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Exploring SQL Server Reporting Services components

From: SQL Server Reporting Services in Depth

Video: Exploring SQL Server Reporting Services components

To use Reporting Services successfully, we need to first make sure we are all on the same page about what it actually is. So Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services, which is a bit of a mouthful, so I'll just call it Reporting Services from now on, although you will also see SSRS used as an abbreviation. This is, as it sounds, part of a larger product of SQL Server, Microsoft's enterprise-level database software. And Reporting Services is considered a self-contained component of SQL Server. It is part of this platform, along with other elements like analysis services and integration services, although we are not interested in those components in this course.

Exploring SQL Server Reporting Services components

To use Reporting Services successfully, we need to first make sure we are all on the same page about what it actually is. So Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services, which is a bit of a mouthful, so I'll just call it Reporting Services from now on, although you will also see SSRS used as an abbreviation. This is, as it sounds, part of a larger product of SQL Server, Microsoft's enterprise-level database software. And Reporting Services is considered a self-contained component of SQL Server. It is part of this platform, along with other elements like analysis services and integration services, although we are not interested in those components in this course.

But whoever installs SQL Server can choose to either have the Reporting Services component installed, along with the database server, or not. And at its most basic distinction, the regular SQL Server part takes care of storing your data and Reporting Services component is an optional component used to generate reports based on that data. Okay, but even if we know we have access to this Reporting Services part, it is still a vague term, because there is no single application called Reporting Services the way you have an app like Microsoft Word or Access.

So to understand it, it's best to understand that there are really three different parts to Reporting Services after it's been installed. First is the server-side part, the engine of Reporting Services that runs in the background. It talks to the database and can manage and deliver your reports. But the question is, where do reports come from? Who says what's on them? So the second part of the Reporting Services picture is having an application to help us define and create these reports. And there are a couple of different applications you can use for report authoring.

The main one we are going to use in this course is called Report Builder, specifically Report Builder version 3. This is a free Microsoft Office-style standalone desktop application that exists entirely for creating reports for Reporting Services. It lets you define simple and complex reports, not just describing the data you want to see, but visualizations of the data, like charts and maps, all of which we will explore. Alternatively, there is another application called Report Designer, although there are a couple of other names for it, because rather than a standalone application, Report Designer functionality is integrated into Visual Studio or SQL Server Tools.

We will talk more about Report Builder and Report Designer shortly, but do understand right now, there really isn't much practical difference between these two. I often hear from developers who assume that the Report Designer that's integrated into Visual Studio must somehow be more powerful and more fully featured than the one that looks like an Office application. But that's not the case at all. These are essentially identical in ability, and it's really more about what environment you prefer to work in, either a Microsoft Office-style program or a Visual Studio-style program.

Sure, if you're a developer used to working in Visual Studio, you can also do extra developer-focused task like work with source control. But as far as the reports you create are concerned, these are the same. So once you have worked with report authoring what else is there? Well, once these reports are defined, how you or other people view the report? Typically the reports in Reporting Services are viewed by going to a website called the Report Manager. This is where you can find different reports that have been created and view them online. If it's a large report, you can page through it, zooming in or out, search it, or even change the parameters of the report.

Usually, the URL of this website is whatever your server name is /Reports, although that can be changed by your system administrators. So our focus in this course is learning the authoring tools to create and design these reports and being able to share them successfully in an organization. Unlike some of my other courses, I am not going to spend too much time here talking about setup configuration, installation, because most people viewing this course already have SQL Server Reporting Services in place and need to know how to use. If you are looking for information on installing SQL Server you can find that in the SQL Server Essential Training Course.

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SQL Server Reporting Services in Depth

40 video lessons · 9813 viewers

Simon Allardice
Author

 
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  1. 12m 6s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. What you need to know
      1m 36s
    3. Exploring SQL Server Reporting Services components
      4m 17s
    4. Reviewing SQL Server versions
      5m 4s
  2. 49m 41s
    1. The elements of a report
      3m 10s
    2. Creating a report with Report Builder
      12m 11s
    3. Grouping table regions on a report
      6m 1s
    4. Joining data from multiple tables
      4m 33s
    5. Formatting report elements
      4m 34s
    6. Using functions in a report
      11m 0s
    7. Displaying data in a matrix
      8m 12s
  3. 24m 9s
    1. Filtering data and adding parameters to a report
      5m 35s
    2. Customizing report parameters
      5m 4s
    3. Sorting data in a data region
      4m 7s
    4. Applying interactive sorting
      4m 57s
    5. Creating a drillthrough action to connect reports
      4m 26s
  4. 49m 57s
    1. Introduction to charting in Reporting Services
      4m 16s
    2. Creating a column chart
      8m 35s
    3. Adding a generated average to a chart
      4m 5s
    4. Creating a pie chart
      8m 19s
    5. Using sparklines
      6m 38s
    6. Adding a sparkline to a drilldown matrix
      14m 34s
    7. Adding data bars
      3m 30s
  5. 21m 48s
    1. Adding indicators to a report
      7m 52s
    2. Using and configuring gauges
      5m 30s
    3. Using maps in Reporting Services
      8m 26s
  6. 38m 14s
    1. Creating modular reports with report parts
      4m 36s
    2. Adding and updating report parts
      4m 37s
    3. Using subreports and nested regions
      4m 28s
    4. Configuring headers and footers
      3m 9s
    5. Printing and exporting reports
      3m 45s
    6. Using page breaks
      5m 37s
    7. Creating and using shared data sources
      8m 11s
    8. Creating and using shared data sets
      3m 51s
  7. 27m 20s
    1. Organizing reports in Report Manager
      3m 1s
    2. Adding users and configuring report security
      5m 24s
    3. Configuring subscriptions
      5m 13s
    4. Creating a linked report
      4m 8s
    5. Using Report Designer in SQL Server Data Tools
      9m 34s
  8. 1m 2s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 2s

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