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Viewing and Managing Reports on a Report Server (Report Builder 2.0)

SQL Server 2008

Reports that you open from the report server render in HTML 4.0 format in an HTML viewer. The viewer includes a report toolbar that you can use to navigate through the pages in a report, zoom in or out, search for specific report content, and more.

The report toolbar also appears in a browser window at the top of a report when you access reports through a URL or when you preview a report in Report Builder 2.0. For more information, see Previewing Reports in the HTML Viewer (Report Builder 2.0).

After you run a report, you can export it to other viewing formats, including desktop applications.

You can refresh a report in three different ways.

Option

Result

Refresh button on the browser window

Displays the report stored in the session cache. A session cache is created when a user opens a report. Reporting Services uses browser sessions to maintain a consistent viewing experience while a report is open.

Browser refresh button on report toolbar

When you click the Refresh button on the report toolbar, the report server reruns the query and updates report data if the report runs on-demand. If the report is cached or is a snapshot, Refresh displays the report that is stored in the report server database.

CTRL+F5 keyboard combination

Produces the same result as clicking the Refresh button on the report toolbar.

Report Manager uses browser sessions to maintain consistency while viewing reports. Sessions are based on browser connections, not authenticated users. A new session is created every time that a user opens a report in a new browser window. Once a browser session is established, you continue to work with the version of the report that was opened when the session began, even if the report is modified on the report server. For example, if you open a report at 11:00 P.M., and a report author republishes the same report at 11:01 P.M., your session will contain the version that you opened for the duration of the session.

If you refresh a report within the same session using the browser's Refresh button, the original session version of the report is displayed. If you refresh an on-demand report using the Refresh button on the report toolbar, the report is re-run and new data, if any, is displayed.

Session information is stored in the report server temporary database. The report server does not use ASP.NET session management. If you restart the server or perform a database recovery operation, session state is not restored. For more information about session management, see "Identifying Session State" in the Reporting Services documentation in SQL Server Books Online.

You can bypass browser viewing entirely and use a desktop application (such as Microsoft Excel) as your report viewer instead. To do this, define a subscription that specifies a desktop application format and a shared folder destination. The report server generates your report as an application file, appends a file name extension, and saves the report as a file on your hard disk. You can then use Microsoft Excel (or another application) instead of a browser to view your report.

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