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SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services

Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services

When looking at the changes for Reporting Services in the 2012 release there are 3 major parts:

  • Power View (Project Crescent)
  • Alerting and Rendering
  • SharePoint integration

Power View (Project Crescent) is probably the most appealing from all changes in SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services. With Power View Microsoft wants to deliver a highly interactive and familiar, web based visualization environment to the business users. It is a complete new component within the Microsoft tool stack and won’t replace any of the existing Reporting Services features, nor will it replace report builder, nor will it replace any of the other visualization clients Microsoft currently has to offer. With this new tool Microsoft wants to enable the business users to start building their own visualizations on top of the new BISM - Business Intelligence Semantic Model. Users will be able to create highly interactive overviews of their data in a familiar office design like environment with functionalities like

  • Multiple visualization components on one sheet that are linked together
  • Parameters that filter all components on the sheet
  • Tiles for smart visualization
  • Animated bubble charts over time
  • Story boarding

One of the functional changes for Reporting Services 2012 is the possibility to add an alert to deployed reports. With this alert you will be notified when a specific value in your report reaches a predefined value. Till now we only had the data driven subscription. This data driven subscription would trigger the sending or rendering of a complete report. With the alerts functionality you can define more detailed triggers to get informed on specific data changes or issues.

Rendering also has been improved in SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services. Now rendering supports the Open XML format so rendering will be done in xlsx and docx formats.

In SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services a lot of effort also went to the integration with SharePoint. Looking at the Microsoft strategy, SharePoint is becoming more and more important in its BI stack. Next to the fact PowerView will only be available from SharePoint, the integration with another component like Reporting Services is getting a lot of attention. In the SQL Server 2012 release Reporting Services will become part of the SharePoint Shared Service application pool. This means that the SSRS DB’s are SharePoint Services App DB’s, the Central SharePoint admin UI will be used for all SSRS administration and that SSRS will also be able to make use of the standard SharePoint Scale-out and load balancer. But also the performance of rendering the report from SharePoint will improve.

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