Most companies store a vast array of data that can form the basis of many critical decisions affecting the performance and direction of the business. However, up until the release of Reporting Services with SQL Server 2000, the creation of reports based on this data involved the use of often expensive third-party tools, which frequently used proprietary formats for the definition of a report and weren’t well integrated.

One of the goals of Reporting Services was to provide a single, standard platform for the design, creation, deployment, and management of all reports, and to promote interoperability between different reporting environments by adopting a standard XML-based language to define the reports, called Report Definition Language (RDL).

The underlying architecture for Reporting Services in SQL Server 2008 has fundamentally changed, removing the need for IIS and drastically increasing the scalability of the entire reporting environment. One of the limitations with the previous architecture was that there was no caching or lazy loading of very large reports. This gave the perception of poor performance and sometimes resulted in memory errors.

The main components of Reporting Services are as follows:

• Report Server service: A Windows service that exposes web services and Report Manager as web-based applications. It also is responsible for processing every client request, either to render a report or to perform a management task.

• Report Manager: A browser-based tool for viewing and rendering reports, creating report subscriptions, modifying report properties, configuring security, and a host of other tasks. Report Manager is no longer hosted within IIS; it is now part of the core Report Server service.

• Report ServerWeb Services: A web-based programmatic interface that allows any client to initiate a report processing or maintenance task.

• Report Server Background Processing: The component primarily responsible for the generation and delivery of scheduled reports. It also contains functionality that maintains the report server database.

• Metadata catalog: Stores all of the information related to reports, such as report definitions, data sources, report parameters, cached reports, security settings, scheduling and delivery information, and report execution log information.

• Report Builder: A graphical client accessed through Report Manager. This client is designed to facilitate simple, ad hoc reporting by end users and is not a full-featured report development environment.

• Report Designer: A graphical client, embedded within BIDS and also available as a standalone application, that allows you to design and deploy reports in a “drag-and-drop” environment.

Source of Information : Apress Accelerated SQL Server 2008


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