Report Builder 2.0: Whither report models?

Just a quick post to answer the inevitable question when those familiar with Report Builder 2005/1.0 start playing with Report Builder 2.0:

Whither report models?

The short answer is that they are still available as a data source type, and the report model query designer is included as well, so you can create datasets against them just like any other data source. The part that's missing, obviously, is the ability to build the report layout and the query at the same time by dragging data from the model directly on to the layout surface, as in RB 1.0 (we called this "integrated query design"). The reason for this limitation in RB 2.0 is simply limited resources. There was so much demand for a more full-featured standalone report authoring application, including full layout capabilities and support for many data source types, that we did not have time to recreate the same "integrated query design" experience in a completely overhauled and much more (internally) complex layout editor. Because we were unable in the SQL 2008 timeframe to make RB 2.0 a complete superset of the RB 2005/1.0 experience, we chose to re-ship RB 1.0 in that release (with some minor updates) for those who preferred an RB 1.0-like solution for now.

Rest assured, though, that we are hard at work on closing the gap as soon as possible. We are also working on a number of exciting and valuable enhancements to report models and report model queries that will enable new scenarios while making the query design experience even easier.