Reporting Services in SQL Server Express with Advanced Services

Reporting Services in SQL Server Express with Advanced Services (SQL Server Express) includes a subset of the features that are available in other editions of SQL Server. You can use this topic to learn about important differences in this edition, including how to create and deploy reports using the tools that are available in this edition. For more information about other editions of SQL Server, see Editions and Components of SQL Server 2008.

For more information about the features that are available in this edition, see Features Supported by Reporting Services in SQL Server Express.

Important noteImportant

SQL Server Express includes SQL ServerManagement Studio Express. SQL ServerManagement Studio Express cannot be used to administer a report server. Use Report Manager and the Reporting Services Configuration tool instead.

If you are already familiar with Reporting Services in other editions, the following list to describes how Reporting Services works in SQL Server Express:

  • All server components must be installed on a single server. You cannot use a remote server for the report server database.

  • All data sources that provide data to reports must be from SQL Server relational databases are that are installed on the local SQL Server instance.

  • All reports are processed on demand. Scheduled or unattended report processing is not supported.

  • Data source connection strings and Reporting Services URLs have different default values in a SQL Server Express installation. SQL Server Express always installs as a named instance. Any URLs or connection strings must include the instance name. The following examples illustrate the syntax you should use.


    Example syntax

    Connection string to the sample AdventureWorks database hosted on a local SQL Server Express instance

    Data Source=localhost\SQLExpress; Initial Catalog=AdventureWorks

    URL to a report server and report server endpoint


    URL to Report Manager


  • The AdventureWorks sample database is not installed or attached automatically. Setup does not install or attach the database for you. To get the database, you must download it from a Microsoft Web site. After you download and install it, you must attach it to the local SQL Server Express Database Engine instance. Although you cannot use SQL Server Management Studio Express to manage a report server, you can use it to attach databases used by the report server. For more information about how to download and installing samples, see Initial Installation (Reporting Services).

Reporting Services in SQL Server Express has all the same software requirements as other editions of Reporting Services. For more information, see Hardware and Software Requirements for Installing SQL Server 2008.

To create reports, you must install the SQL Server Express Toolkit. It includes the version of Business Intelligence Development Studio that is used with SQL Server Express. The SQL Server Express Toolkit is installed separately from other SQL Server Express components. For more information, search the Microsoft Web site for installation instructions for SQL Server Express with Advanced Services.

The reports that you create in the Express edition of Business Intelligence Development Studio can use all the report definition features that you find in other editions of Reporting Services. For example, you can create drillthrough reports, subreports, and parameterized reports that include charts, tables, matrices, and lists.

You can reuse or copy report definitions that you created in other editions. Be aware that if you publish a report that you created in an earlier version of Reporting Services, the report will be upgraded to use the most recent SQL Server report definition format.

After you create a report definition, you can publish it to a report server. To make a published report available to users, you must use Report Manager to create role assignments that grant access to the report. For more information about creating, publishing, and securing reports, see Designing and Implementing Reports Using Report Designer (Reporting Services), Publishing Reports to a Report Server, and Creating and Managing Role Assignments.

To view published reports, you can use a browser or Report Manager, or create a custom application that uses a ReportViewer control to host reports.

Using Report Manager or a Browser

SQL Server Express includes Report Manager, a Web application that can be used by any user who wants to view published reports. Report Manager is accessed through a report server virtual directory that is configured on a local Web server. Users who have access to that directory can run Report Manager.

To view reports in Report Manager, you must define role assignments that allow users to view reports and navigate folders without granting access to server management features that a report server administrator might use. You can also use a Web browser to view a single published report.

Using ReportViewer controls

If you are developer, you can use SQL Server Express with the ReportViewer controls, which are available through Microsoft Visual Studio. There are two controls: one for Windows Forms applications and one for ASP.NET applications. The controls are freely distributable with your application. You can configure the controls to run remote server reports that run on SQL Server Express.

The ReportViewer controls support other processing modes and deployment models in addition to SQL Server Express. For more information, see "ReportViewer Controls (Visual Studio)" in the Visual Studio product documentation on MSDN.

The Report Server Web service can be accessed programmatically. Although you can access all of the report server SOAP endpoints, you cannot use all the features. If you cannot use a method, Reporting Services returns an error. For more information, see Programming Features for Reporting Services Editions.

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