SQL Server Reporting Services is a framework of reporting mechanisms that supply a suite of products that can help your organization march into BI world by getting value from your data with no extra investments in products and platforms, as well as a new development language.
BI (Business Intelligence) means you can use your organization data in a meaningful way across the entire organization and provide better insight into what is going on in your business.
Reporting services can be operated and configured when you install your SQL server and – Boom – you have the option to give your end users, as well as your developers an easy-to-use platform where they can design, develop, deploy, widely access, manage, protect, schedule, extract (and much more) your reports.
And it is getting better and easier when we move forward to the next SQL Server version…
Let’s look at the SSRS from 2 aspects:
- Platform components – Infrastructure wise
- Report life cycle – Process wise
Platform components – Infrastructure wise
After this step, we have a service of SQL server reporting services
After this step using the Reporting Services Configuration Manager we will have:
- 2 active reporting services DBs that will accommodate reports metadata.
- Reporting a structured portal – define a URL that will be used to manage and deliver the reports to end users. No IIS needed.
Before SQL 2016:
Report life cycle – Process wise
SSRS suite gives a solution throughout the report lifecycle to all involved parties:
- Developer: Can design, develop, test, and deploy reports, using various data sources.
- Business superuser: Can manage users based on active directory security, schedule reports,
- End-user: Can Access reports in several ways (web browser, Mobile, a third-party app, mail, share location), Export in many formats (i.e: HTML, PDF, CSV, XML, XLSX, TIFF, DOC etc.), subscribe to reports based on a custom schedule and specified report parameter values.
- System: Can Backup and maintain reports Metadata in standard SQL tools, Protect data using Windows Security. DBA can allow generic data source access to allow users to view a report without having named access to a specific DB.
The process goes generally like that:
1. Report Creation
Developers can create the report and design it easily in Report builder that is integrated into with SSRS manager. For more options, Microsoft Visual Studio with SSDT can be used.
2. Report Management
Report Manager is an administrative tool that controls reporting services through a Web interface. It provides users with a Report Manager tool for controlling the access to the reports and enables easily schedule of reports execution and manage report subscription. The security model based on role variation and allows only users with special permissions to access determined data.
3. Report Delivery
After the report was designed and deployed, it can be delivered in various ways to its end users. The report can run ad-hoc but SSRS strength allows many report formats as output, subscription capabilities to deliver reports at a specified time with specific (or calculated) parameters and conditions.
This was a quick overview of SSRS – many terms and abilities were not mentioned and can be viewed in the linked below.