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Posted Jun 23, 2004

MSSQL Server Reporting Services: Managing Reporting Services: Data-driven Subscriptions, and External Data Sources for Subscriber Data - Page 3

By William Pearson

Preparation for Creating a Data Driven Subscription

Before we begin the setup of a Data-Driven Subscription in a report, we need to ensure that the following conditions are in place. They are likely to be easily accommodated for our ends, assuming that settings have not been altered in the sample reports / environment. Keep in mind the realities of bringing these items into existence in a large organization and / or and environment where we may not have the privileges, access, or overall authority to institute them quite so easily, and plan in advance.

  • We must have access to / permission to view the report that we wish to establish as subscribed;
  • We must have capability within the context of our role assignment to create subscriptions;
  • The report must either require no credentials to run, or have the necessary credentials stored within its structure;
  • The report server must be configured to use the appropriate extensions, depending upon the way wish to deliver the report (this will not be an issue here, as we will be using one of the two "out of the box" options);
  • The SQL Agent Service must be in operation;
  • An acceptable, properly configured, accessible data source must exist that contains subscriber information.

NOTE: We will cover these topics from numerous perspectives as we progress in the series. For purposes of this article, we will create the subscriber database in the following section.

Preparation - Create File Shares and a Subscriber Data Source

Let's create a source for the subscriber information that we will need to access as a step in the general setup later. We will create a small database with a table that contains data values that the report server will retrieve at scheduled runtimes, when the subscription information is processed. In the real world, this source will likely already exist, and, in any event, will likely be far larger, as most of us can imagine. In addition to creating a subscriber data source to allow us to successfully complete the steps of creating a Data-Driven Subscription, we will also need to have file shares in place, whose qualified names we will insert into the table we create in the next section.

Create the File Shares to Which Report Files Will Be Delivered

1.  Right-click the Start button on the PC.

2.  Select Explore from the context menu that appears, as shown in Illustration 1.

Illustration 1: Select Explore ...

Windows Explorer appears.

3.  Navigate to the location to which you wish to install the folders (I chose the "D:" drive on my PC), to which the subscribed report files in our practice example will be delivered.

4.  Create a folder with the following name:


5.  Create folders within the new RS_SubscriberShares folder, with the following names:


These folders will represent file shares for a group of employees within the hypothetical organization in our practice example. Obviously, the real-life location of such file shares would be on the network somewhere, with the appropriate access rights assigned to the associated users. Alternatively, we might just as easily have created departmental, or other, shares for groups of users, and so forth, depending upon the needs and resources of the organization.

The newly created file shares appear similar to those depicted in Illustration 2:

Illustration 2: The File Shares ...

6.  Close Windows Explorer.

Having created the file shares to which we will direct the delivery of the report files, and which we will specify within the subscription settings, we are ready to take the steps to create a database and table to contain the information that is required to establish our Data-Driven Subscription.

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