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Comparing Levels of Integration Across Versions of Reporting Services and SharePoint Technologies

New: 12 December 2006

A report server configured to run in SharePoint integrated mode within a larger deployment of a SharePoint 3.0 product or technology provides a deeper level of integration than previously available. This new integration capability is introduced in SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 (SP2) and requires the 3.0 release of SharePoint products or technologies.

Earlier releases of Reporting Services also provided integration support for SharePoint products and technologies. Specifically, SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services SP2, SQL Server 2005, and SQL Server 2005 SP1 provided two Web Parts (Report Explorer and Report Viewer) that you could register and use in a SharePoint Web application. The Web Parts were designed for SharePoint version 2.0 technologies. The Web Parts continue to be available in SP2 and can be used in a deployment of a SharePoint 3.0 product or technology. The Web Parts have not been updated to include new features or capabilities; if you are currently using those Web Parts, they will continue to provide the same level of functionality as before.

The following table compares newer and older levels of integration. If you are planning a new deployment, or evaluating the new integration features for your organization, the table can help you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each implementation.

Comparison point SharePoint integrated mode SharePoint 2.0 Web Parts

Product and version requirements

SQL Server 2005 SP2 only. Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 or Office SharePoint Server 2007.

SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services Service Pack 2 and carried forward to SQL Server 2005. Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 and SharePoint Portal Server. The Web Parts are backward compatible on Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and Office SharePoint Server 2007.

Key features

Unified portal for accessing and managing report server content.

The front-end server is a SharePoint Web application; Reporting Services becomes a back-end server that provides processing and rendering capability behind a firewall.

Authentication providers and permissions defined for the SharePoint Web application are used to control access to report server operations and content.

The Report Viewer Web Part displays reports. It can be connected to other Web Parts and customized to fit the overall page design.

Ad hoc reporting is included in the integrated feature set. You can generate models, secure models, and link reports to entities in a model from a SharePoint Web application. You can create and edit reports using Report Builder from a SharePoint Web application.

You can publish reports, models, and data sources to a SharePoint library.

The Report Explorer Web Part shows a list of reports that are stored on a report server.

The Report Viewer Web Part displays reports.

The Web Parts are provided as-is with limited support for customization.

The report server provides all storage, processing, and security for items managed by the server. Report access and content management are done through the report server tools.

Installation and configuration

Download and install the Reporting Services Add-in on each Web front-end in a SharePoint farm.

Configure integration by using SharePoint Central Administration and the Reporting Services Configuration tool.

Add Reporting Services virtual directories to the Windows SharePoint Services list of exclusions.

Run a .cab file to install the Web Parts.

Modify the Web.config file and manually copy files.

Mode requirements

Requires a report server that runs in SharePoint integrated mode.

Can be used on a native mode report server.

Limitations

No support for data-driven subscriptions, linked reports, Report Manager, or Management Studio.

Programmatically, there is no support for batch operations or job management.

Requires that you configure and maintain separate security policies in the SharePoint Web application and the report server.

Requires separate tools for managing content and operations on each server.

Scheduled operations, data sources, report history, data processing and subscriptions must be managed using report server tools.

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