Working with Model Designer

A report model is a metadata description of a data source and its relationships. Report models provide familiar business names for database fields and tables, logically grouped model items, and predefined relationships between items within the data source. The report model helps Report Builder users to explore and select the data that they want to use from the underlying data source. The report model definitions are used by Report Server to automatically generate a query for retrieving the requested data.

In order to build a model, you must first create a report model project. A report model project is a container for the model and consists of one or more data source (.ds) files, one or more data source view (.dsv) files, and one or more report model (.smdl) files. Only one data source and data source view can be referenced in an .smdl file. Model Designer can only generate report models from SQL Server databases, and from Oracle databases running version or later. For information about creating a report model based on an Analysis Services cube, see Generating Models Using Report Management Tools.

To build your model, you need to run the Model Designer wizard. When running the Model Designer wizard, you can create a data source, a data source view, and generate the model. If you want, you can continue to refine your model using the Model Design window. You can refine your model by rearranging the model items within the model and by adding additional model items, such as entities, folders, or perspectives, to the model. Model items can be renamed or deleted, and you can add folders, fields, expressions, and roles to them. In addition, you can set properties and add collections to determine how model items behave in Report Builder. Models are published to a report server or SharePoint library and users must have permissions to access the model in order to use it in Report Builder.

To see a tutorial about creating a report model project, see Tutorial: Creating a Report Model.

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