Report Models (Report Builder 3.0 and SSRS)

A report model is a user-friendly description of an underlying database, with pre-established data relationships and auto-generated queries. Report models can be used as data sources for reports created in Report Designer and Report Builder 3.0. Report Builder 1.0 requires the use of a report model as the data source. A report model is an additional layer of information that maps database tables and views into concepts that are meaningful to business users. A well-designed report model should reflect the information that business users want to report on organized in a meaningful way.

Database administrators create report models in Model Designer (in SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio) or generate them in Report Manager or SharePoint Services, and then publish them to a report server or SharePoint site. Report models can be managed just like other shared data sources.

The purpose of a report model is to remove the need for specialized knowledge of the underlying database schema and query language. Report models manage building queries, data source connections and authentication, expressions, filters, and parameters for the user, allowing business users to focus on report design.

A model is a collection of entities and their relationships that reflects the real-world relationships between business functions and processes, for example, how Products relates to Inventory and Sales. Entities are logical groupings of attributes, such as Product ID, Product Name and other product-related items, and their relationships that describe individual data points, such as Product ID.


Report models are not based on the Unified Modeling Language (UML) or other model specifications. Report models are not compatible with other modeling tools or languages. To create, publish, and use report models, administrators must use the authoring and deployment tools provided in Reporting Services.


You can create and modify report definitions (.rdl) in Report Builder 3.0 and in Report Designer in Business Intelligence Development Studio. Each authoring environment provides different ways to create, open, and save reports and related items. For more information, see Designing Reports in Report Designer and Report Builder 3.0 (SSRS) on the Web at