SSRS Report Builder

SSRS refers to SQL Server Reporting Services, and it's a reporting tool that lets you create structured reports with tables, graphs, pictures, and charts. These reports are stored on a server and can be run at any time using user-defined parameters. It's a component of the Microsoft SQL Server Services package. In this post, we will discuss the purpose of SSRS, its example, its features, the architecture of SSRS, how it works, the types of reporting services, types of SSRS Reports, its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s go through them in detail.

What is the purpose of SSRS?

The following are some of the most compelling reasons to use the SSRS tool:

  • When compared to Crystal Reports, SSRS is a more powerful tool.
  • Reports on related and multidimensional information are processed faster.
  • Allows for better and more precise results. The users' decision-making mechanism.
  • Allows users to engage with data without the involvement of IT experts.
  • It connects to the World Wide Web for the purpose of distributing reports. As a result, reports are accessible over the internet.
  • Reports can be exported in a variety of formats using SSRS. Email can be used to transmit SSRS reports.
  • SSRS includes a number of security options that allow you to manage who has access to which reports.

Example of SSRS reporting

Assume the SSRS report of a health research facility that recruits individuals for numerous clinical trials.  For each patient, the institute's staff builds a database record.  After they opt to engage in the trial, the hospital is paid by the pharmaceutical firm depending on the cost with which it is willing to participate. Before SSRS, the health institute would have to directly email a report well with an overall number of weekly registrants to the pharmaceutical business. The agency should also include information about each patient who took part in the experiment, the number of medications used, and any adverse events. 

As a consequence, the time it takes to collect and submit this information in the proper format could eat up a lot of time inside the clinic. If the institute kept track of data, they could use the SSRS tool to generate on-demand analyses in a pre-defined style. The drug business can retrieve the research on the cloud and run it at a certain time to acquire the most up-to-date information from the clinic using SSRS.

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SSRS's Features :

  •  Provides a pluggable architecture and a Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) application.
  • Data can be retrieved from controlled, OLE ODBC, and database connections.
  • Allows you to produce and save ad hoc reports to the server.
  • Data can be shown in a variety of ways, including tabulated, free-form, and chart styles.
  • By using the report-processing extension, you can build custom controls.
  • Incorporate graphics and photos into the reporting. SharePoint can also be used to integrate with external material.
  • Custom reports can be saved and managed.
  • KPI data can be shown using the Chart and Gauge controls function.

Types of reporting services :

  • Integration services for Microsoft SQL Server that combine data from many sources.
  • The Microsoft SQL Server Analytical service assists in data analysis.
  • The Microsoft SQL Server Reporting service makes it possible to create a visual report of data.

How Does SSRS Work?

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  • The people who utilize the reports are those who work with data and seek to gain insights from it. They send an SSRS server request.
  • The SSRS server locates the report's metadata and issues a data request to the datasets.
  • The data from the raw data is combined well with the report definition to create a report.
  • The client receives the report once it has been generated.

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SSRS Architecture :

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The architecture of SSRS is fairly complicated. Development tools, administrative tools, and report viewers are all part of the report services architecture.

Important SSRS components are listed below.

  • Reports Builder :

It's a client-side infomercial report publishing tool that runs on the client's PC. It has an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface.

  • Reports Designer :

The Report Designer program aids in the creation of a variety of reports. It's a publishing tool for Visual Studio / Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS).

  • Reports Manager :

The report managers go over the report and make sure it meets the standards. Professionals adopt decisions based on the information in the reports.

  • Reports Server :

It is a server that stores metadata information using the SQL Database engine.

  • Report server database :

It keeps track of metadata, report descriptions, sources, security configurations, and delivery information, among other things.

  • Sources of information :

Data is retrieved from data sources such as databases and multimodal data sources via reporting services.

Reporting Life Cycle :

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Every business follows a regular reporting lifecycle, which can be divided into the following categories:

  • Authoring :

The report author specifies the data layout and syntax in this phase. The SQL Server Development Studios, as well as the SSRS tool, were utilized in this process.

  • Management

In this phase, you'll be in charge of a published report that's usually found on a website. You should think about network access over report execution at this point.

  • Delivery

You must determine when the reports must be given to the client base during this phase. On-demand or pre-determined delivery options are available. You can also include a subscription automation tool that generates reports and sends them to customers automatically.

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What exactly is RDL?

RDL is the abbreviation for Report Definition Language. It uses an XML language that is verified through an XML schema to describe all potential report elements. RDL is used to define the report definition for each unique report. It provides guidance for generating the report's design during runtime. The Report Definition Language (RDL) uses an XML grammar that is validated by an XML schema to specify all potential report elements. 

Type of SSRS reports : 

  • Parameterized Reports

Parameterized reports Input values are used to finish reports or data analysis in this sort of report.

  • Linked Reports

A linked report is a reference to another report. This report is generated out of a prevailing report as well as maintains the report definition from the original.

  • Snapshot Reports

A snapshot report is a report that includes a structural framework and query results that may be retrieved at any time.

  • Cached Reports

You can make a duplicate of the generated reports using the cashed report. They improve performance by minimizing the number of processing queries and the time it takes to obtain huge reports.

  • Drill down Reports

Drill-down reports aid in the concealment of complexity. Users can flip between concealed report items to choose how much background information is displayed. It must obtain all data that could be displayed in the report.

  • Drill through Reports 

Drillthrough reports are regular reports that can be viewed by clicking on a hyperlink in the original report's text box. It is used in conjunction with the main document and is the focus of a drill-down operation for just a report item such as placeholder text or perhaps a graph.

  • Sub Reports

Sub-reports, as the name implies, are reports that display another report within the content of the primary report.

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Advantages of using SSRS

  • It is both quicker and less expensive.
  • Availability of information stored both in MS SQL Server and Oracle databases for efficient reporting.
  • There's no requirement for high-priced specialized knowledge.
  • Visual Studio.NET is integrated with the basic report designer in SSRS. It helps us to make an app as well as reports in much the same place.
  • Security is controlled by a role-based approach that may be extended to files and reports.
  • Users receive subscription-based reports automatically.
  • Reports on linear and cube data can be produced more quickly.
  • Real-time data to the business, allowing for better decision-making.

Disadvantages of using SSRS

  • There is no option to print. If you wish to print something, you must first export it to PDF, Excel, Word, or another format.
  • Users must accept parameters in order for reports to be accepted.
  • Making changes to source codes and debug expressions is tough.
  • It is not possible to include a page number or the total page number in the report body.
  • There is no way to send values from sub-reports to the main report.
  • Every new page has an extra space created by the page header.

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Gayathri
Gayathri
Research Analyst
As a senior Technical Content Writer for HKR Trainings, Gayathri has a good comprehension of the present technical innovations, which incorporates perspectives like Business Intelligence and Analytics. She conveys advanced technical ideas precisely and vividly, as conceivable to the target group, guaranteeing that the content is available to clients. She writes qualitative content in the field of Data Warehousing & ETL, Big Data Analytics, and ERP Tools. Connect me on LinkedIn.