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services, administrators can use the Management Studio to organize reports and data sources, schedule report execution and delivery, and track reporting history.
- Report delivery : SQL Server Reporting Services supports both on-demand (pull) and event-based (push) delivery of reports. SQL Server Reporting Services can be used to create end user reports in several different formats including HTML, PDF, and Excel.
- Report security : SQL Server Reporting Services implements a flexible, role-based security model to protect reports and reporting resources.
- Themes and Skins : This allows for easy customization of a site’s look-and-feel. You can define style information in a common location called a “theme” and apply that style information globally to pages or controls in a site.
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