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Posted Oct 29, 2007

Snapshot Reports I: Report Manager Perspective - Page 3

By William Pearson

Manage Snapshot History

As we mentioned in our earlier overview of Snapshot caching, we can use settings on the History tab to manage the population of the History table with reports at the scheduled Snapshot times – primarily to support comparisons between the Snapshots over time. As we also noted, we can conveniently view, or even remove, the various stored Snapshot instances via the History tab at any time, as well. Let’s take a look at the steps involved in configuring Snapshots from the perspective of report history.

1.  Click the History tab within the left margin of the Execution page, as shown in Illustration 10.

Illustration 10: Moving to the History Settings from the Execution Page ...

On the History page, we are greeted with an initial pair of options for adding Snapshots to report history. We can check the box labeled Allow history to be created manually – which will allow us to navigate to the report involved from the Report Manager at any time, and create a new Snapshot manually, simply by clicking a button that appears after clicking the History tab atop the report viewer. We can simulate this action with the following simple steps:

2.  Place a check in the box atop the History page, labeled Allow history to be created manually, as depicted in Illustration 11.

Illustration 11: Configuring for Manual Snapshot Creation ...

3.  Click Apply in the lower left corner of the page.

4.  Click the View tab in the upper left corner of the page.

5.  Click the History tab atop the upper left corner of the report body, as shown in Illustration 12.

Illustration 12: Click the History Tab atop the Report ...

6.  On the History page, click the New Snapshot button (as depicted in Illustration 13) in the upper left corner, to use the newly enabled option to manually generate a Snapshot report.

Illustration 13: Click the New Snapshot Button to Manually Generate a Snapshot

The History Log is enabled, and presents an entry for the Snapshot we have created.

7.  Click the New Snapshot button two more times.

The three Snapshots we have generated, along with their respective execution times and size details, appear in the History Log (where we can view any of them simply by clicking the linked “When Run” information for the chosen Snapshot), as shown in Illustration 14.

Illustration 14: The Manually Generated Snapshots Appear in the History Log

The History Log, which also allows us to delete Snapshots manually, works the same if the Snapshots are added manually or automatically. We can provide for the automatic addition of Snapshots to the report history by taking the following steps:

8.  Click the Properties tab atop the History page to return to the Properties page for the report.

9.  Click the History tab, once again, in the left pane of the Properties page.

From the Properties – History page, with the appropriate selections, we can:

  • Automatically store all report execution Snapshots in history
  • Automatically add Snapshots to report history based upon a schedule:
    • Selecting a report-specific schedule (by filling in the schedule details, and selecting the start and end dates for the schedule, as we saw earlier), or
    • Selecting a shared schedule (by selecting a pre-existing schedule, as available, from the list).

We can also make settings to allow unlimited Snapshots in report history, as well as to limit their number to a preset quantity, in the lower section of the Properties page.

Our options on the Properties page appear as depicted in Illustration 15.

Illustration 15: Options for Adding Snapshots to History

10.  Be sure to turn off Snapshot generation as appropriate within the local environment, when ready.

11.  Exit Report Manager when finished...


In this article, we continued our subseries surrounding caching options in Reporting Services 2005. We began by naming the three types of caching that Reporting Services 2005 offers, referencing the articles within which we explore each. We then began our examination of the last of these three, Snapshot caching.

As a part of our examination of Snapshot caching, we reviewed the general purpose of this third caching option. We next reviewed details about how Snapshot caching is accomplished in Reporting Services 2005. Finally we explored the settings involved in putting Snapshot caching to work within the Report Manager interface (having noted that we address similar settings from a SQL Server Management Studio perspective in the second half of this article, Snapshot Reports II: Report Manager Perspective), including system defaults for those settings. Throughout the various sections of the article, we discussed other information about Snapshot 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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