SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services and SharePoint integration

I've just demoed the BI capabilities in SharePoint 2007, SQL Server 2005 and Excel 2007 - a very powerful team of tools. The recently released SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 and the integration between SharePoint and Reporting Services was included.

The Reporting Services SharePoint integration mode advantages:

  • Single consistent user interface for reports administration and presentation
  • Rich user in experience
  • Reports stored as any other document in SharePoint and therefore standard SharePoint features are available; workflow, report versioning and collaboration.
  • Reports stored in SharePoint, but synconized with the reports executed from the server. Scheduling, caching and subscriptions still stored in the report server database.
  • Single securtiy model
  • Standard reporting filtering through web parts and filters
  • Common storage for reports, data sources and report models
  • Publishing, viewing and managament through a familiar SharePoint user inteface
  • Enables organisations to construct BI dashboards

Resports can be created either through Visual Studio (by a developer) or by online tools (end user.

Important concepts:

  • Report Model. Defines the data soruce(s) of a report, the security parameters for the data soruce, tables, fields and releationships for the model. The report model is published to a library in SharePoint.
  • Report Builder. The tool used by the end user to create new reports. Deployed using ClickOnce, and installed automatically on the client workstation.
  • Report Viewing. Reports are displayed either in a web part or opened directly in the browser window.

Reports are managed from extra menues supplied with the report library template;

  • View properties (cataegories, teimstamps, approvales, etc)
  • Edit properties (meta data, etc.),
  • permissions
  • Edit in report builder
  • Delete
  • Manage subscriptions (add, edit and delete report subscriptions, automatic notifiactions sent to useres when reports are changed)
  • Manage data Sources. Share the same data source definition among multiple reports.
  • Manage parameters. Manage values and parameters passed into the report.
  • Manage processing options. Choose processing, snapshot and timeout options.
  • View report history
  • Check out/in, versioning, send to, version history, alert me - all standard SharePoint features.

Installation and configuration step by step, by Liam Cleary.

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