SQL Server Reporting Services (How Do I)

Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services (SSRS) is a platform for building enterprise reports that draw content from a variety of data sources, publish reports that can be viewed in various formats, and centrally manage security and subscriptions.

Reporting Services includes graphical tools and wizards for creating and publishing reports and report models; report server management tools for administering Reporting Services; and application programming interfaces (APIs) for programming against and extending the Reporting Services object model.

The following list of key topics will help you learn more about how to install, understand, and use Reporting Services.

Orientation and Setup

  • Reporting Services Scenarios
    Learn how you can use Reporting Services technology to author, publish, and manage reports. Reporting Services can be used in a variety of ways, depending on your level of technical expertise and what you want to achieve.
  • Installing SQL Server Reporting Services
    There are two ways to install Reporting Services. You can use the Installation wizard, or you can run Setup.exe from a command line. This section covers both.
  • Reporting Services Features
    This section describes features for report definitions, design, management, execution, access and delivery, architecture, and programming.

Designing and Creating

  • Designing and Creating Reports
    For users who want to author reports, this is the place to start. In SQL Server 2005, there are two tools for report authoring: Report Builder, which enables users to create ad hoc reports quickly and easily, and Report Designer, which supports the full array of Reporting Services features.
  • Creating a Report Using Report Wizard
    Reporting Services offers several ways for you to create a report. A quick way to get started is to use the Report Server Project Wizard to contain your report files and the Report Wizard to create basic reports that you can then update in Report Designer.
  • Ad Hoc Reporting with Report Models
    Learn how to create ad hoc reports and the report models that drive this functionality. This section describes the new Report Builder and Model Designer tools.
  • Designing the Report Layout
    Learn how to include graphical and style elements in your reports such as repeating headers and footers, images and lines, and static or dynamic fonts, colors, and styles. Subreports and controls can also be displayed.
  • Adding Interactive Features
    Learn how to provide interactivity to users. Users can influence the appearance of a report and the data it contains, show or hide items in a report and click links that go to other reports or Web pages, and click items in the document map to jump to areas within a report.
  • Working with Expressions in Reporting Services
    You can use Microsoft Visual Basic expressions in reports to calculate the value of a report item, or to calculate values for style and formatting properties or other report item properties. This topic gets you started.
  • Debugging and Publishing Reports
    When you have finished designing a report, you can test the report by previewing it and publishing it to a test server. When the report is in its final form, you can use Report Designer to publish the report to a production server.

Deploying and Testing

  • Planning a Reporting Services Deployment
    Deploying Reporting Services requires that you assess user requirements, the volume of report activity that you need to support, and how the server and reports are accessed. This section provides checklists that describe the sequence of tasks that must be performed in order to complete a deployment. This section also contains information for users who are planning to deploy Reporting Services in a multilingual environment.
  • Reporting Services Configuration Files
    Reporting Services stores application settings in configuration files. This section describes how to work with each to change settings and options for your particular deployment.


  • Managing and Working With Published Reports
    In-depth documentation shows how you can use Report Manager and SQL Server Management Studio to configure access to reports and report server folders, set options that determine how and when reports are run, manage report distribution, and manage report processing.
  • Setting Data Source Properties in Reporting Services
    To retrieve data, a report server connects to external data sources. Managing a connection to a report data source is not the same as managing the report server connection to the report server database. This section explains the difference.
  • Reporting Services Log Files
    Reporting Services log files record information about report server operations that can be useful for troubleshooting and performance tuning. This section explains how to get this data from them.
  • Starting and Stopping the Report Server Windows Service
    A report server runs as a Microsoft Windows service and as a Web service. The services work together and support different aspects of report server functionality. This topic covers both aspects of report server operation.
  • Initializing a Report Server
    An activated server is one that can encrypt and decrypt data in a report server database. Activating a report server is required when configuring a report server scale-out deployment.
  • Managing Encryption Keys
    Reporting Services uses encryption keys to secure credentials, connection information, and accounts that are used in server operations. This topic covers how to securely manage sensitive data.


  • Integrating Reporting Services into Applications
    Reporting Services provides developers with a comprehensive set of APIs for developing solutions. This section describes the two methods of integrating Reporting Services into custom applications: URL access and the Reporting Services SOAP API.
  • Report Server Web Service
    Learn about the new Report Server Web service endpoints for report management and execution, scripting, the role of SOAP, and building applications using the Microsoft .NET Framework.
  • Reporting Services Extensions
    A managed code API makes it easy to develop, deploy, and manage extensions to the report server. Create private or shared assemblies using the.NET Framework and add new Reporting Services functionality to meet your evolving business needs.
  • Using Custom Assemblies with Reports
    Custom assemblies allow you to write custom code using the .NET Framework for report item values, styles, and formatting, which you can then reference from within your report definition files. The server calls the functions in your custom assemblies when a report is run.
  • Reporting Services Programming
    You have several programming options available to you through Reporting Services. Learn how to use its existing features and capabilities to build custom reporting and management tools into Web sites and Windows applications, or to extend the Reporting Services platform.

See Also

Other Resources

SQL Server Reporting Services
Reporting Services Tutorials

Help and Information

Getting SQL Server 2005 Assistance