This article would give you a brief introduction as to how to start learning SQL server Reporting services.
SQL server reporting services is a part of the business intelligence stack, provided by Microsoft. It allows you to create very complex reports, in less time (including charts, maps etc) and to be viewed in a web browser.
Below is a feature list of Microsoft SSRS, along with some what resources you need in order to start learning Microsoft SSRS
At first you need to install, Adventure works database. This is available at code plex. It contains a good set of data for you to work with.
In order to start working with SSRS, you need to install the required softwares – i.e SQL server Database engine, Business Intelligence Development Studio (commonly called as BIDS), Microsoft SSRS.
Let’s look at a brief overview SSRS and what does it offer for quick report development.
SSRS reports are plain xml files, also called as a RDL or report definition language.
SSRS allows reports to be exported in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, PDF CSV, XML etc.
RDL’s can also be viewed using ASP.NET report viewer web controls. This also means that, you develop reports using SSRS, and using report viewer controls, you can embedd in any ASP.NET website to render your SSRS reports.
For easier report developments, SSRS provides Report Builder. Its basically a software that help you to quickly build SSRS report.
SSRS also allows you to program using C# and VB, if your needs are not met in the inbuilt controls provided by SSRS.
SSRS allows you to create complex expressions, to represent your data in however form you need.
SSRS has a cool feature called subscription. This means that once you create a report and deploy the same, you can deliver the report in either an email format or drop it to a fileshare and any schedule.
SSRS also has a good security configuration. All report level security (who views the report and who doesn’t) can be controlled by an admin.
If you have more users accessing your report, you can scale SSRS by deploying the same to a farm.
SSRS also exposes web-services, also called as Report Server Web service. It is basically an xml web service with a SOAP API.
The latest version is Microsoft SQL server 2012 reporting. It has a lot of enhancements over the previous on – SQL server 2008 R2 Reporting.
There are a couple of tools that ship along with SQL Server Reporting services 2012 like powerview, SQL azure reporting etc.
For Faster rendering of reports, SSRS provides caching and snapshot feature. You can schedule Caching of reports or snapshotting a report and any interval. This helps in faster retrieval of reports.
SSRS also allows sharepoint integration.
Along with all the features listed above, it provides a very user friendly way to create/group/sort/add calculations/parameterize/administer data and also do adhoc reporting. It can also retrieve data from XML web service and build reports over it.
SSRS provides a very slick and easy way to deploy your reports.