Working with Embedded and Shared Data Sources (Report Builder 2.0)

In Report Builder 2.0, when you want to specify the data to include in your report, you must create a report data source. A data source includes connection information to a source of data (such as a database) and credentials. The report processor uses the data source information to retrieve data from the source of data when you view the report.

Report data sources are created in the following ways:

  • When you create or modify a data source from the Report Data pane.

  • When you run a wizard to add a table, matrix, or chart. You have the option of using existing datasets or creating new datasets and new data sources.

After you add data sources to your report, you can add datasets. A dataset represents a set of rows and columns that is retrieved from the source of data by running a query command. Each data source type provides a query designer to help you build a query. For more information, see Connecting to Your Data (Report Builder 2.0) and Query Designers and Data Sources (Report Builder 2.0).

Shared Data Source References and Embedded Data Sources in a Report

There are two types of report data sources: shared and embedded.

  • A shared data source is stored on a report server. When you select a shared data source, you add a reference to it in your report. All references must be to shared data sources that are on the same report server as the report. The sources of data that they point to can be multiple servers.

  • An embedded data source is used only by a single report. The connection information for the source of data is saved in the report.

When you run a report, credentials for shared and embedded data sources are handled differently depending on whether you are connected to a report server. Credentials are not saved in the report definition. For more information, see Specifying Credentials for a Report Data Source (Report Builder 2.0). To verify your connection to a data source, see How to: Verify a Connection to a Data Source (Report Builder 2.0).

Modifying Shared Data Sources

In Report Builder 2.0, by design, you cannot create, edit, or change a shared data source. You cannot change the type of credentials that are used for a shared data source. Shared data sources can only be created in the following ways:

  • Directly on the report server by the report server administrator, the owner of the data source, or by anyone who has been granted permissions to create a data source on the report server. Contact your report server administrator for more information.

  • From Report Designer in Business Intelligence Development Studio, a tool that is available with SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services. For more information about features in different report authoring environments, see Comparing Report Authoring Environments (Report Builder 2.0).

You can change a shared data source reference in your report to point to a different shared data source on a report server. From the Report Data pane, open the Data Source property dialog box and select a different shared data source. In some circumstances, you can change a data source reference to an embedded data source.

Changing a Data Source from Shared to Embedded

You might want to change all the shared data source references to embedded data sources so that you can run without a report server. For example, you can open a report that was authored in a different report authoring environment, such as Report Designer in BI Development Studio.

To change a data source reference to an embedded data source, open the data source in the Report Data pane, and change its properties. For each embedded data source, you must specify credentials that work from your computer. Not all data sources support this functionality.

When you save the report to the report server, the data sources remain embedded data sources. Credentials that work for embedded data sources from your computer might not work from the report server. For more information, see Specifying Credentials for a Report Data Source (Report Builder 2.0).