SQL Server Denali CTP3, Project Crescent

There are many new exciting capabilities in CTP3 for Reporting Services. More details can also be found on the Reporting Services Team blog, with a brief overview below.

SQL Server “Denali” CTP3 is now available for download: https://www.microsoft.com/betaexperience/pd/SQLDCTP3CTA/ 

The feature pack for SQL Server “Denali” CTP3 is available as well: https://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=26726

What’s new in Reporting Services in Denali CTP3?

Project “Crescent”

Project Crescent is about interactively visualizing data, quickly gaining analytical insights, and generally having fun with data!

Crescent is Reporting Services’ new reporting tool targeted at data consumers to visually explore their data, answer ad-hoc questions with ease, and to present and collaborate with others in a SharePoint environment. Crescent is a thin browser experience and is working against a BI Semantic Model. BI Semantic Model is available on the client through the Excel-based Power Pivot modeling tool, or on the server through Analysis Services Tabular project with Denali CTP3.

You can find a Project Crescent Overview on Technet. Furthermore, you can watch these session recordings from the recent Tech Ed conference:

  • Abundantly “Crescent”: Demos Galore – lots of demos and deeper dive.
  • BI Power Hour, which is always fun with demos of the latest technology. You can see Crescent shown starting at 52:50 in the video; as in previous years, my colleague Chris Hays and I had a lot of fun putting together the Crescent demo for BI Power Hour at TechEd, and Carolyn Chau did a great job on stage presenting. More details about how you can create visuals like this yourself in a future blog post.

Crescent was also shown in today’s keynote at the Worldwide Partner Conference

Car category sales vs gas priceSLA dashboard

Self Service Alerting

Alerting is a new capability that we are adding to Reporting Services as well. It enables an end-user to setup alert rules and be alerted when report data changes occur that match a set of rules. No changes are required to the existing reports – you can create alerts for any reports created in previous versions of Reporting Services, as soon as upgrade/move to SQL Server Denali in SharePoint integrated mode.

SharePoint Shared Service

Reporting Services in SharePoint now runs as a SharePoint shared service. Among other benefits, this provides integration with claims authentication and scaling and load-balancing across the SharePoint farm. Furthermore, report viewing performance in SharePoint has been enhanced significantly.

Excel rendering as XLSX, Word rendering as DOCX

These new renderers produce now Open XML Office format and take advantage of some of the new capabilities in Office 2007 and 2010, such as export up to a 1 million rows in Excel. The original renderers for DOC and XLS, which produce binary formats for older Office versions are still available but hidden by default.

BI Development Studio integrated in Visual Studio 2010

Not only did we adopt the Visual Studio 2010 shell for BI Development Studio for report design, but we also rearchitected our integration with Visual Studio in general for RDLC designer and report viewer controls. This will be available with the upcoming next version of Visual Studio and enable much more simultaneous availability of SQL Server Reporting Services functionality in Visual Studio as well.


For discussions on Reporting Services in Denali, please visit and post on our Reporting Services forums: