How to use the new reporting service
of Microsoft inside your ASP.NET Application
Microsoft has introduced a very different and extremely
powerful reporting engine called SQL Reporting Services. It is relatively very
easy to use reporting services, however it is a bit different from what we are
used to in Crystal reports.
Reporting service is basically a reporting server that uses SQL
server as its backend database, all reports are deployed on the reporting
server and from their you can access any reports you have access rights to. The
basic idea is to have a single location where all reports are deployed, and
provides a single point of access; this created a very flexible environment to
deploy your reports over the enterprise. The idea is a very similar to Crystal
Reports Enterprise Reporting.
You will need the
following tools before installing the reporting service, those tools are needed
for development of reports for deployment.
SQL Server 2000 with SP3
IIS 5.0 or 6.0
Visual Studio .NET
Accessing Report Server Management Interface:
can start by accessing your reporting service by going to http://localhost/reports this is where you
can manage your reporting service. You can view reports and other information
directly from this web interface, manages subscriptions, security, data sources
The Reporting Service Web Management provides browsing folders that contain
reports, data source names that you have deployed. This tool provides viewing
of reports, however for developing reports you must have Visual Studio .NET
Report server windows service
server windows service must be running to be able to access, view and deploy
reports from your development tool. (You can see ReportServer window service status
Developing Your Own Reports
First you create a
new project, and select Report Project this will create a reporting service
project. From here you will find two folders shared data sources, and reports.
Shared data sources is one very interesting feature, this is where your data
source for your reports. You can have more than 1 shared data source or even a
single data source for every report; however it wouldn't be a good idea to
repeat the same data source twice if you are using the same database.
create a shared
data source selecting your SQL server, required database (Northwind)
create new report
Selecting the data
for your report through query/stored procedure.
After you are done
selecting the data go to, report designer select the layout tab in your report,
as you can see in the left toolbox you can use any of the report control to
enhance your report functionality and design. You can include charts, images,
matrix, etc... After you're done lets preview the report.
Previewing Report: One of the
features I love about the reporting service, is the ability to preview your
report before deployment, here you can view your report as if you are in the
Deploying Report on
all your reports are developed on Visual Studio .NET then they are deploying to
a reporting server. To start deployment right clicks your application and
select properties, you will find the property "OverwriteDataSources"
to be false, make it to true, and then select the target folder; this can be
anything you like. Then enter the location of your reporting server here it is
localhost however it can be a domain, IP address or any location you want as
long as reporting service is installed to it. After you are done press F5 or
right click the
Project and select
deploy, the minute this is done your reports are deployed on your reporting
Viewing Report from
As I said now your report is deployed on the reporting server you can access it
directly by going to http://localhost/reports.
The SQL 2000 Server
Reporting Services provide web based interactive reports, and is integrated
with the Visual Studio 2003.
Although you can
manipulate report programmatically, no programming is required if you want to
use Reporting Services.
This XML based data
reporting is extremely easy to use and supports importing MS Access reports as
Reports is generated
Server 2000 Reporting Services is designed with a modular, distributed
architecture to help achieve both scalability and flexibility.
A high performance Server based reporting
engine for processing and formatting reports.
A complete set of tools for
creating, managing, and viewing reports.
Create reports with
tables, graphs with data extracted from the database.
Can contain data
from relational and/or multidimensional data sources.
Reports are viewed
over the web.
Integration with Microsoft products and tools. Reporting Services integrates easily with familiar Microsoft tools such
as Visual Studio and applications such as Office and SharePoint Portal Server,
without requiring programming and customization.
Managing reports. Reporting Services includes
a web-based tool for managing reports as well as integration with the new SQL
Server Management Studio. Administrators can use this interface to organize
reports and data sources, schedule report execution and delivery, and track
reporting history. Or, an enterprise or ISV can use the Reporting Services Web
Services APIs to write customized management tools.
Securing reports. Reporting Services
implements a flexible, role-based security model to protect reports and reporting
resources. The product includes extensible interfaces for integrating other
security models if desired.
Delivering reports. You can post reports to a
portal, email them to users, or allow users to use the web-based report server
to access reports from a folder hierarchy. Navigation, search, and subscription
features help users locate and run the reports they need. Personalized
subscriptions let them select the rendering format they prefer.
Report Definition Language (RDL) – An Xml
schema for representing reports.
is a Report?
A report is a combination of three kinds of
Data or information on how to obtain the data
(queries) as well as the structure of the data.
Layout or formatting information that describes
how the data is presented.
Properties that the report such as author, parameters,
images within the report, etc.
of Reporting Services