Introducing Reporting Services Programming
SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services (SSRS) provides a full-featured set of APIs that you can use to integrate Reporting Services with custom business applications and extend its functionality. The following sections summarize the programmable aspects of Reporting Services.
The Report Server Web service provides access to the full functionality of the report server. The Web service uses SOAP over HTTP and is designed to act as a communications interface between client programs and the report server. The Web service and its methods expose the functionality of the report server and allow you to create custom tools for any part of the report life cycle, from management to execution. For more information about developing applications using the Report Server Web service, see Report Server Web Service.
Reporting Services supports a complete set of URL-based requests that you can use as a quick and easy access point for report navigation and viewing. You can use this technology in conjunction with the Report Server Web service to integrate a complete reporting solution into your custom business applications. URL access is particularly useful when integrating reports as part of a Web portal or when viewing reports from a Web browser. For more information about accessing reports using URL access, see URL Access.
The modular architecture of Reporting Services is designed for extensibility. A managed code API is available so that you can easily develop, install, and manage extensions consumed by many Reporting Services components. You can create assemblies using the Microsoft .NET Framework and add new Reporting Services rendering, security, delivery, and data processing functionality to meet your evolving business needs. For more information about creating and implementing Reporting Services extensions, see Reporting Services Extensions.
Report Definition Language (RDL) is a set of instructions that describe layout and query information for a report. RDL is composed of XML elements that conform to an XML grammar created for Reporting Services. You can add your own custom functions for controlling report item values, styles, and formatting by accessing code assemblies from within report definition files. Moreover, RDL can be generated programmatically. You can build third-party tools and applications that generate RDL in much the same way that Report Designer generates RDL. For more information about using custom assemblies with reports, see Using Custom Assemblies with Reports. For more information about generating RDL with custom applications, see Generating Report Definition Language Programmatically.
Semantic Model Definition Language (SMDL) is a set of instructions that describe layout and query information for reports created in Report Builder. SMDL is composed of XML elements that conform to an XML grammar created for the Reporting Services Report Builder component. For more information about creating models, see Working with Model Designer. For more information about model properties, see Model Designer Object Properties.