MSSQL Server Reporting Services: Managing Reporting Services: Data Connections and Uploads

About the Series …

This is the fourth article of the series MSSQL
Server 2000 Reporting Services
. The series is designed to introduce
MSSQL Server 2000 Reporting Services ("Reporting Services"), with the
objective of giving a preview of its features, as well as sharing my conviction
in its role as a new paradigm in enterprise reporting. As I advise clients on a
more and more frequent basis these days, this is the future in a big way. I hope
you will consider my input valuable, and that you will investigate closely the
savings and advanced functionality that will soon be available to anyone with
an MSSQL Server 2000 (and beyond) license.

Important: For information concerning the applications to which you will
require access to benefit the most from our series, please see our initial Database
Journal
article, A New
Paradigm for Enterprise Reporting
.

Introduction

In our
last article, The
Authoring Phase: Overview Part II
, we resumed where we left off in
Part
I
of our Reporting Services Authoring phase overview. We
undertook the remaining steps of our initial walkthrough of the Authoring
phase within the context of an example tabular report. We completed many steps
within our continuing practice example, including the performance of numerous
modifications and enhancements to the layout of the report. We then filtered
the dataset, and performed grouping and sorting within the table. We added
subtotals and a total, using the group and report
footers
in their respective placement. Finally, we set formatting and other
properties within our example report, to introduce the substantial population
of options for increasing usefulness and appearance of a report within Reporting
Services
.

In
this article, we will introduce the Managing phase of the reporting
lifecycle within the context of Reporting Services. Here, as well as in
subsequent articles, we will examine our options for central management of the
reporting function, from the perspective of the objects that we can manage and
the actions that we can perform with, and upon, those objects. Our examination
will surround managing components that include:

  • Data Source Connections
  • Report Processing and Maintenance
  • Report Scheduling
  • Report Server Content
  • Control of User Access
  • Report Distribution

The
objective of this article is to begin our overview of Managing. We will
return to most of the activities we touch upon here, just as we will to many of
the topics we explore within our other life cycle overviews, as we get involved
in creating reports to accomplish illustrative business needs. As I stated in
the Authoring overview, I intend to make this a series on enterprise
reporting in the widest sense. Before the release of Reporting Services,
when the proprietary "Big Sisters" offered the only real options for
enterprise reporting, we would have had to introduce multiple tools to
accomplish sophisticated solutions in many cases. At last, I have a unified, common
platform from which I can show the techniques and methods I have accumulated
over the years to support robust and creative business intelligence.

Reporting
Services
has
arrived.

William Pearson
William Pearson
Bill has been working with computers since before becoming a "big eight" CPA, after which he carried his growing information systems knowledge into management accounting, internal auditing, and various capacities of controllership. Bill entered the world of databases and financial systems when he became a consultant for CODA-Financials, a U.K. - based software company that hired only CPA's as application consultants to implement and maintain its integrated financial database - one of the most conceptually powerful, even in his current assessment, to have emerged. At CODA Bill deployed financial databases and business intelligence systems for many global clients. Working with SQL Server, Oracle, Sybase and Informix, and focusing on MSSQL Server, Bill created Island Technologies Inc. in 1997, and has developed a large and diverse customer base over the years since. Bill's background as a CPA, Internal Auditor and Management Accountant enable him to provide value to clients as a liaison between Accounting / Finance and Information Services. Moreover, as a Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) - a Certified Public Accountant recognized for his or her unique ability to provide business insight by leveraging knowledge of information relationships and supporting technologies - Bill offers his clients the CPA's perspective and ability to understand the complicated business implications and risks associated with technology. From this perspective, he helps them to effectively manage information while ensuring the data's reliability, security, accessibility and relevance. Bill has implemented enterprise business intelligence systems over the years for many Fortune 500 companies, focusing his practice (since the advent of MSSQL Server 2000) upon the integrated Microsoft business intelligence solution. He leverages his years of experience with other enterprise OLAP and reporting applications (Cognos, Business Objects, Crystal, and others) in regular conversions of these once-dominant applications to the Microsoft BI stack. Bill believes it is easier to teach technical skills to people with non-technical training than vice-versa, and he constantly seeks ways to graft new technology into the Accounting and Finance arenas. Bill was awarded Microsoft SQL Server MVP in 2009. Hobbies include advanced literature studies and occasional lectures, with recent concentration upon the works of William Faulkner, Henry James, Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Honoré de Balzac, and Charles Dickens. Other long-time interests have included the exploration of generative music sourced from database architecture.

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