SQL Server Reporting Services is a set of processing components, tools, and programmatic interfaces that support the development and use of rich reports in a managed environment. The tool set includes development tools, configuration and administration tools, and report viewing tools.
Processing is distributed across multiple components. Central and specialized processors are used to retrieve data, process report layout, render presentation formats, and deliver to target destinations. Presentation processing occurs after the data is retrieved and is decoupled from data processing, allowing multiple users to review the same report simultaneously in formats designed for different devices or quickly change the viewing format of the report, from HTML to PDF or Microsoft Excel or XML, with a single click. The modular architecture is designed for extensibility. Developers can include reporting functionality in custom applications or extend reporting functionality to support custom features.
Programmatic interfaces for easy integration with new or existing applications and portals include:
Describes the Report Server component, which provides data and report processing, and report delivery. The Report Server component includes several subcomponents that perform specific functions. This topic introduces each component of Report Server.
Report Designer is a comprehensive report design tool that is appropriate for both administrators and developers. Report Designer runs in the Business Intelligence Development Studio, which is fully integrated with Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 or later, or can be run as a separate application. Report Designer provides several query designers specific to various supported data source types. Report Designer supports advanced reporting functionality such as free-form reports and custom report items.
There is also a Report Wizard associated with Report Designer. The Report Wizard steps you through the report design process to produce a simple tabular or chart report, which can be opened and enhanced in Report Designer or used as is.
Report Builder 3.0, the new version of Report Builder, features a Microsoft Office-like authoring environment. It offers many new features such as a wizard for creating maps, new sparkline, data bar, and indicator data visualizations, the ability to save report items as report parts, aggregates of aggregates, and enhanced support for expressions. You can customize and update all existing reports, regardless of where they were initially designed.
Report Builder allows information workers to explore business information in a report model without having to understand the underlying data source structures and create ad hoc reports for personal or organizational use. Clickthrough functionality enables people to explore the business data that is available to them via ad hoc reports.
Report Manager is a Web-based report access and management tool that you access through Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or later. Information workers as well as content managers use Report Manager to find, run, and subscribe to published reports. Content managers use Report Manager to manage reports, data sources, and resources; configure report processing options and security. For more information on starting and configuring Report Manager, see Report Manager
The Reporting Services Configuration tool is used to configure a Reporting Services installation. Reporting Services can be reconfigured after installation to support changing business requirements and scenarios.