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Comparing Report Authoring Environments

Microsoft Reporting Services offers four report authoring environments:

  • Report Builder 3.0. Use this tool to design reports that are compatible with a SQL Server 2008 R2 report server by using the familiar Ribbon interface.

  • Report Builder 1.0. Use this tool to design ad hoc reports that use a report model as a source of data. Models can be published to SQL Server 2005 and later report servers. For more information, see Designing and Implementing Reports Using Report Builder 1.0 on msdn.microsoft.com.

  • Report Designer. Use this tool in SQL Server 2008 R2 Business Intelligence Development Studio to design full-function reports that are compatible with a SQL Server 2008 R2 report server.

All authoring environments create report definitions in the Report Definition Language (RDL). This topic lists the features that are supported in each authoring environment. For more information about planning for report version support, see Planning for Report Authoring and Report Deployment and Designing Reports in Report Designer and Report Builder 3.0 (SSRS).

Feature

Report Designer (BI Development Studio)

Report Builder 1.0

Report Builder 3.0

Integrate SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) reports and data sources, SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) cubes, SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) packages, and Visual Studio (VS) language projects in a single solution in BI Development Studio.

Available

Use VS-compatible source control systems such as VSTS or SourceSafe.

Available

Enable business users who do not want to work in BI Development Studio to create their own report or to update, edit and share existing reports.

AvailableAvailable

Specify multiple deployment configurations.

Available

Manage resources such as images and maps as part of a project.

Available

Set custom configuration options for data extensions, rendering extensions, custom assemblies.

Available

Feature

Report Designer (BI Development Studio)

Report Builder 1.0

Report Builder 3.0

Add embedded data sources.

Available

Available

Add shared data sources that use report server credentials.

Available

Create shared data sources.

Available

Also available in Report Manager.

Create and add shared datasets.

Available

Available

Create queries that retrieve data directly from relational databases by using a graphical query designer.

Available

View Designer from Visual Database Tools

Available

Relational Query Designer

Create queries that retrieve data directly from relational databases by using a text-based query designer.

Available

Available

Create queries that retrieve data directly from multidimensional databases by using a graphical query designer.

Available

Available

Create queries for a multidimensional database by using a text-based query designer that supports extended field properties.

Available

Create queries that retrieve data directly from data mining models.

Available

Retrieve data from multiple queries for multiple data sources in a single report.

Available

Available

Import queries from .sql files or reports.

Available

Available

Retrieve data from built-in data source types. For more information, see Data Connections, Data Sources, and Connection Strings (SSRS).

Available

Available

Retrieve data from report models built from SQL Server, Analysis Services, Oracle, or Teradata.

AvailableAvailableAvailable

Feature

Report Designer (BI Development Studio)

Report Builder 1.0

Report Builder 3.0

Report Wizard.

Available

Data Region Wizard.

Available

Rich visualizations (chart, gauge).

AvailableAvailable

Basic chart

Available

Map

Available

Available

Free-form report layout surface.

Available

Available

Query generation through layout actions.

Available

Automatic generation of infinite drill through links.

Available

Automatic formatting of data for number and format and column width.

Available

Flexible data layout (tablix).

Available

Available

Snaplines for alignment.

Available

Available

Zoom.

Available

Available

Field tags to add fields to cells.

Available

Available

Placeholder text for simple expressions.

Available

Available

Full support for RDL features.

Available

Available

Advanced grouping, sorting, filtering.

AvailableAvailableAvailable

Multiple data regions in one report.

Available

Available

Add Indicators, Sparklines, Maps.

Available

Available

Feature

Report Designer (BI Development Studio)

Report Builder 1.0

Report Builder 3.0

IntelliSense for report expressions.

Available

Lookup functions and support for Aggregates of aggregates

Available

Available

Display processing errors in the Task pane.

Available

Feature

Report Designer (BI Development Studio)

Report Builder 1.0

Report Builder 3.0

Excel

AvailableAvailableAvailable

Word

AvailableAvailableAvailable

PDF (Acrobat)

AvailableAvailableAvailable

MHTML (Web archive)

AvailableAvailableAvailable

TIFF

AvailableAvailableAvailable

CSV (Comma delimited)

AvailableAvailableAvailable

XML (Report data only)

AvailableAvailableAvailable

HTML 4.0

AvailableAvailableAvailable

Feature

Report Designer (BI Development Studio)

Report Builder 1.0

Report Builder 3.0

Provides design time support for Custom Report Items (CRI).

Available

Use local CRIs.

Available

Use report server CRIs.

Available

Available

Use local custom .NET Framework assemblies in languages such as VB.NET or C#.

Available

Use runtime custom .NET Framework assemblies on the report server.

Available

Use local custom data sources.

Available

Use custom data sources installed on the report server.

Available

Use a custom security extension on the report server to authenticate username and password.

AvailableAvailableAvailable

Feature

Report Designer (BI Development Studio)

Report Builder 1.0

Report Builder 3.0

View RDL source.

Available

Import existing reports from Access.

Available

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