14. Click the radio button labeled Day in the Schedule details section.
15. Select a time about five minutes away, to trigger the Excel file creation.
16. Leave the settings in the Start and end dates section at default (Start date should default to the current system date).
NOTE: Remember to return after the session to reset the subscription settings we have made, as desired.
The scheduling-related settings of the properties page should resemble those depicted in Illustration 15.
17. Click OK to return to the main Subscriptions properties page.
18. Select Non-Consumables in the ProductFamily selector in the Report Parameter Values section near the bottom of the properties page.
The Subscription properties page should resemble that shown in Illustration 16.
Illustration 16: The Subscription Properties Page, with Our Settings
19. Click OK to accept and save the settings.
The properties page closes, and we arrive at the Subscriptions tab, initial page, where we see our new subscription listed, as depicted in Illustration 17.
Illustration 17: The New Subscription Appears
Editing a subscription's setting is accomplished here by simply clicking Edit, between the checkbox and the Description for the entry.
We can also view, modify and delete existing subscriptions from the My Subscriptions page. This is a "maintenance" center, as it were, and does not provide the capability to create subscriptions. My Subscriptions also shows (depending upon our security setup) only those subscriptions that we create - not those that are created by other users.
20. Click My Subscriptions to open the My Subscriptions page.
The My Subscriptions page opens, and appears as depicted in Illustration 18.
Illustration 18: The My Subscription Page
The organization of subscriptions in a central location provides us an efficient means of maintenance.
Let's take a quick look at the Excel file that our labors have produced.
21. Go to the file share designated as the Path in the standard subscription setup above.
The file appears in the folder I designated, as shown in Illustration 19.
Illustration 19: The Report File, as Generated and Stored
22. Click / double-click the Excel file, as appropriate to you PC's settings, to open it.
The Excel file opens, and appears, as shown in Illustration 20.
Illustration 20: The Report File, Formats Intact, in Excel
We note that the filter (Non-Consumables) has been passed correctly in the results that we obtain. Further, the formats appear to be intact, as well.
NOTE: Over the years, I have heard hundreds of individuals complain about issues with this particular capability in their experiences with Business Objects, Cognos, and the rest of the Big Sisters. Not a bad showing to get right, the first time, what other enterprise solutions have failed to accomplish over several years!
This is only a tiny, symbolic vestige of the advantages that Reporting Services promises those organizations that convert - in addition to the dramatic savings that cannot help but ensue.
23. Return to reset the subscription settings we have made, as desired
24. Close Report Manager, after reviewing the steps we have accomplished in this lesson - and after experimenting further, as desired.
While our exposure to basic subscriptions has focused on the creation of a standard subscription, with delivery via Report Server File Share, it is important to remember that far more can be accomplished with standard subscriptions, including the following:
Creation of a subscription to deliver reports via e-mail to individuals and / or groups;
Optional separate control of subscription processing by consumers (to enable selection of reports they wish to receive, etc.);
Bypass of browser viewing and delivery of reports to file shares for alternative viewing (similar to the example we performed in this lesson). This is often an effective strategy in the case of large reports that might be time consuming to load in a browser, etc.;
Consumer selection of PDF / Web archive formats for offline viewing;
Automated report archiving, established via file shares.
We can also achieve many more objectives with data-driven subscriptions, which we will examine in detail in the next article of the Reporting Services Managing phase articles group.
Summary and Conclusion ...
In this article, we continued our introduction to the Managing phase of the Reporting Services development life cycle, and introduced the main topics of report execution and viewing, together with standard subscriptions. We reviewed the process of running reports, partially touched upon in our last session, and then we discussed directly viewing reports from a web browser.
Next, we focused upon the setup and operation of a basic standard subscription, discussing conditions that must be in place before establishing a standard subscription before beginning our hands-on creation exercise. Throughout our setup of a standard subscription, with delivery via report server file share, we discussed options that abound within this robust capability as well as the details of the steps we took to bring it to fruition. Finally, in our concluding comments, we discussed additional options that standard subscriptions offer knowledgeable Reporting Services developers and users.
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