Thursday, November 18, 2010

What’s New in R2 Report Manager

Report Builder 3.0 is a report authoring environment for business users who prefer to work in the Microsoft Office environment. When you design a report, you specify where to get the data, which data to get, and how to display the data. When you run the report, the report processor takes all the information you have specified, retrieves the data, and combines it with the report layout to generate the report. You can preview your reports in Report Builder, or you can publish your report to a report server or a report server in SharePoint integrated mode, where others can run it.
Report Builder is a ClickOnce application deployed via the browser. Users start by selecting report layout templates containing pre-defined data sections such as tables, matrices and charts. They drag and drop report items from the model to the design surface and set constraints to filter the report data. The model contains all of the necessary information for the Report Builder to automatically generate the source query and retrieve the requested data.
The Report Builder also allows users to:

• Add text and formatting to reports
• Create new fields and calculations defined using the model
• Preview, print and publish reports
• Export report data to formats such as Microsoft Excel

The latest edition of Microsoft's Report Builder tool provides plenty of data visualization capabilities not available with SQL Server 2008, with perhaps the coolest improvement being the ability to add maps displaying spatial and analytical data.
Version 3.0 also brings with it new capabilities for working with gauges and charts in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), and while it is part of the R2 suite of tools, the tool can be downloaded separately to run with previous versions of SQL Server as well.

2008 R2:
Displays current location in the Browser’s title, removed the tabs, new look-and-feel, drop down list on items to get at additional options (without switching to details view), new icons.

New look-and-feel, last run instead of when run

New loading message and cancel option

Removed tabs, condensed the view to allow more space for viewing report, new icons,

New Export to Data Feed option (.atomsvc output)

New context menu on items to get at additional tasks such as Edit in Report Builder and Manage along with new Folder Settings option in the toolbar (no more properties tab)

New Manage option in the context menu to get at the properties and also includes the History and Subscriptions information now

Report Manager – Home Page
The new theme is easy on the eyes. When you hover over the items, whether it’s a folder or a file, there will be a contextual dropdown, Feels very much like SharePoint (2010).

Report Manager – Site Settings
On the Site Settings page, you have General Properties, Security and Schedule.

Report Manager – Data Source Properties
Data Source Properties page looks familiar, with the exception of Dependent Items. Dependent Items page will list all items (reports, data sets) that use this particular Data Source.

Report Manager – Search
Yes, you can now search in SSRS Report Manager! Type in your keyword, and away you go! It will find your report, your data set, your folder, or even your report part.

Report Manager – Report Contextual Dropdown
If you have worked with SSRS in Integrated Mode in SharePoint, the contextual dropdown in the revamped Report Manager will look familiar. When you hover over a report item and click on the down arrow, you will be able to move, delete, edit in Report Builder 3.0, and explore other properties, to name a few.

Report Manager – Report Properties
If you clicked on “Manage” in the contextual dropdown of a report item, you will be taken to this page. Note that on the left column, you have links for: properties, data sources, shared data sets, subscriptions, processing options, cache refresh options, report history, snapshot, and security.

Report Manager – Shared Data Set Properties
Finally there is a way to share data sets among reports!

Report Manager – Shared Data Set Caching Properties
And yes, you can also cache these shared data sets.