SSRS Tutorial: What is SQL Server Reporting Services?

What exactly is SSRS?
SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is a reporting software that allows you to create structured reports using tables in the form of data, graphs, pictures, and charts. SQL Server Reporting Services is an acronym for SQL Server Reporting Services. These reports are stored on a server and can be run at any time using parameters that have been provided by the end users. It is a component of the Microsoft SQL Server Services package.

Types of reporting services

Reporting services are classified into several categories.
The following are the three types of SSRS reporting services:
Integrating data from many sources is made possible by Microsoft SQL Server Integration services.
The Microsoft SQL Server Analytical service is a tool for performing data analysis on SQL Server.
The Microsoft SQL Server Reporting service enables for the creation of a visual representation of the data.
What is the purpose of SSRS?
Here are some of the most compelling arguments in favour of utilising the SSRS tool:


When compared to Crystal Reports, SSRS is a more powerful tool.
Better and more accurate reporting is made possible by faster processing of reports on both relational and multidimensional data. Users’ decision-making mechanisms are provided.
Allows users to engage with information without the need for IT specialists to be involved.
It enables the distribution of reports via a World Wide Web-based network connection. As a result, reports can be obtained on the internet.
Reports can be exported from SSRS in a number of different formats. You can send SSRS reports to recipients via email.
It is possible to control who has access to which report using SSRS’s security capabilities, which are numerous.

Example of SSRS reporting

SSRS is being employed at the Medical Research Institute.
For instance, consider the case of an SSRS report for a medical research centre where individuals are recruited for a variety of clinical trials.

Each patient’s information is entered into a database by the institute’s personnel.

As soon as they agree to engage in the trial, the hospital receives cash from the pharmaceutical business in accordance with the price at which it is willing to participate.

Without SSRS, the medical institute would have to manually email a report to the pharmaceutical firm with the total number of weekly participants in order to receive reimbursement. The institute must also provide information about each and every patient who participated in the trial, as well as the number of medications utilised and any adverse events that occurred. As a result, the time required to collect and transmit this information in the proper format may waste a significant amount of important clinic time.

If the institute were to start collecting data, they would be able to make on-demand reports in a pre-defined format with the help of the SSRS tool, which is available for free download.

Features of SSRS

Because of the cloud-based nature of SSRS, the drug firm may access and run the report at any time, allowing them to acquire the most recent data from the clinic.
Specifications of SSRS Include a SOAP-based application as well as a pluggable architecture for customization.
Data can be retrieved from controlled, OLE ODBC, and database connections.
The ability to create adhoc reports and have them saved on the server is provided.
Display data in a number of formats, including tabular, free-form, and graphical representations.
Using the report-processing extension, you may create custom controls and embed graphics and photos into your reports. SharePoint can also be used to integrate with external content sources.
Custom reports can be created, stored, and managed.
The chart and gauge control tool allows you to display key performance indicators (KPIs).

How SSRS Works?

In this SSRS lesson, we will learn how SSRS operates in the following ways:

An illustration of SSRS reporting
What SSRS Is and How It Works
Data workers and those looking for insights from the information in the report are both considered report users. They make a request to the SSRS server, which is answered.
The SSRS server locates the report’s metadata and sends a request for data to the data sources, which are then processed.
After the data source returns results, they are combined together with the report definition to form a report.
After the report has been prepared, it is returned to the client for their review.
SSRS Architecture and a sample SSRS reporting application
Architecture of the SSRS
The architecture of SSRS is fairly complicated. In addition to development tools, administration tools, and report viewers are included in the report services architecture.

SSRS Architecture

Here are some of the most important components of SSRS.

Report Builder is a programme that creates reports.
It is an ad-hoc report publishing programme that is installed on the computer of the customer and used to generate reports. It includes a simple drag-and-drop interface that is simple to operate.

Report Designer is a software programme that allows you to create reports.
When creating any form of report, the Report Designer tool comes in handy. Visual Studio or Business Intelligence Development Studio both provide a publishing function that can be used to publish your work (BIDS).

Manager of Reports
The report managers review the report and ensure that it complies with the specifications. They make decisions based on the information contained in the reports.

Server for submitting reports
To store metadata information, it is implemented as a server that makes use of the SQL Server database engine.

Database for the report server
It keeps track of metadata, report definitions, resources, security settings, delivery data, and so on and so forth.

Sources of information
Reporting services retrieve information from several types of data sources, including relational and multidimensional databases.

Organizational Reporting Lifecycle Every organisation follows a typical reporting lifecycle, which can be divided into the following categories:

An illustration of SSRS reporting
Authoring: The report author is responsible for defining the layout and syntax of the data at this phase. The SQL Server Development Studio and the SSRS tool are the tools that were used in this approach.

Management: This phase entails the administration of a published report, which is mostly a component of websites. Consider access control over report execution at this point in the development process.

Delivery: During this phase, you must determine when the reports are to be given to the customer base and how many reports are to be delivered. Delivery can be done on-demand or according to a pre-determined timetable. You may also include an automation option in your subscription that generates reports and distributes them to your customers on a regular basis.

Reporting Life Cycle

RDL (Report Definition Language) is a shorthand for Report Definition Language. It explains all of the potential elements of a report using an XML grammar, which is validated by an XML schema, and it does so in a single document.

The report definition for an individual report is based on the RDL specification. When the report is run, it provides instructions for displaying the design of the report on the screen.
SSRS has a number of advantages.
It is both more expedient and less expensive.
Access to information that is stored in either a Microsoft SQL Server database or an Oracle database with minimal effort.

What is RDL?

There is no requirement for expensive specialised expertise.
The default report designer in SSRS is integrated with Visual Studio.NET, which makes it easy to create reports. The ability to construct an application and reports in the same environment is a huge advantage.
Role-based access control is used to manage the security of folders and reports, with different levels of access control.
Users are automatically notified about subscription-based reports when they are available.
Reports on both relational and cube data can be generated more quickly.
Information delivered in real time to the business, allowing for greater decision support

Type of SSRS reports

Here, are types of reports which you can develop using SSRS tool.

Report Type Name Detail
Parameterized reports This type of report uses input values to complete report or data processing.
Linked Reports A linked report offers a point to an existing report. This type of report is derived from an existing report and retains the original’s report definition.
Snapshot reports A snapshot report contains layout information and query results which can be retrieved at a specific point in time.
Cached Reports The cashed report allows you to create a copy of the processed reports. They are used to enhance the performance by reducing the number of processing requests and time to retrieve large reports.
Drill down Reports Drill down reports helps you to hide complexity. It allows users toggle between hidden reports items to control how much detail data you want to see. It must retrieve all possible information that can be shown in the report.
Drillthrough Reports Drillthrough reports are standard reports which can be accessed through a hyperlink on a text box in the original report. It works with the main report and is the target of a drill through an action for a report item like a placeholder text or a chart.
Subreports As the name suggests, sub-reports is a report which displays another report inside the body of the main report.


Advantages of using SSRS

The following are some of the limitations of SSRS:

There is no print button on this page. If you wish to print something, you must first export it in a PDF, Excel, or Word file, among other formats.
All reports require parameters in order for them to be accepted by users.
It is difficult to make modifications to custom code and debug expressions once they have been written.
It is not possible to include a page number or the total number of pages in the report body.
There is no means for passing values from sub-reports to the main report in this version.
Every new page is accompanied by an extra space created by the page header.

Disadvantages of using SSRS

Summary SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is an acronym that stands for SQL Server Reporting Services. It allows you to create structured reports with tables in the form of data, graphs, pictures, and charts.
The analytical SSRS services are divided into three categories: 1) integration, 2) analytics, and 3) reporting.
System for reporting on relational and multidimensional data (SSRS) is more efficient than other reporting systems.
SSRSS allows you to retrieve data from controlled, OLE, ODBC, and DB connections, among other sources.
SSRS components such as the Report Builder, Report Designer, Report Manage, Report Server, and Data sources are essential.
The key features of reporting the life-cycle are based on three factors. 1) Authoring; 2) Management; and 3) Distribution.
According to the Report Definition Language (RDL), all potential aspects of a report are described using an XML grammar that is validated against an XML schema.
1)Parameterized reports are one of the most important types of SSRS reports. 2) Reports that are linked together 3) Snapshot reports 4) The cached version 5) Drill through Reports, etc.