Report Execution Caching I: SQL Server Management Studio Perspective - Page 2

September 17, 2007

Configure Report Execution Caching from the SQL Server Management Studio

Let’s take a look how we can adjust these settings for a report within the SQL Server Management Studio. To do this, we will take the following steps:

1.  Start Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio.

2.  From within the SQL Server Management Studio, click the Connect button in the Object Explorer pane (by default, it appears in the lower left corner of the Studio environment).

3.  Select Reporting Services... in the dropdown menu that appears, as shown in Illustration 2.


Illustration 2: Connecting to Reporting Services ...

4.  Select Reporting Services in the Server type selector of the Connect to Server dialog that appears, if necessary.

5.  Type / select the server name (server name / instance, if appropriate) in the Server name selector.

6.  Supply authentication information, as required in your own environment.

The Connect to Server dialog appears similar to that depicted in Illustration 3.


Illustration 3: Connecting to the Server ...

7.  Click the Connect button to connect with the specified server.

The Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio opens. The Reporting Server to which we have connected appears atop the Object Explorer pane.

8.  In the Object Explorer pane, expand the Home folder (click the “+” sign to its immediate left), appearing underneath the server within which we are working.

9.  Navigate to, and expand, the subfolder containing a sample report with which to complete the steps of this section, as appropriate (my sample reports have been deployed within the AdventureWorks Sample Reports folder, and appear, with this step, as shown in Illustration 4.


Illustration 4: The Sample Reports Appear

10.  Right-click the Sales Reason Comparisons report (or another report of your choice).

11.  Select Properties from the context menu that appears next, as depicted in Illustration 5.


Illustration 5: Accessing Report Properties from the Object Explorer ...

The Report Properties dialog for the selected report opens.

12.  Click Execution in the Select a page pane on the left side of the dialog.

13.  On the Execution page that appears to the right, click-select the radio button to the immediate left of Render this report with the most recent data, if necessary.

Our intent is to configure the report to run “on demand,” from the cache, as we shall see with our next settings, where we schedule the expiration of the cached report, using each of two possible options.

To make the cached copy expire after a particular time period:

14.  Click Cache the report. Expire after (minutes).

15.  Type the number “30” in the selector box to the immediate right.

Our settings on the Execution page for a half-hour expiration of the cached report appear as shown in Illustration 6.


Illustration 6: Settings for Expiration of Cached Report after a Specified Time Period

To make the cached copy expire on a schedule:

16.  Click Cache the report. Expire based on the following schedule.

17.  Click Configure.

The Create Custom Schedule page appears.

18.  Type / select today’s date in the selector box that appears to the right of the label Begin running this schedule on.

19.  Under Recurrence Pattern, ensure that Day is selected in the box labeled Type.

20.  Leave the Start Time, in the setting just underneath, at 2:00:00 AM.

21.  Click-select the radio button to the immediate left of Every weekday.

Create Custom Schedule page appears, with our settings, as depicted in Illustration 7.


Illustration 7: Create Custom Schedule Page with Our Settings

Our settings above dictate a custom schedule for expiration of the cache of this specific report. Using such a fixed schedule is ideal in many scenarios, where we want to mandate Report Server processing at a specific time. An example might be setting the execution cache to expire at 2:00 AM every Monday morning, in a situation where, say, we update sales data and refresh our cubes by midnight each Sunday for reporting the following week. This means, of course, that the newly updated sales data is reflected when information consumers begin requesting reports after the opening of business on Monday morning.

22.  Click OK to accept our settings input, and to dismiss the Create Custom Schedule page.

We are returned to the Execution page, where a summary of our new settings appear as shown in Illustration 8.


Illustration 8: Execution Page Displaying Our Settings for Scheduled Cache Expiration ...

Finally, an additional setting, Report Execution Timeout Defaults, lies at the bottom of the Execution page. Here we can set a limit on the amount of time allowed for report processing – one of several “governor” properties we can set surrounding our reports to prevent “runaway conditions,” as well as perhaps to minimize the risk of overtaxing system resources in other ways. Our options for timeout default settings include:

  • Use the default setting - directs the Report Server to use the default report execution timeout value as it is globally defined for the Report Server (which we specify within the Report Server properties, on the Server Properties dialog, Execution page, as depicted in Illustration 9).


Illustration 9: Execution Page of the Server Properties Dialog – Global Timeout Default

  • Do not timeout report execution - directs the Report Server to impose no limitations on report execution time.
  • Limit report execution to the following number of seconds - timeout value is defined as a specific number of seconds (with the defaulted selector value the same as the global default setting that is defined in the corresponding Server Properties setting, as noted in the Use the default setting option above).

23.  Click OK to close the Execution page, and to change all settings back to their original positions.

24.  Exit SQL Server Management Studio when ready.

Conclusion

In this article, we continued a three-part subseries surrounding caching options in Reporting Services 2005. We began by briefly reviewing the three types of caching that Reporting Services 2005 offers. We then introduced the second of these three, and launched our overview of Report Execution caching.

As a part of our examination of Report Execution caching, we discussed the general purpose of this second caching type. We next reviewed details about how Report Execution caching is accomplished in Reporting Services 2005. Finally we explored the settings involved in putting Report Session caching to work, within the MSSQL Server Management Studio environment (with an eye toward addressing the same settings from a Report Manager perspective in the second half of this article), including system defaults for those settings. Throughout the various sections of the article, we discussed other information about Report Execution caching in an attempt to assist in selecting or discarding this option for use within our own business environments.

» See All Articles by Columnist William E. Pearson, III

Discuss this article in the MSSQL Server 2000 Reporting Services Forum.

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