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File Share Delivery in Reporting Services

Reporting Services includes a file share delivery extension so that you can deliver a report to a folder. The file share delivery extension is available by default and requires no additional configuration.

To distribute a report to a file share, you define either a standard subscription or a data-driven subscription. You can subscribe to and request delivery for only one report at a time. To learn how to use file share delivery in a data-driven subscription, see Tutorial: Creating a Data-Driven Subscription. Additionally, the account that runs remote file share subscriptions requires rights to log on locally on the Reporting Services computer.

Unlike reports that are hosted and managed by a report server, reports that are delivered to a shared folder are static files. Interactive features that are defined for the report do not work for reports that are stored as files on the file system. Interaction features are represented as static elements. For example, if you deliver a matrix report, the resulting file shows the top-level view of the report; you cannot expand rows and columns to view supporting data. If the report includes charts, the default presentation is used. If the report links through to another report, the link is rendered as static text. If you want to retain interactive features in a delivered report, use e-mail delivery instead. For more information, see E-Mail Delivery in Reporting Services.

When defining a subscription that uses file share delivery, you must specify an existing folder as the target folder. The report server does not create folders on the file system. The folder that you specify must be accessible over a network connection. For instructions on how to configure a shared folder for file share delivery, see How to: Create a Shared Folder for Report Server File Share Delivery.

When specifying the target folder in a subscription, use Uniform Naming Convention (UNC) format that includes the computer's network name. Do not include trailing backslashes in the folder path. The following example illustrates a UNC path:

\\<servername>\reportarchive\operations\2003

Reports can be rendered in a variety of file formats, such as HTML or Excel. To save the report in a specific file format, select that rendering format when creating your subscription. For example, choosing Excel saves the report as a Microsoft Excel file. Although you can choose from any supported rendering format, some formats work better than others when rendering to a file.

For file share delivery, choose a format that delivers the report in a single file, where all images and related content are included in the report. Suitable formats include Web archive, PDF, TIFF, and Excel. Avoid HTML4.0. If your report includes images, the HTML 4.0 formats will not include them in the file.

When you create a subscription, you can choose options that determine how the file name is created and whether it is replaced by newer versions over time. A fully qualified file name has three parts: a name, an extension, and text or a number that is appended to the file to create a unique file name. Overwrite options determine whether the text or number is added to the file name.

The file name is based on the report name, but you can provide a custom name in the subscription. The extension is optional, but if you specify it, the report server will create an extension that corresponds to the rendering format.

You can specify overwrite options to reuse the same file name for each report delivery or to create a new file. To overwrite the file, you must use the same file name and extension.

An alternative approach to creating unique files for every delivery is to include a timestamp in the file name. To do this, add the @timestamp variable to the file name (for example, CompanySales@timestamp). With this approach, the file name is unique by definition, so it will never be overwritten.

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