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Introducing Reporting Services

SQL Server 2005

Updated: 14 April 2006

SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services is a server-based reporting platform that you can use to create and manage tabular, matrix, graphical, and free-form reports that contain data from relational and multidimensional data sources. The reports that you create can be viewed and managed over a World Wide Web-based connection. Reporting Services includes the following core components:

  • A complete set of tools that you can use to create, manage, and view reports.
  • A Report Server component that hosts and processes reports in a variety of formats. Output formats include HTML, PDF, TIFF, Excel, CSV, and more.
  • An API that allows developers to integrate or extend data and report processing in custom applications, or create custom tools to build and manage reports.

The reports that you build can be based on relational or multidimensional data from SQL Server, Analysis Services, Oracle, or any Microsoft .NET data provider such as ODBC or OLE DB. You can create tabular, matrix, and free-form reports. You can also create ad hoc reports that use predefined models and data sources.

Visually and functionally, the reports that you build in Reporting Services surpass traditional reporting by including interactive and Web-based features. Some examples of these features include drill-down reports that enable navigation through layers of data, parameterized reports that support content filtering at run time, free-form reports that support content in vertical, nested, and side-by-side layouts, links to Web-based content or resources, and secure, centralized access to reports over remote or local Web connections.

Although Reporting Services integrates with other Microsoft technologies out-of-the-box, developers and third-party vendors can build components to support additional report output formats, delivery formats, authentication models, and data source types. The development and run-time architecture was purposely created in a modular design to support third-party extension and integration opportunities.

Reporting Services Scenarios

Describes scenarios for using Reporting Services.

Creating, Managing, and Delivering Reports Overview

Provides a high-level overview of the report life cycle, which includes creating, publishing, managing, and distributing reports.

Reporting Services Features

Summarizes Reporting Services features by category.

Reporting Services Concepts

Describes important terms and concepts.

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