I’m taking a free two day SQL Server Reporting Services class. These are my day one notes.
Prereqs: IIS, but IIS won’t be needed for SQL 2008! You get two databases once SSRS is installed: ReportServer and ReportServerTempDB.
Report Rendering is separate and the same report can be rendered into different output formats.
Report Designer: V Studio for making reports, Model Designer: make report models for Report Builder. Report Builder: for end users to make reports based on report models.
Report Designer follows the convention of most report builders, such as MS-Access or Crystal Reports. Page headers, Data detail, sub totals via grouping with headers, page footers. Properties of boxes on the design screen. There is an expression builder.
There are several features for enabling users to move around report output. Dynamic visibility allows sections to be hidden and unhidden, although you need an appropriate output format such as HTML, Excle or PDF. These formats have different methods to do the navigation needed to hide and unhide, which are called Document Maps in SQL 2005. The same report sent to XML will display all the data. And one can embed hyperlinks that move from report to report, or within the same report.
Last section of the class focused on tweaking the datasets the drive the reports. SQL 2005 SSRS allows a few different ways to implement parameters for reports. The underlying query can have parameters, the report can have parameters, and you can have nested levels of parameters to drive dynamic parameter lists. Stored procedures with parameters can also serve as the data source for reports.