Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Reporting Services 2008

Reporting Services provides companies with the ability to fill a variety of reporting scenarios.

Managed Reporting

Also often referred to as enterprise reporting - supports the creation of reports that span all aspects of the business and delivers them across the enterprise to provide every employee real time access to information relevant for their business area and enable better decision making.

Ad-Hoc Reporting

Enables users to create their own reports on an ad-hoc basis and provides them with the flexibility to quickly get the information that they need, in the format that they need it without submitting a request and waiting for a report developer to create the report for them.

Embedded Reporting

Enables organizations to embed reports directly into business applications and web portals, enabling users to consume reports within the context of their business process. Deep integration with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 also enables organizations to deliver reports through a central report library or to use new web parts for thin rendering of reports directly within SharePoint enabling easy creation of dashboards. In this way organizations are able to bring all business critical data, structured as well as unstructured, from across the company together in one central location providing one common experience for information access so that users can see key business performance information at a glance.

Authoring Reports
Report authoring is a major activity in many organizations. Executives, business analysts, managers, and increasingly information workers throughout the enterprise rely on timely and accurate information from easy to understand reports to perform their job effectively. SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services includes comprehensive report authoring tools, and a range of report format innovations that make it easy to create reports that bring data to life and provide the information that employees need in whatever format is most effective for your organization.

Using Report Development Tools

In most organizations, there are two distinct groups of people who create reports; experienced business intelligence solution developers who are used to working in a comprehensive development environment, and business users who are unfamiliar with database schema designs and need an intuitive report design environment that abstracts the underlying technical complexities.

SQL Server 2008 meets both of these needs by providing distinct report development tools specifically designed to meet the needs for these two audiences. This enables developers to create sophisticated reporting solutions for the entire enterprise, while making it easy for business users to focus on the specific data relevant for their business area.

Dundas visualizations platform

With the arrival of SSRS 2008 users will now gain out-of-the-box access to the Dundas visualizations platform. SSRS 2008 (as of the February 2008 CTP build) contains both Dundas Gauge and Dundas Chart products. In addition, according to the prior mentioned Dundas press release it states that Dundas Calendar will also be included into SSRS 2008.

This fairly recent Microsoft purchase of the Dundas source code for integration into SSRS 2008 is a great move as the Dundas suite of SSRS add-ons have become the premier choice for such advanced visualization needs. By including the Dundas technologies into SSRS 2008, Reporting Services customers will not only gain access to a much improved Report Server Architecture (without requiring IIS) but also an enhanced Visualization platform. There are literally about three times as many chart types in SSRS 2008 as compared to SSRS 2005. Some of the brand new chart types include the Funnel, Range, Pyramid, and Polar. In addition to the added chart types customers will also gain access to the Dundas Gauge capabilities via a new Gauge Data Region. Finally, we get a few other ‘goodies’ with the inclusion of Dundas suite including:
Secondary Axes
Runtime Calculated Series
WYSIWYG Chart Editor (design-time)

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