Report Functionality Enhancements

SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services includes several improvements in report functionality. Users who regularly work with reports will benefit from the enhancements described in this section.

Now you can change the sort order of your data while viewing a report. Previously, all sorting was performed during report processing, using either sort orders specified in a query or parameter values in the report to get the data in a particular order. In this release, users can sort data after a report is rendered by clicking the column headings in table and matrix reports. Interactive sorting is supported for on-demand reports, cached reports, and report snapshots. For more information about enabling interactive sorting for reports, see Sorting Data in a Report.

You can now print multipage reports directly from Internet Explorer. Reporting Services provides custom client-side print functionality that you can use to print HTML reports. The printed copy preserves report pagination and is visually identical to the report you view on the screen. To support this functionality, a downloadable ActiveX control is used. The control’s .cab file is hosted on the report server and downloaded by the client on request. For more information, see Printing Reports.

In this release of Reporting Services, users can create reports on an ad hoc basis using a ClickOnce report authoring tool named Report Builder. Report Builder uses report models, which are designed by your organization, as the basis for a report. Models define the data structures and relationships that users work with when creating reports. Models are created in Model Designer, and then published to a report server. In Report Builder, users select a model, and then drag and drop items from the model onto the report layout. Only users who have permission to run Report Builder can use the tool. For more information about using Report Builder and building models, see Report Builder, Model Designer, and Tutorial: Creating a Report Model.

Multivalued parameter support has been added so that you can specify two or more values for a single parameter. In previous releases, if you had a parameter named "region", you could only specify one regional value. In this release, it is possible to specify multiple values (in this case, multiple regions) for any parameter that is configured to accept multiple values. For more information, see Working with Parameters in Reporting Services.

This release of Reporting Services includes two new Web parts that you can use within a SharePoint site. The Web parts include a report server navigation part that you can use to browse for reports, and a report viewer part that you can use to view reports within the site. You can also use the Web parts to create subscriptions to specific reports. For more information, see Viewing Reports with SharePoint 2.0 Web Parts.

You can set a new option in the Table Properties dialog box to anchor a table header in place so that it remains visible on the screen while a user scrolls down the report. Fixed headers improve the usability of online reports that are rendered in HTML by providing a context for tabular reports that contain a large amount of data. To learn more about this option, see Table Properties (General Tab, Report Designer).