SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services lets you create, manage, and deliver a variety of report types that contain data from relational and multidimensional data sources as well as any data source that has a .NET Framework managed data provider, an OLE DB data provider, or an ODBC provider.
You can create tabular, matrix, chart, and free-form report layouts. Graphical elements can be incorporated into the reports and the reports can be nested to provide drill down functionality. Document maps and bookmarks can be added to facilitate navigation in large or complex reports.
Reporting Services export formats include HTML, MHTML, PDF, Excel, XML, CSV, and image (TIFF).
You can deliver reports using a URL, using the report viewer control in either a Windows or Web application, or through a Web service. Report delivery options include: on-demand, through SharePoint sites including SharePoint Web parts, automated reports, subscription reports, and automated reports based on data.
Reporting Services has two report authoring tools:
Report Designer is a report-authoring application hosted in Visual Studio that lets developers define, preview, and publish reports interactively.
Report Builder is a report-authoring application, built on familiar Microsoft Office paradigms, that lets users create ad hoc reports based on published report models. Report models make it easy for end users to navigate and use data stored in a database or other data source, eliminating the need for understanding of concepts such as tables, views, fields, and relationships.
Reporting Services is an open and extensible reporting platform. The API lets you deploy, install, and manage Reporting Services components to support custom data, delivery, rendering, and management requirements. Reporting Services includes configuration, monitoring, and management tools.
This book introduces the most important aspects of Reporting Services. You will learn how to design, define, deploy, deliver, and manage reports.